If you had the tools and people to be successful, why would you not use them to fuel your success?

When it comes down to it, we all want to enjoy a life of success.  Right?  I have never talked to anyone who said that they didn’t care about being successful.  Of course, everyone has different definitions of success.  But everyone is searching for success.  Believe it or not, success starts with understanding people.

I was reading an article on leadership that I think you might find interesting in enhancing your success.  Social-personality psychologist and Deloitte’s lead researcher on Business Chemistry Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg and national managing director of Deloitte Greenhouse experiences and one of the original architects of Business Chemistry Kim Christfort wrote an article called Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, & Guardians in the March-April 2017 Harvard Business Review Issue.  In write-up, Vickberg and Christfort discuss how every team member aligns with one or two behaviors from the styles mentioned in the article title. Understanding the mixture of these personalities will either fuel or destroy your organization depending on how the leader manages the personality of each team member.  Here is a quick run down of each personality style.

-    Pioneer: Values possibilities; sparks energy and imagination; risk takers; big picture driven; drawn to bold new ideas and creative approaches

-    Guardian: Values stability and order; pragmatic; slow to take risk; details matter; data/facts driven; thinks it makes sense to learn from the past

-    Drivers: Values challenges; creators of momentum; focused getting results and winning; tend to view issues as black-and-white

-    Integrators: Values connection; draws teams together; relationship driven; focused on gaining consensus; high sense of loyalty to group 

Senior editor of the HBR Alison Beard wrote a follow-up article called How Work Styles Inform… in the March-April 2017 HBR issue.  In this article, Beard has five executives explain how understanding personality has helped them become better leaders.  Each leader described a different aspect of understanding personalities.  Here are the five points that each leader emphasized. 

1.    Strategy

What is your strategy for success?  Chief Customer Experience Officer of Marriott Adam Malamut explains how personality style helps to understand each team member's strengths, weaknesses, and their ability to effectively work towards future productivity outcomes.  Malamut explains how understanding all four business personality styles helped with developing strategic plans to forecast individual and organizational success over one to two years.

2.    Managing Up and Down

How do you interact with those in higher and lower levels of leadership within your organization?  We have heard about recent bizarre stories surrounding some of the airlines.  Vice President of Southwest Airlines University Elizabeth Bryant has attempted to set Southwest Airlines apart from other airlines by understanding these four personalities.  Bryant believes these four behaviors have helped Southwest choose the proper communication strategies with all of their staff.

3.    Hiring and Job Crafting

How are you recruiting and integrating your staff into your culture and vision?  Executive Vice President of American Express Greg Keeley explains how he utilizes understanding these personalities to gain better insights with assignments, promotions, and hiring.  This has led to much of American Express’ success.

4.    Teamwork

How do you encourage teamwork with the people you are leading?  U.S. Treasurer of National Grid Charles Derosa is a big proponent of teamwork.  He believes to function effectively, his teams needs to recognize and appreciate everyone’s personality styles.  Also, Derosa believes having open discussions about personality differences is a productive way to promote more meaningful and thoughtful interactions.

5.    Decision Making

How do you go about making decisions?  Vice Chairman of Corporate Development and chief legal officer Gary Pilnick said, “Executives need to be thinking in all four quadrants of personality when they’re making big decisions.”  It’s always a great idea to get different perspectives when you are making a decision, but it is even better to different personalities.

Understanding those working on your team is important whether you are leading a team of five, 500, or 500,0000.  Your ability to recognize the various personalities on your team will bring you outcomes that will be better than you can ever imagine.

I know you can see the personality of your team members or even family members after reading this post.  Which personality do you naturally align with?  Please leave a comment below, send me a tweet on Twitter, or leave a comment on Facebook.


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