~ Inscribed at the temple wall at Delphi in Greece during the sixth century BC
Can you imagine the insanity of taking a Ferrari off-road to a mudding competition?
Or the lunacy of driving a Jeep in a road race?
Each of these automobiles has unique strengths and distinct weaknesses. When put in a situation where those strengths are utilized, they can do amazing things. But a Ferrari cannot climb a mountain.
As human beings, we are all special and unique by design. We each have unique strengths and distinct weaknesses. Leverage these strengths and we can reach our true potential. Try to fight against our weaknesses and we live with frustration and average results at best.
Do any of these statements ring true with you?
- I’m not achieving my goals at the pace I believe I should.
- I feel stuck.
- I’m not inspired or motivated by work.
Maybe you feel like a Ferrari in a mudding competition. Spinning your wheels, making a mess, digging deeper…. but basically sitting still.
What’s Your Style?
Have you ever taken the time to uncover your natural strengths (and weaknesses)? What can you leverage to take your performance and fulfillment to the next level? What stressors do you need to avoid that are stifling your passion?
When I started my speaking and training business I knew I could leverage my high energy, people skills and pure desire to succeed. However, I also knew that I must overcome weaknesses such as empathy, listening skills and impatience.
I intentionally set out to become more aware of my unique design and began working hard to “know thyself, Mark Fenner.”
One of the tools I utilized during this journey was called DiSC. You may have heard of it before – DiSC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DiSC theory developed in the 1920’s by psychologist William Moulton Marston.
The theory centers on four different behavioral traits: dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance. His theory was developed into a behavioral assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke in the 1950’s.
I love the tool because it is quick and simple to use, and the results are frighteningly accurate.
My style is called a Di style because I share attributes from both the D and the I personality traits, with D being more prominent. The assessment provided the following list of activities that motivate and demotivate me:
If you know me, you’re probably nodding your head as you read the list. It’s pretty accurate!
Benefits of Understanding Your Style
It is so freeing to identify the tasks I enjoy and provide me energy! It’s also a validation of my career choice as I seek to empower others and help them find their potential as leaders.
It was also important to identify the tasks that induce stress and zap my energy. This analysis helped to identify “watch-outs” where my strengths need to be complemented. For example, because I like to keep things moving, I have a hard time slowing down to focus on the details necessary to drive projects to completion. My preference is to go start something else. As I have assembled my team, I have purposely sought and attracted people that balance this tendency for me, and we have developed processes that ensure we finish our projects and provide high-quality and professional deliverables.
I am a business owner, consultant, trainer, mentor, father, husband and friend. In each of these roles I can feel the difference knowing my motivators and detractors has made in my life. This knowledge gives me power to make the most of my unique design.
It has also enabled me to stay in my strength zone of constantly innovating (or, as my team would say, changing), focusing on financial and operational results and sharing my enthusiasm about leadership.
I minimize my involvement in tasks that zap my energy. That doesn’t mean those tasks can go undone! But I have learned that members of my team can often do these tasks faster and better and with more sustained energy than I can.
Know Thyself and Leadership
It’s important to “know thyself” if you are going to be effective in leading others. It’s also important to know those on your team, in your peer group, and those above you. When you can understand what drives another person, and what steals their joy, you can truly begin to help them grow and reach their potential.
If you’re struggling to bring your team together, spend some time identifying their natural strengths and weaknesses. Does their unique design build synergy or create conflict? Does their current role enhance or detract from their strengths? You may find that small changes can make an immediate impact once you understand each person’s unique value.
We believe there is great power in not only knowing your style, but also in having your entire team complete a DiSC Assessment and then using the results to generate positive conversation and initiate change. If you’d like to bring the power of DiSC to your team, get more information here.