Leadership Development

The Right White House Team

Balancing Trump’s Personality with the Right White House Team

Part 3 of 3 – It’s Somebody’s Circus With Somebody’s Monkeys

President-elect Donald Trump is determined to make America great again. To this end, he will take bold steps to deliver this promise. Balancing Trump’s Personality (Influencer DNA Behavioral Style) will require the right White House team that can cover his inherent blind-spots.

Donald Trump succeeded in winning the White House because intuitively he understands his personality and how to apply his pioneering, fast-paced, and risk-taking traits. Even if some aspects of how things get done or what he says are controversial, he understands how to use his expressive communication style to win people over.

However, Trump is likely to be pragmatic when it comes to selecting his White House team. He is driven by results, outcomes, and success and will surround himself with people who can deliver his vision. He has the ability to draw people together even if they were once an adversary, and will be able to quickly harness appropriate skills and talents to implement plans and ideas.

Donald Trump thrives on conversation and gains much of his knowledge, insight, and initiative through debate. Further, he understands the benefit of hearing other’s thoughts and opinions; for him, knowledge is power. The right White House team will need to consist firstly, of individuals who understand his enthusiasm, and secondly, be behaviorally smart regarding knowing how to manage their own and their president’s personality. Standing up to him will be hard, requiring confidence and courage.

In this team, there is only one place for a Trump personality, but those who have even opposite behaviors to Trump must be vigorous and able to add value to the White House team through balancing Trump’s personality and their own.

The ability to understand one another’s communication style is imperative to the success of the team. Each member will need insight into their behavior and communication style and know how to moderate their approach to build a team of confident people empowered to share their thoughts and ideas, in a mutually beneficial environment.

Donald Trump's White House Team
Donald Trump's White House Team

The Trump Team needs to provide balance to Trump’s personality. The green bars are Donald Trump’s personality traits measured by the Business DNA Discovery Process. The personality traits required to balance Trump are highlighted by the gaps in the summary below. He needs to hire behaviorally smart people who can fill these talent gaps.

Commanding: A consensus seeking, group orientated diplomatic person able to counter Trump’s authoritarian leadership style

People: A thinker, serious, quiet, able to listen/observe but with the confidence to point out potential issues/dangers.

Patience: A people-focused person, encourager, empathetic to others, skilled at accepting other’s differences & managing them.

Structure: A structured person, skilled at keeping others on track, focused, delivering results, keeping promises.

Trust: A person who will explain other points of view when trust is lacking. Confident to challenge micromanagement when others feel overly managed.

Pioneering: A person confident to say STOP when too much change is destroying reliable tried and tested, still relevant, processes.

Risk: A person strong enough to challenge or question high risk without shutting down innovation.

Creativity: A person excited by creativity but able to suggest balance and a more anchored approach

As for Trump’s current White House team appointments, without a formal, behaviorally smart process in place: “Is it a good way to pick a cabinet? Not especially,” says Reed Galen, who worked on several presidential campaigns and served the George W. Bush administration. “But Trump ran the worst technical campaign in modern history and is poised to become president, so what do any of us really know?”

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

How Hillary Clinton Undermined Her Own Success

With(out) Her – How Hillary Clinton Undermined Her Own Success

Part 2 of 3 – Hill’s Lack Of Self-Awareness

Hillary Clinton must be wondering why she lost the election while being the favorite and front-runner for most of the campaign. How did this happen? Hillary must look inwards to who she is and see that she did not master the strengths and struggles of her natural, “hard-wired”, Strategist DNA Behavioral Style. These behavioral insights identify the primary drivers of her good (and bad) leadership decisions, financial dealings and general approach to life.

The truth is that sometimes it is hard, even for me, to recognize the Hillary Clinton that other people see
- Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Strategist behavioral style has made her successful, but with blind-spots that were clearly not managed, and therefore, her downfall. How Hillary Clinton Undermined Her Own Success:

Hillary Clinton Insights
  • Skeptical, and not transparent with information
  • Questioning, guarded, wary, and controlling
  • Not a good listener
  • Unable to relationally connect to people and feel what they are feeling
  • Very self-reliant and operates based on her own thinking
  • Structured, but potentially too rigid with plans
  • Quite cautious and not prepared to take strategic risks

 
For a smart, politically seasoned woman it’s fair to say that Hillary Clinton got in the way of her own success. Hillary Clinton’s behavioral insights reflect that she could be seen as cold and unapproachable as well as untrustworthy and dishonest, and did not do enough to allay these opinions.

Her personality showed her to be aloof and less willing to make changes, yet had she understood how others saw her. She could have managed her reflective behavior more effectively.

Clinton’s need for information and analysis gave the impression she was more focused on numbers and following a structured plan than on voter’s needs. Having insight into other’s perceptions would have ensured that her messaging was warmer and more empathetic. Furthermore, she could have gone deeper into the heartland where Trump went and secured the support of the disenfranchised white voter.

One clear issue that showcases how Clinton got in the way of her own success was an arrogant belief that she was taking for granted the presidential win, simply because her message was clear and candid. But had she known that her ability to listen empathetically to the people was very low, she could have changed her messaging to be significantly more heartfelt and managed her lack of empathy.

There is no doubt Clinton has the ability to take charge. The question is, does she have the personality to bring others along with her? With a tendency to keep information to herself and to invest little or no time in building meaningful relationships, it’s fair to say that her leadership style would be aloof and non-inclusive, which would certainly alienate team members.

When you are seeking to engage others with your plans and agendas; when you need others to deliver goals and your vision, failing to understand that a personality that is reflective, task focused, and overly serious about facts & figures, yet highly competitive, can be viewed as distant, cold and unapproachable.

Further demonstration that Clinton got in the way of her own success is her tendency to prefer tried and tested solutions. At a time when the people were looking for a change from the status quo, she did not understand that her lack of creativity presented her as gray and boring.

Clinton v Trump – The Comparison

66/98 Clinton will make considered decisions; appearing to be hesitant, requiring more and more information which could appear to be procrastinating. Trump will make fast decisive decisions; sometimes getting it wrong but always moving forward.
96/73 Clinton follows the rules to get the results she needs. Trump will break down boundaries and not wait to anticipate outcomes
54/99 Clinton tends towards keeping things as they are; avoids moving away from tried and tested ways of proceeding. Trump is all about doing whatever possible in achieving goals
95/62 Clinton will stick to agreed direction and agendas to achieve goals, even if they are not working out. Trump will change direction mid-stream if a different plan brings success.
66/92 Clinton is stuck in the status quo. Trump is open to new ideas if it achieves his goals.
66/90 Clinton needs details, analysis, and research to make decisions. Trump is not into the details, just the results.
79/90 Clinton is less forthright with communicating, which might cause confusion in mixed messaging. Trump is clear and forthright in expressing and communicating.
79/96 Clinton is less comfortable with conflict. Trump is not fazed by conflict and a dirty campaign.
90/84 Clinton is motivated by personal interest without regard for others. Trump the same.
92/90 Clinton is disinterested in other’s problems.
90/92 Neither are empathetic towards issues others face.

Hillary Clinton is calm and controlled in her behavior; appearing remote and superior. Her inability to understand her personality, or have the behavioral insights to be able to manage it, so people could see the strengths and talents as a leader cost her – the White House.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

Donald Trump's Behavioral Insights

Donald Trump – Making Behavioral Insights Great Again

Part 1 of 3 – How well he knows himself!

Well, the Trumpster beat the odds and has jumped over everyone to win the Presidency. How did he do it? The answer is deeply rooted in Donald Trump’s behavioral insights – his natural, hard-wired Influencer DNA Behavioral Style. These personality insights identify the primary drivers of his good (and bad) leadership decisions, financial dealings and general approach to life.

I’m not running for office. I don’t have to be politically correct. I don’t have to be a nice person. Like I watch some of these weak-kneed politicians, it’s disgusting. I don’t have to be that way.
- Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Influencer behavioral style has made him successful, but if not managed, could be his downfall. Overall he (is):

Donald Trump Influencer Insights
  • Driven by power and success
  • Very spontaneous and instinctive
  • Extremely creative and an out-of-the-box thinker
  • A take-charge, decisive and a fast-paced decision-maker
  • Works with people to get the results he wants
  • Could be unsympathetic to others needs
  • A strong communicator but lacks filters
  • Very confrontational and prepared to play tough
  • Into achieving economic and political goals. He could risk a lot and be too optimistic
  • Into trying new ways. Sometimes they win, and other times they fail.
  • Has a transactional mindset and could be too impatient when a program does not work out quickly

Donald Trump’s behavioral insights reflect that he is supremely cognizant of these behavioral abilities and uses each to further his personal agenda.

It is clear Trump knows his personality; he knows success is his lifetime goal. Anyone who has even limited behavioral awareness should have known that the election trail was all about the salesman’ getting the sale (the White House). But from here on we’ll see the negotiator because that’s how he knows he will get results. Trump will be a hard-nosed negotiator; whether putting together a White House team or negotiating trade deals on the world stage, he will be reluctant to give in on even the smallest points.

The old idiom my way or the highway will probably be the new White House mantra.
Trump won’t be fearful of taking risks, he will play the odds, some you win and some you lose, but as long as he is always moving forward to the goals and objectives he has set – he’ll feel he is on track.

As a decision maker, Donald Trump will not be readily swayed by sentiment or humanitarian impulses. This will be advantageous when it comes to balancing competing interests or bargaining with adversaries. He is likely to be a bold and ruthlessly aggressive decision maker showing little concern for the emotions of others.
That said – he knows how to keep people on board; he knows how to set others up for success in order to achieve his goals. The result is, a Trump that is equipped to be a strategic player in situations where achieving results is a priority and concentrate on matter-of-fact, practical issues.

Listening to those around him talking about his loyalty, great to work for, cares about me and my family, further demonstrates his ability to manage his personality. Confident, goal-setting people, such as Trump, excel by blending their strong drive to reach key goals with sound knowledge, high-quality processes and quality control standards.

With his outgoing and innovative nature, there is no doubt Trump is the Populist’s choice. Ultimately, he won from his preparedness in the rural areas where Hillary did not go. He won what should have been Democrat territory

Trump v Clinton – The Comparison

98/66 Trump makes fast decisions; sometimes getting it wrong but always moving forward. Clinton hesitates, wanting more information, with a propensity to procrastinate.
73/96 Trump breaks down boundaries and doesn’t wait to anticipate outcomes. Clinton is only interested in knowing the outcome of decisions she might make.
99/54 Trump is all about setting the bar as high as possible in achieving goals. Clinton tends towards keeping things as they are.
62/95 Trump changes direction mid-stream if a better plan is formulated to bring success. Clinton sticks to agreed and established direction and agendas to achieve goals even if they may not work out.
92/66 Trump is open to new ideas if it achieves his goals. Clinton is more stuck in the status quo.
90/66 Trump is not into details, he just wants results and will say what he wants to say even if possibly wrong; decides instinctively. Clinton needs details, analysis, and research in order to make decisions.
90/79 Trump is clear and forthright in expressing and communicating. Clinton is less so, which might cause confusion in mixed messaging.
96/79 Trump is not fazed by conflict. Clinton is less comfortable with conflict.
84/90 Trump is motivated by his own personal interest or advantage, especially without regard for others. Clinton, even more so.
90/92 Neither are empathetic towards issues others face.

To give Mr. President Elect the final word – “No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. America will no longer settle for anything less than the best.”

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

titanic

6 Steps for a Leader Hired to Change the Culture, a Case Study

CASE STUDY: 6 Steps for a Leader to Change the Culture of a Team, Remove Roadblocks, Adapt Communication and Improve Processes.

SITUATION: I was asked to consult a recently hired CFO help her team adapt to the significant changes needed to be made in how the team operated. Her team was perceived as not being as effective as they should be. Plus, the organization needed more reporting and more collaboration from her team.

She spent 6 months asking questions and evaluating feedback and was finally ready to unveil her vision and goals for the team to support the organization. Her wonderful presentation explaining her process and detailing her vision was everything you would expect from a true leader. But soon after, she didn’t see any of expected changes. So she started attending some of their meetings, and provided even more direction. Still, she had trouble getting people to engage and respond in the way that she expected. The changes weren’t happening fast enough and she wasn’t getting feedback to help her understand why.

CFO VISION: A finance “organization” that

        • Has fewer boundaries and fosters alliances
        • Embraces a talent development and succession planning system
        • Fosters financial investment which demonstrates return on value and/or investment
        • Guides and implements business plans driven by strategic plans and executed with annual budgets

EVALUATION: After meeting with everyone and having them take the Business DNA Natural Discovery personality assessment, the gaps in behavior and communication styles became clear. Addressing them, however, would not be so easy.

The CFO is much like a lot of leaders: a driven Initiator naturally inclined to be Fast-Paced and Spontaneous (see the table below.) She is good at logically focusing on and driving for results. She leads by instinct and quickly adapts in the moment. She prefers spontaneous discussions to talk about what to do in the moment.

Image 1

Her team of accountants, however, are like many in their field. They’re highly Planned and Anchored (see table below.) Their natural strengths are to be very thorough, detailed, analytical, and consistent. They want specifics on what would be covered in a meeting ahead of time so they can research and properly prepare. They need more concrete information on what is expected, in order to be able to follow the specific steps to meet a goal.

Image 2

 

You can probably see the challenge without me telling you. The leader and her team have completely different ways of operating and communicating. They don’t know each other well enough, yet, to trust one another or know how to adapt to each other’s style. And there was no time left to figure it out organically. “Forcing” the team to be like the leader simply wasn’t working, and this left everyone feeling stressed and overworked.

SOLUTION: Although this may seem obvious from a distance, when a person’s behavioral style is acutely ingrained from both a natural and a habitual /learned perspective, it can be incredibly difficult to change. It requires consistent encouragement and mental focus. It’s like being asked to write with our opposite hand. Unless we’re naturally ambidextrous, our writing will not be as good if we don’t intentionally try, and most of us will “absent-mindedly” default to our regular hand.

Key steps for this CFO / Team:

  1. CFO lead by example in acknowledging different behavioral strengths and styles and attempt to adapt.
    - Talk openly about the obvious differences and politely help each member learn how to reciprocate.
  2. Leader to give more specific, concrete examples of her vision, as in an agenda with pre-set questions, well ahead of meetings and ensure safe environment where questions and follow-up, are warmly welcomed.
  3. CFO provides more 1:1 time/check in points, or smaller meetings, to glean better information from the team and identify roadblocks.
  4. Leader to lay out the step-by-step “plan” for change, rather than abruptly making decisions without a chance for the team to absorb and adapt.
  5. Team to resist the urge to “do nothing different until the detailed steps are clearly articulated”, by asking questions, focusing on what steps they should stop doing / what steps they should start doing. “Plan” for expected changes.
  6. Hire a mediator to address the gap between the big picture, and the detailed steps to get there with the focus on removing roadblocks and process improvement.

RESULT: Through individual coaching, team sessions and practical suggestions on how to build adapting into their day-to-day lives, the team turned a corner and is operating more efficiently and effectively with less stress. Many of the tangible changes were put into motion and their internal customer survey feedback improved significantly. While it’s a conscientious effort to adapt, with time and practice, it becomes the new second nature.

For a free trial of Business DNA, please email inquiries@dnabehavior.com.

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Dysfunctional Boardroom Behavior – 5 Steps to Manage

A dysfunctional board of directors can cause multiple challenges for any organization.
Industry leaders, celebrities, and subject experts often make up Boards. Many of these individuals are not accustomed to having their opinions challenged. So while they may add credibility, there’re not always a mutual fit.

Dysfunction arises when:

  • Individual behaviors, cognitive biases, decision-making styles and communication styles are not in sync.
  • Decisions are inconsistent or simply not made.
  • Board members have conflicting agendas.
  • There is lack of leadership from the Chair, no mutual respect and lack of trust.
  • Individuals react inappropriately under pressure.
  • Boardroom bullies are not managed or members just sit back and watch.

A 2009 Gallup Research paper revealed a 70% productivity gain when groups of people working together understood and were able to close the behavior performance gap. This study holds true today.

Every board plays an integral role in the success of the organization. When Board members are dysfunctional and not engaged, the flow on to the organization can be significant.

5 Steps to managing boardroom behavior.

  1. Commit to being behaviorally smart in the boardroom.
  2. Use a validated natural discovery process to assess key personality traits.
  3. Use the outcomes to build a balanced relationship between all players.
  4. Appoint a highly skilled facilitator to work with individual directors to understand communication and behavioral styles.
  5. Commit to building a culture of understanding, acceptance, and respect.

Understanding different personalities can lead to better decision-making. Directors cannot fulfill their responsibilities in a boardroom where a few dysfunctional members are allowed to control the meeting or obstruct board decision-making.

HOW TO ENGAGE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS

The Key Ingredients for the Perfect Team

Although most organizational experts agree that teamwork is important to organizational success and profitability, its significance has ballooned over recent years. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review cited that the time managers and employees spend collaborating on work and projects has increased by over 50 percent or more over the past two decades, and over three-quarters of an employee’s time at work is spent communicating with others. Additionally, teams tend to solve problems faster, find better solutions, and find mistakes more quickly than individual workers. This phenomenon is supported by research showing that those organizations with higher levels of collaboration not only have more productive and more satisfied employees, but not surprisingly, also show greater profitability.

Although researchers have studied how people work in teams for over four decades, the current boon in technology, and subsequently data, has enabled them to dig down to the very depths of what makes employees, and teams, more efficient. Research on the effectiveness of teams is being conducted on university and corporate campuses across the world, and at the forefront is the media giant, Google. In 2013 Google set out to find out what makes a Google team effective and why some teams outperform others; was it diversity in the group, was it the structure of the group, the individual skill sets? Previously, Google had conducted a research study to find out why some managers were more effective than others, discovering that those that act as coaches to their subordinates and don’t micro-manage them are more successful. But now the question was what makes a team more effective. This was important to Google since all of their over 60,000 employees work on at least one team. These teams can range from three people to over seventy and are mostly project-oriented. The researchers’ hypothesis was that those teams with the right mix of people with diverse traits and skills and the right motivation would be more effective. What they found, however, was surprising.

For two years a group of researchers from Google’s People Operations (HR) division conducted over 200 interviews with Google employees (Googlers as they call them) studying over 250 attributes of more than 180 teams. “We were pretty confident that we’d find the perfect mix of individual traits and skills necessary for a stellar team”, said Julia Rozovsky, an analyst for Google’s people operations and one of the researchers on the study, ..take one Rhodes Scholar, two extroverts, one engineer who rocks at Angular JS, and Ph.D. Voila. Dream team assembled, right?”. Wrong!! What she and the other researchers found was that who is on the team much less important than how the team structures their work, how the team members interact, and how they view their contributions. They threw their search for the “magical algorithm” out the window.

The research team found that the most successful teams at Google differed in five key dynamics: The most important dynamic, by far, was psychological safety. Those teams whose members felt it was safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other were the highest performers. Most people avoid risk taking at work, especially when working in teams with their colleagues. We are reluctant to admit we don’t know something or are timid to throw out a new idea in fear that it won’t be accepted, or even worse, laughed at. But those teams whose members are open to admitting a lack of knowledge or a need for clarification show an increased openness to accept diverse ideas and actually use them. The Google teams presenting a higher lever psychological safety are rated as effective twice as often by Google executives and bring in more revenue. The other key dynamics, although less important than psychological safety, are: dependability; structure and clarity; meaning; and impact.

Some of the Google findings were also supported by a recent university study published in the Academy of Management Journal. Professor’s Jasmine Hu and Robert Liden studied 67 teams across six organizations finding that the most effective teams felt their work would help colleagues, customers and the community – supporting the Google key dynamics of meaning and impact.

The Google study has universal implications for team-building and teamwork. Teams must be managed well, creating a safe environment with clear roles, plans and goals. The next time you are working on a team, make sure you focus on these five key dynamics for greater efficiency and effectiveness. Your actions will undoubtedly impact the outcomes in a positive way.