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Pure strength, Cultivating S’s to their full potential. July 31, 2012

Posted by thefieldgeneral in Leadership, Personality.
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How do you spot an S? They Smile. They are warm. For some unidentifiable reason you like them. They are counselors, full of serenity. The S is symbolized by the Ox, massively strong, serene, and stable.

With thanks to Nicole Compton

High S


1. Warmth – The overwhelming personal warmth of the High S can overcome frustration and anger. They easily manage difficult personalities and calm angry customers.

2. Serenity – The High S lives in a bubble. Sorrow and anger tend to roll off of the bubble, allowing them to project an aura of peace.

3. Stability and Strength – The S can push longer than other personalities. After the D and I have grown bored and the C has exhausted themselves, the S will continue forward.

4. Contentment – S’s will generally stay at a job, working solidly until they are pushed from it. Many of your long tenured employees are high S’s.

5. Long Term Focus – S’s are not consumed with the immediate. They are focused on the long term. An S will never accidentally sacrifice a relationship for a temporary material gain.


1. Fear of Conflict – S’s hate conflict. They fear it and will avoid it. Sometimes they will even make poor moral decisions, lying to avoid conflict.

2. Low Ambition – S’s contentment is a double edged sword. They think in terms of relationships, not careers. This tends to limit their career unless a strong sponsor takes interest.

3. Susceptible to Peer Pressure – Due to their people focus and conflict avoidance, S’s will bend to peer pressure. This can lead to destructive behaviors including substance abuse.

4. Laziness – S’s can be lazy. They work hard when motivated, but they don’t easily generate internal motivation. An external push is required.

Dealing with S’s

S’s love people. They are the masters of one on one. They excel in counseling, customer service, or collaborative positions. They require strong structure or they will tend to drift into steady mediocrity. Remember, the S personality is your workhorse. When driven by a strong leader they are rocks who you can lean on to be consistent and stay with you even when conditions are tough.

Healthy Vs. Unhealthy

Unhealthy S’s are driven by fear and peer opinion. They will tend to go to extremes to avoid conflict and garner approval. This behavior is characterized by bad habits, laziness, and even dishonesty. For a strong leader, S personalities are the easiest to bring to health. Provide a strong, safe structure. Push them occasionally. Most importantly, appreciate them. S’s steady performance is often overlooked, yet, as people persons, they absolutely crave appreciation.

S’s as employees

S’s tend to be straightforward. Managing them is similarly straightforward.

1. Give them team or people oriented work – S’s like to work with people. To best motivate them, put them in team or people oriented work. This is also an excellent environment for their Warmth superpower. In teams they serve as peacemakers and arbitrators. In client facing situations, give them the worst clients. They will amaze you with how they turn your dogs into diamonds.

2. Protect your S’s – An S operates best under a healthy D they trust. Someone who will tell everyone else that no one is allowed to attack the S but them. Seeing that ferocious Lion guarding the pasture from enemies, they will operate contentedly. Forever! Other personalities can achieve this as well. The key is to protect them from attack. They won’t protect themselves.

3. Give them structure – S’s need to be pushed. They need deadlines. They need expectations. Don’t expect them to come up with goals themselves. They are very poor at short term goals.

4. Provide them with Appreciation – S’s are the most unappreciated personality. The high achieving D’s and C’s care little for approbation, but their achievements tend to draw it. I’s will demand appreciation whether they deserve it or not. S’s wait hopefully for a pat on the back. Oblige them, and they will follow you into Hell. Forever!

5. Build a Career for them – When you take on an S as an employee you are recruiting the strongest, most loyal of the personalities. What they lack in drive, creativity, and energy, they more than make up in pure tenacity. This gift requires recompense. Provide them opportunity; they will not seek it themselves. Show them the way to the next level. They still require strong upper managers to protect and provide them structure, but S’s make special managers. Their Warmth superpower takes over and anchors all the other personalities to them. Suddenly you find your D’s are more patient, your I’s are more stable, your C’s are happier, and far fewer employees are leaving the company.

Tell me about a high S you love.
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Pure strength, Cultivating S’s to their full potential.


On vacation July 23, 2012

Posted by thefieldgeneral in Uncategorized.
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I’m on vacation. Stay tuned next week for the High I post.

Fire-Starters and Rain-Makers. How to maximize their potential. July 17, 2012

Posted by thefieldgeneral in Leadership, Personality.
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High I’s are loud. Tremendously, hugely loud. They are bright balls of energy. When they float through a crowd they light fires of interest as they go. They are Rain-Makers and sales people. An I is represented biblically by the “man”, who lives by his words more than his brawn.

With Thanks to Aaron “Tango” Tang http://www.flickr.com/photos/hahatango/


High I



1. Energy and Charisma – The high I’s energy is infectious and overpowering. An I will get people so excited that they will say yes to something before they realize what they are agreeing to.

2. Vision Casters – An I has the natural ability to find the precise words to make you see the world as they do.

3. People Sensitivity – I’s understand someone’s mood and underlying attitudes far quicker than other personalities.

4. Traditional Leadership – An I’s ability to read people, project energy, and cast vision makes them fit well into traditional leadership roles.

5. Gab – All I’s have the gift of Gab. They will say things that would cause other people to get fired, and people will laugh. Negativity seems to slide right off of them.


1. Lack of consistency – I’s get bored easily. They will change things just for the sake of change. They often lack the long term consistency to tackle big projects.

2. Shallow relationships – I’s like excitement. Thus they tend to have a broad, shallow pool of friends. Their ability to see deeply into others may give them an impression of depth that does not exist.

3. Inability to organize and prioritize – Hi I’s often have difficulty organizing and prioritizing tasks.

4. Easily manipulated – I’s can be very focused on approval. They can be very susceptible to peer pressure.

Key Phrase: “Let’s all get excited and do something”

I’s are critical team components. They are your encouragers. They provide energy to your team. They also tend to have a keen sense of the human spirit and can identify potential interpersonal problems early on. Most people think of sales people as high I’s.

Dealing with I’s.

I’s love excitement. Thus they need variety, encouragement, and most importantly people. Unlike other personalities who will stay and become angry, passive-aggressive, or unstable, I’s will simply leave the organization when inappropriately used. Keep them busy with a variety of topics and engaged with people.  You will also have to pacify the Ds and Cs around them, whom they will annoy.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy

I’s become less stable when unhealthy. They tend to bounce around a lot to start with. An unhealthy I will show emotional swings with increased intensity and depth. Depression is common. Anger can be a problem as well. I’s are easily influenced so being in a positive environment can help an unhealthy I.

I’s as employees

To groom your Fire-Starter to do big things for you, you must teach them:

  • Task Completion
  • Prioritization and Organization

It is critical that you teach an I to complete what they start. I’s love to start new things, but their interest quickly deteriorates as the project ceases to be new. Managers need to focus on ways to keep the activities fresh. Celebration of success and clarity of progress is critical. It helps keep the excitement level up and show the impatient I that the goal is coming and that it is worth achieving.

As the I is naturally a poor organizer and prioritizer, it is your job as a manager to help them with this task. Often times training is simply not sufficient. Software or Methodology solutions can be somewhat successful, especially if the I recognizes their weakness. This works right up to where the I abandon’s the boring process or system. A better methodology is a very regular review with the manager.  High I’s love people, thus the face time will be a well-received experience. Some things to note in this meeting:

  • Be positive – I’s do not take negativity well
  • Use a “bright” tone and super-positive words like “awesome”, “super”, or “tremendous”. Superlatives like “best”, “greatest”, and other “est” words are great too… I’s are walking, talking hyperboles. They love things to be over the top.
  • Do not get too broad. The I is naturally broad themselves. Keep the priority items to 1-3 and talk about where things are, where they were last time you met, and where they should be next time.
  • Make this meeting regular. 1ce per week is minimum.

What is your opinion of High I’s?
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How to Leash a Lion and Harness His Strength July 8, 2012

Posted by thefieldgeneral in Leadership.
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The lion, the king of beasts, is a terribly viscous fighter. They are enormously strong, determined, and driven to win every fight. A high D (or Driven) personality type is represented by the lion.

Thanks to Vi O’Walker on Flickr Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vi-photos/

High D


1. Confidence (even when they are wrong.) – A D’s confidence can be so strong and overwhelming that it can literally override all objections and move a person or group of people in the direction the D desires.

2. Fighting – No other personality type can stand against the verbal assault of a charging lion.

3. Prioritization and Delegation – Understanding their place in the world, they can immediately discard the unimportant or assign it to others.

4. Traditional Leadership – The confidence and aggressiveness of a D positions them ideally for traditional leadership roles,


1. No Brain-Mouth filter – They are direct, which can be interpreted as rude or at least discounting social norms. They generally don’t violate norms on purpose, they don’t recognize they exist.

2. Total Task/Goal Orientation – They can discount the harm they do to people in order to complete a task.

3. Short Term Focus – Due to their confidence and natural power, D’s expect to be able to fix problems in short order and often grow frustrated when solutions must occur over time.

4. Intimidation – Ds will often inadvertently miss good advice from teammates who are intimidated by their aggressiveness.

5. Laziness – Like the great male lion the D represents, they will let others do the hunting. When confronted with something distasteful, they can appear lazy.

Key Phrase: “That’s not my problem.”

A D can be a great blessing. They are natural leaders and like to get things done. They also can be mean, aggressive, rule breakers. The stereotypical angry, screaming boss is a D.

Dealing with Ds
The key to dealing with a D is to remember that they are all about success. Ultimately they want to win. This is true of all Ds. The only question is what they think success is. So if you need to deal with a D talk in terms of how they can be successful (or more successful). Also remember they decide quickly and are very confident in their decisions. Don’t try to show them they are wrong. You will not win that argument. Once you become the opposition they will be set against you.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy
Differences also occur between emotionally healthy and unhealthy Ds. Healthy Ds are strong. Unhealthy Ds are angry. Thus the image of the angry, screaming boss is created. A D generally gets this way due to stress built up over a long time and insufficient internal fortitude (generally reflecting a spiritual problem). An unhealthy D is, in a word, a bully. With unhealthy Ds, avoidance is the best policy. They will emotionally maul everyone around them.

Ds as employees
To groom your lion for big things three items are critical. You must teach them:

  • to see relationships as a goal
  • to pull others into their decision making process
  • to be patient and to let processes work.

The first is most critical. If a D has set relationships as a success criteria, they will actively pursue success in this area. They need practical advice. For instance a D does not typically think to greet someone they need something from. They just demand it. If you are not a D it may seem odd or rude to you but they literally do not register social niceties. They do consider success all the time, however. The thought process of a properly trained D goes something like this.

The boss indicates that if I start with a greeting and ask how the persons day is going I will be more successful getting what I want. I will also move towards my goal of establishing a relationship with this person. Good. Now that that is done, I can ask what I really want to ask.

Note, the D doesn’t really care. A D rarely will. Don’t be offended. If you need help, Ds will move mountains for you, but they don’t want to talk about the small stuff. Talking niceties is a pure discipline for them.

The second part is more critical as Ds move into leadership. Ds make decisions quicker and better than any other personality type if they have sufficient information. The problem is untrained Ds rarely have anywhere near sufficient information when making decisions. Their “I” compatriots have tremendous insights on people and organizations. The Ss and Cs have deep analytical insights. If you can convince the D that these are resources for him to tap into, the quality of his decisions will increase greatly. Also, as a positive side effect, the people he includes will become more tolerant of the D’s directness.

The third hard lesson for Ds is patience. Ds are used to making things happen through sheer force of will. They are impatient. The biggest, most important goals, however, take time. Sometimes they take a lot of time. An effective D needs to learn to be a river, not a tidal wave.

Do you have any interesting stories about Ds?
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How to change your life for the better with Personality Profiling. July 1, 2012

Posted by thefieldgeneral in Leadership, Personality.
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Short of salvation, one of the most powerful, life altering experiences I have gone through was my discovery and training in personality profiling. Personality Profiling is a set of concepts that give you a deep understanding of your own and others psyches. It can be used to guide personal development, enhance communication, drive conflict resolution, and interact with difficult people.

What is this marvelous thing? Personality profiling is about recognizing the 4 major personality types of human beings, how they interact, and how they understand the world. It has been around for a long time. Hippocrates and the Bible both address the concept. If you have worked with Myers-Briggs or DiSC you have brushed on the topic.  The problem, however, with most modern and corporate training on these subjects is that it only focuses on one aspect of Personality Profiling, self-knowledge. In my opinion, the real sweets come from understanding others. With sufficient clarity on the motives of others, you can improve every relationship in your life.

Above is a chart showing the 4 basic personality types. For each I have listed the DiSC classification, the corresponding biblical animal, the associated Greco-Roman medical term, and a stereotypical position where you might find that personality.

For the purpose of this blog I will mostly use the DiSC terminology as it is short notation and is taught in some companies. People tend to be a mix of personality types but have 1 or 2 dominant traits. You learn to recognize them. High Ds are direct, dominant, and driven. High I’s are loud, intense, and excited. They are the life of a party. You just tend to like High Ss. They are quiet and warm and can talk to anyone. High Cs are precise experts. They are the perfectionists and the people who “know stuff”. They tend to be quiet and intense.

But those of different personality types tend to misunderstand one another. The Driven D sees the S as lazy while the S despairs that the high D is concerned only with success and crushes all the poor souls in their way. High I’s want everyone to be happy and excited. To the C, who sees with great detail and precision all the problems around them, the I seems to be a whimsical idiot. The I sees the C as a party-pooping scrooge.

Furthermore, each personality has its own strengths, its own weaknesses, and its own values. For instance, the D values completion of goals above all else. The I has trouble staying focused on a task to completion. The S fears conflict and avoids confrontation. The C is only satisfied with perfection. Only by understanding these fundamental characteristics can a leader successfully utilize, develop, and motivate his people.

In the next four posts I will examine each of the 4 fundamental personality types, their strengths, and their weaknesses. I will also discuss how to develop the personality type, how they can best be utilized, and how to manage their idiosyncrasies.

If you find this information interesting and want to do a deep dive into Personality Profiling and it’s extensions I would suggest you go to this site Liberty Church Audio and download and listen to the “Personality” series. This series of sermons, combined with my years of personal experience, is the source for much of the information I have around Personality Profiling. The material on the site is awesome.

What do you think about Personality Profiling?
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