Leadership Development

We Cant Agree on Anything.

We Can’t Agree On Anything

Nothing is more exasperating than watching a group of smart, qualified, intelligent executives deliberate about a key strategy, and fail to reach an agreement. In frustration, the team turns to the CEO to make the decision. Yet this is counterproductive, as whatever the CEO decides, some of the team will resent – and that resentment leads to a lack of a commitment to delivering an outcome.

It’s even more frustrating when attempting to reach a forward-thinking strategic plan for the business.

How you might ask, can this be so? These people are our leaders. They set the direction of the organization. We rely on them to make sensible decisions that can impact our careers. So, how come they are in disarray?

The CEO, after a few attempts to reach an agreement, called in a DNA Behavior facilitator to oversee the discussions.

These are just a few questions that went through my head as I watched, incredulous, as a significant group of executives began the process of planning for the next stage of the company’s direction.

As I sat to one side and observed their interaction, it was clear the room was heavy with bias, one-upmanship, egotism, and overconfidence pitched against compliance, indifference, and timidity. The assertive ones held their ground. The more vocal got louder. And the reflective and thoughtful seemed to be brooding.

Nothing was being resolved. Every stake put in the ground took the team further away from making decisions.

The DNA Behavior Solution

Each member of the team completed the Communication DNA Discovery Process, an assessment predominantly focused on revealing individual communication styles. Patterns quickly emerged showing the relationship gaps and areas where communication was breaking down, and why.

Independent research shows that Communication DNA leads to solving 87% of business issues, which are hidden as they are communication-related.

Once the team understood how their communication style was getting in the way of bringing their talent and behavioral smarts to the table, outcomes began to change.

As the Goal Setting individuals encouraged input from the Information and Stability individuals and the Lifestyle individuals used their approach to encourage everyone of the importance to reach a solution – suddenly everyone felt they had a voice. And rather than chaos, a solid structure began to take shape.

The team was then able to focus on their task. Egos, bias, and intolerance were replaced with listening, acknowledging input, and intelligent suggestions – a lively, but meaningful debate.

CDNA

As the task proceeded, the Lifestyle individuals suggested a flow chart to capture ideas. The Information individuals populated the flow chart, carefully catching ideas and suggestions. And the Goal Setters captured the key milestones for taking the organization into the next season and all agreed that it was a job well done.

From my perspective, the lesson learned for them as a strategic planning team of executives was the importance of understanding how to communicate with each other. Without the Communication DNA Discovery Process, this team would have failed to meet its obligations to set out the strategic plan for the next season. Important skills and talents would not have been brought to the table. Individuals would have left frustrated, and the business would have suffered without a cohesive sense of direction.

CDNA 3

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

Extreme Peeping Tom

Inside Job: Profile Of A Security Breach

Workplace attitudes influence every person in the organization, from team colleagues to the leadership. Attitudes can control the workplace environment by impacting morale, productivity, and team effectiveness. Understanding and recognizing the behaviors that are at the root of poor attitudes is essential to the ongoing success and security of the business.

It only takes one person with an unchecked bad attitude to bring down an organization. The power of such an individual to cause destruction will stem from a variety of places: fear, anger, dissatisfaction, jealousy, or bad attitude. Whatever the trigger, the danger, if this behavior is left unchecked, can become a weapon of mass destruction to the business.

What part do you play in ensuring inappropriate behavior is challenged? If you hear or are part of an exchange that begins with.. “just between you and me,” or “I know you won’t tell anyone..”, it’s clear a confidence is about to be broken. So, what is your reaction?

Low-level gossipy stuff is every bit as important to identify and stamp out as is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That one who presents as committed, loyal and trustworthy, but, under pressure, this surface learned behavior can turn lethal.

A person who intentionally sets about leaking classified information (for example), and not always for monetary gain, but simply because they have been passed over for promotion, or they have some ideological position that they think legitimizes them to leak information. These are the people that CEOs are crying out to identify to limit the damage.

A recent article in BuzzFeed News reports: Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old Air Force veteran, was arrested on Saturday after the Department of Justice alleged that she printed out a classified document on her work computer and mailed it to The Intercept. Winner served in the Air Force for six years, where she worked as a linguist specializing in Arabic and Farsi. She had recently worked for a government contractor in Augusta, Georgia, where the NSA also has a facility.

Only time will tell as to her motivations, but the question to ask is this – could managers and supervisors have read any signs to alert them to a rogue in their midst? The answer is yes.

The 2016 Global Fraud Study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimated that the typical organization loses 5% of revenues in each year because of fraud. The total loss caused by the cases in their study exceeded $6.3 billion, with an average loss per case of $2.7 million.

These statistics expose the need for robust and validated analytics to be the foundation for identifying/managing behaviors that can become a potential threat to business.

DNA Behavior‘s founder and CEO Hugh Massie has always advocated the importance of putting people before numbers. He believes that investing in understanding people, and getting below the surface of what is seen, to discover inherent behavior will, in the end, safeguard the numbers, while protecting the business.

Monitoring employees through the collection of Big Data can provide insights into social networking, relationships and even reveal normal behavior turning malevolent, but falls short. Readily available psychometric assessment tools bridge the gap. The Business DNA Natural Discovery Process identifies, who, when placed under pressure, is most likely to cause disruption to the business. Further, they reveal the environmental catalysts that provoke such behavior.

In the current theater of world politics, opinions are heightened. 80% of future lone wolves are known to take politics personally and claim that they have been wronged enough that action would be justified.

But creating rogue behavior does not necessarily require a change in government or some other significant change – the threat within can be a team member who cannot cope with pressure or are dissatisfied with the environment in which they work. It’s that simple. This kind of behavior can be revealed and managed.

The solution is the deployment of a validated personality discovery process, providing insights into hidden, hard-wired traits and a reliable prediction of where security or compliance risks exist. Based on external research, employees with the following measurable behavioral traits are more likely to engage in rogue behavior when emotionally triggered:

  1. Innovative – bright mind, which turns into curious and devious thinking
  2. Ambitious – desire for success, leading to cutting corners
  3. Secretive – working under cover and not revealing key information

Protecting your information against predators. 2

When every member of a team knows, understands and is comfortable with each others behavior, it not only builds trust, but such effective teams give companies a significant competitive advantage. High-functioning teams would identify and weed out malevolent behavior instantly. They are alert to any sign of inappropriate behavior and challenge it.

Becoming a behaviorally smart organization is as simple as using a highly validated behavioral discovery process. Armed with the depth of insight such a discovery provides, management can dynamically match employees with specific environmental conditions to determine their potential response. They can also discern the degree to which such responses could create damaging behavior and negative actions towards the business.

Lastly, management can apply these insights towards talent re-allocation, employee evaluation, team development and improved hiring processes.

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

Organizational Culture 2

10 Ways To Cultural Change

Every organization has a culture – as a leader you need to know whether the culture is healthy or not. Toxic culture must be addressed but so should healthy culture to see if it needs tweaking.

Changing the culture in an organization can be a nightmare for a leader. If a change in leadership is because of a poor performing business, it can become incredibly frustrating for a new CEO to have to sideline results to focus on changing the culture.

change

But here’s a thought; what is your culture? Would it stand up to scrutiny? Are your values open to scrutiny both in your personal and business life?

Investopedia defines Corporate Culture as “the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.”

Success comes from understanding the behaviors and motivations of the people. Only then can cultural change have a hope of succeeding. Using a highly-validated discovery such as DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, leaders can identify, in advance, the people’s ability to cope with cultural change and how it should be introduced and communicated. Only then can CEOs know that whatever they introduce will work.

Culture change requires strong, focused, versatile and decisive leadership. A person’s performance needs to be addressed in relation to their behaviors and personality, not necessarily to their ability. Knowing an individual’s personality traits in advance, and how, or if, they fit the proposed organizational culture and values, can make all the difference in terms of the success or failure of the proposed changes.

There are several keys for CEOs that will support their cultural change efforts.

  1. If no one is talking and boasting about the culture of the organization, it’s a sure sign there isn’t one, or if there is, it’s toxic.
  2. It starts at the top – often said, but rarely practiced. A leader who knows their own personality, their EQ, their communication style, their bias (yes, we all have them) and their own personal values, are more likely to be able to introduce cultural change than a leader who does not have this insight.
  3. Measure the current culture – maybe not everything needs to change.
  4. The use of a validated personality discovery process can quickly identify those able to manage cultural change and who are behaviorally smart enough to capture culture and vision quickly and run with it.
  5. Data that delivers accurate information about people can identify quickly those who can be used as ambassadors to manage the introduction of cultural change. (And it won’t always be the obvious employees)
  6. Hiring – audit your hiring processes – introduce a validated personality profiling system. Set a hiring benchmark. Don’t settle for second best. Re-training existing employees could be a more effective option.
  7. When introducing a cultural change training program, keep auditing it to ensure it’s relevant and working.
  8. CEOs – it’s important not underestimate the power of your regular communication with the business. Use your communication to acknowledge the people who have disproportionate influence in the organization and are working with you to introduce the cultural change.
  9. If there are hot spots and resistance to the cultural change, name and shame them.
  10. CEOs – remember to create a vision of what the future for the organization looks like after the cultural change.

In conclusion – here’s the prize: as the culture develops and individuals take responsibility for what happens in their work areas, problems are solved where they happen and by those affected. This frees up leadership to focus on the business and its opportunities.

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

 

Leadership2

The Good the Bad and the Ugly – Leading Corporate Culture

It’s the behavior of the leaders that shapes the culture of an organization. Do you agree?

As leaders, we make a conscious decision to lead well. But how successful are we if we don’t understand the impact of our own behavior on the culture of the organization. As leaders, we are always under the microscope of our employees; they mimic our behavior, adopt our values, and quote us. As for our customers, if what they see are inappropriate values that may determine whether or not to do business with. How can we ensure we are giving out the right message and that how we’re represented to our customers is good for the organization? Our behavior, and how it’s mirrored by others, impacts our organization’s bottom line. So it’s up to us whether our personal impact is positive or negative.

Just this week I have seen examples of both positive and negative behavior which highlights the need for leadership to understand that setting a cultural standard can showcase the business well.

It’s interesting that the two most emotionally charged environments for customers are flying and finances and yet much needs to be done to improve the cultures of these two industries regarding the behaviors they demonstrate when serving their customers.

Having just completed a 14-hour flight and needing to change currency in a bank I feel able to make some comment on the service I personally received.

Leg one of my flight had me more involved in watching the personal conversations/gossiping going on between the cabin crew when I was trying to get their attention for some water. To the crew, passengers seemed to be a distraction, at best, and a nuisance, at worst, to their conversation. It would not be difficult to determine that this level of poor customer service comes from the top.

The second leg of my flight was entirely different, the passengers were king, and the staff was attentive. They were gracious and professional, able to accommodate different conversations amongst all age groups and cultures. Clearly, standards set by leadership.

Next came the bank, long queues, no explanations, shortage of staff, and teller didn’t even look at me. Interestingly, I saw other tellers behaving in the same way. Again, this kind of behavior is mirrored from leadership. Sadly, I’ve experienced this the world over.

However, the second bank welcomed me at the door, and based on my need, directed me to a teller. I was greeted with a smile and made to feel that my $500 money exchange was the largest financial transaction the bank would undertake that day. Clearly, an example of leadership that teaches appreciation for each and every customer interaction.

When leaders set the vision and cultural direction through the lens of the customer, and they examine why people behave the way they do, they can then set vision and culture that responds to the needs of the customer.

It isn’t enough to know that people are nervous about flying or that they are concerned about having enough money for their journey. Airline staff and Financial organizations need to understand not only how to build a trusting relationship with their customers, but also to examine themselves to understand how they will react to the anxious passenger or fearful investor.

Great leaders know the importance of understanding their own leadership personality. By using a validated profiling system such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery Process, they can see in great depth their inherent behavior. This insight is foundational to self-awareness from which setting values and culture stem. Successful leaders set a vibrant culture that engages and energizes employees. They clearly define what culture means to them and walks it out both personally and professionally.

A culture audit will quickly identify how set values are being interpreted. For example, lack of resources can trigger behavior that directly impacts culture. Lack of training is a further trigger. But if culture criteria and standards are not set and known throughout the business it cannot be audited.

Michael Hiltzik, writing for the LA Times, makes this observation: The airline and banking industries may seem to be about as different as chalk and cheese, but Airlines and Wells Fargo have been shown to share a common bond: toxic corporate cultures that can be blamed on the men at the top, their chief executives.

Investopedia suggests the following meaning of corporate culture: Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.

Prof. James L. Heskett wrote in his book The Culture Cycle, effective culture can account for 20-30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with culturally unremarkable competitors.

Culture is learned behavior, but its growth comes from a place of self-knowledge. If leadership and individuals know their own personality, they can quickly identify how well they can adapt to cultural standards.

So, what’s the lesson to be learned? Culture is set at the top of the organization. Leaders need to uncover their values as an important first step to establishing the culture of their organizations. This approach, using DNA Natural Discovery helps define the framework within which culture is set, decision making styles are formulated and goals achieved. It becomes especially important when leadership has different, even conflicting values. Admittedly defining your values is often hard to do, but when done truthfully and openly upfront at the leadership level, culture becomes much easier to set, communicate and carry out.

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

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.