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Fly with the Eagles. Taking high C’s to the next level August 7, 2012

Posted by thefieldgeneral in Leadership, Personality.

High C’s are generally easy to spot. They are your technicians. Details are in their blood. Perfection and organization drive them. The C is symbolized by the eagle. They are precise, powerful achievers who effortlessly soar to heights of excellence.

Thanks to Pat Bell @http://www.flickr.com/people/pmbell64/

High C


1. Excellence – C’s are motivated by excellence. They tend to be very skilled in whatever field interests them. Nothing less than perfection satisfies. They will achieve more than expected and push the team to achieve things far beyond what people think is possible.

2. Creativity – C’s are detail people. One of the odd side effects of this is they tend to be very creative as well. I suspect their creativity is simply the C seeing connections and combinations that the rest of us miss.

3. Conscientiousness – C’s value truth and are extremely hard on themselves. They will kill themselves to keep a promise. They will do their job without monitoring.

4. Scouting and Analysis – C’s detailed focus comes into play. It allows them to accurately forecast anything. Thus, a C can give a team forewarning of trends, problems, and solutions that others see too late to react to.

5. Organization –C’s can, at a glance, see how something should be organized to produce a particular efficiency. Note, this does not include prioritization.


1. Social Awkwardness (Criticality and Shyness) – C’s tend to be socially awkward. There are two reasons for this. First they are annoyed by the lack of perfection around them. This leads to a tendency to be critical. Second they are terrified of the lack of perfection they see in themselves. This tends to make them shy. They tend to avoid the lime-light.

2. Inflexibility – C’s are the worst about change. They build coping mechanisms to deal with the imperfect world around them and change disrupts those processes. (and in the C’s opinion the changes are generally not the right ones anyway).

3. Emotional Fragility – C’s tend to internalize feelings. They let them build up until they explode. They also understand intensely their own flaws and struggle with criticism. This leads overall to an emotional brittleness.

4. Analysis Paralysis (Perfectionism) – C’s have a difficult time making decisions. This is because they want the decisions to be perfect, and there is always insufficient data. The end result is analysis paralysis and ultimately tardiness with delivery. They also have difficulty prioritizing because in order to be perfect, everything must be done right.

Dealing with C’s

C’s see the world in a different way. At times, they almost seem to live in an entirely different world. They are not people-people. They are over-achievers. You see them most in jobs that require precision: Engineering, Computers, Science, Medicine, Law, and the Arts. They don’t tend to be team players, but excel as specialists. The highest C’s would prefer to see no one, hide in an office all day, and do their job. However, if you want a job done right, give it to a high C.

Healthy Vs. Unhealthy

Only an unhealthy D is more disruptive than an unhealthy C. Unhealthy C’s tend to take criticism to an artistic level. They have given up on perfection. This can lead to a loss of excellence, success, and conscientiousness. The behavior spirals and often leads to depression that further exacerbates the behaviors. Pulling a C out of this is very difficult because by the time it shows externally, the C has been spiraling internally for a long time. The best method is prevention. Strangely, the best prevention is the very thing the C is not looking for, companionship and fun. C’s don’t seek it out, but it is the thing they need to keep them out of the dark patches. A C that has fallen into a deep spiral may require professional counseling.

C’s as employees

C’s are the absolute hardest employees to manage. They are fragile, critical, inflexible, and generally incapable of moving forward without someone else helping them to move past perfection. On the other hand, C’s can literally do things that the other people can’t. They come up with solutions that other people cannot see. They do work that seems impossible, impossibly quickly when the pressure is on. C’s take your organization to a level that it cannot reach without them.

Key Management Thoughts:

1. Involve C’s in your decisions – What’s the point in having this wonderful, perfect, analyst if you don’t ask their opinion. Also this gives them the lead time to be ok with the changes when they come.

2. C’s lead better from the middle – D’s and I’s make your best top level leaders. S’s Make tremendous middle managers, retaining critical personnel like no one else. Pure C’s lead best from the middle. More accurately, they lead best from an advisory position. High C’s can lead in other roles, but it tends to be dissatisfying to them as they must focus on politics or interpersonal interaction instead of what they most enjoy: achieving tasks, creating new ideas, and mapping out strategies.

3. Be careful mixing C’s and I’s – They tend to annoy each other. A critical C is one of the few things that can anger a bouncy I. An optimistic I will grate on the nerves of a C who sees all the imperfections around them.

4. C’s take a LONG time to develop to their full potential – This is because they are ultra-careful and take every step. But if you are patient and expend the effort, they become amazing.

5. Help keep their heads down – C’s when exposed do things that cause their heads to be taken off. I have numerous stories of C’s who said the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. While the D might ignore social rules, often the C just doesn’t realize they exist.

C’s can be the funniest personalities because they see the world in a different way than the average person. Do you have a story about a high C you would like to share?

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