Each of us has been born with innate strengths and limitations. Some of us know exactly what they are and others have only a vague understanding of what makes us tick. In the character of Socrates, we hear the dialogue to “know thyself.” 

In the book Primal Leadership – Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence (EI), the authors write, “Self-Awareness… simply put… means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, as well as one’s strengths and limitations and one’s values and motives. Wherever people gravitate within their work role indicates where their real pleasure lies – and that pleasure is itself motivating.”

In my workshops and in consulting with organizations in multiple industries, I have seen the greatest loss of time and money spent on countless occasions by managers who hire based on criteria of position requirements without ensuring through quality assessments the true strengths of the people they employ. Likewise, individuals who may or may not have taken any assessments often choose career paths based on family and peer pressure, versus knowing what is their core driving motive that best positions setting them up for success and happiness in their jobs.

As a leader of the company’s strategic objectives, it is critical to be equipped with the tools that help you manage the expectations, ensuring you play to the strengths of each of your team members. As a Senior Director of Training and Development I was tasked with putting together a team to produce an online university for the field sales force. This was a key initiative for the company; therefore we needed the right people with the experience to tackle this project on a very short deadline. I chose a co-worker, knowing that one of her greatest talents was in content development. Her strength was in her attention to detail and producing with a strong focus toward quality. Another member’s strengths were in her technical abilities, as well as getting results. She was a great collaborator and would always deliver on time or ahead of schedule. In building a team with diverse strengths and personalities we not only produced an award-winning online training platform, but also enjoyed the process of working together, creating a sense of reward and fulfillment in our accomplishment.

Over the last four years I have become more experienced and confident in utilizing The Color Code Personality Assessment to help individuals and businesses gain self awareness and clarity around the strengths and limitations each has. What has also impressed me is the recommendations toward career paths based on the individuals assessment, as well as the increased appreciation gained by learning the importance of the different personality types. 

In the past, they have been assigned work that was completely out of their strength area, causing frustration and producing mediocre work. Now, the person or the team players know exactly what to say “no” to because it would not benefit them, the team or the company. On the flip side, they know exactly when to raise their hand and sign up for the area that engages their greatest strengths to produce outstanding performance.

I have often used this simple analogy. If it looks like a car, runs like a car and performs like a car, then it’s a car. Why would you expect it to fly like a plane? My advice to you as an individual, as a manager or executive leader is to invest in the first step to being able to lead with EI. 

You will increase your productivity and experience results that far exceed your expectations and your competition.