A leadership coach and consultant on organization development, Robert Gaarder was the subject of our January story on architects’ typical Myers-Briggs personality types, “A Difficult Character.” At the AIA convention in New Orleans, Gaarder will be speaking about “The Architect’s Leadership Challenge.” He tells ARCHITECT that the talk will focus on the leadership challenges that result from the architect’s temperament. “The vast majority of architects are intuitive—they can see a blank space and imagine what can be there,” Gaarder says. “But they have weaknesses in follow-through, interpersonal skills, and managing conflict.”
These tendencies can be assets when leading—whether it’s simple confidence or Frank Lloyd Wright’s “honest arrogance”—but they’re liabilities when dealing with the details. “People succeed because of their skills, but behavior is a matter of habit,” Gaarder says. “How can you pause, take account of your skills, and be aware of you weaknesses in a leadership role?”
Gaarder’s program—FR303, “The Architect’s Leadership Challenge”—will be held on May 13, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.