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My Strengths Your Strengths

By Belinda

I just started a leadership certificate course through the University of Waterloo in partnership with the agency I work for, and the first module, Understanding Human Behaviour, sent me into a bit of a tizzy. I hadn't been in a tizzy for at least a week or so. It was about time for another one.

You see, it involved taking the DISC personality profile. For an example of what a profile looks like and to figure out where you might fall, click here

I`d done the test before and I was secretly hoping that my profile had changed, but no, it had not. I am still a high ``C`` and almost as high an ``S.`` C`s predominant quality is Conscientiousness and S is for Steadiness. You get the picture. The rest of my team who have taken the test are I`s or D`s--that means Dominance and Influence!

The quadrants for D`s and I`s are the ones where the person acts upon or changes the environment. The C`s and S`s--well, they adapt to the environment. I want to be a mover and shaker, not an ADAPTER! Aaargh.

I am leading a team of leaders and the best I have to offer them is that I can be depended on to always be there for them. :) I will be their anchor. I will be good for calming people down. That doesn`t sound too exciting. In my heart I know it`s true, but it is hard to be faced with being described as: accommodating; patient; humble and tactful; precise; private and reserved, when you would like to be: high spirited; lively; strong willed and forceful.

I guess that`s why all of my friends and the man I married are my opposite. They are what I wanna be!

I wonder why it is so hard to just be happy with who God made me. I happen to be listening to the audio book, Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham. I hope it balances me out--I think it might. So far Marcus is saying that companies that focus on identifying the strengths of their employees and tapping into them are far more successful than those that identify weaknesses and work on correcting them. In other words, if you need calming down or a faithful friend for a lifetime--pick me!

I confess that I am writing this a little tongue in cheek. God made us a glorious rainbow of shades of shy, tints of dynamism  and hues of inspiration. I know that we all need each other`s strengths.I can waste my gifts by wishing for another`s that look more attractive, or I can share mine in the communities in which God has placed me, pouring myself out with all my heart, thankful because I am here; I am who he made me and he knows what he`s doing! I think I just gave myself a pep talk.


I'm going to show a deep bias here in two ways. First, I'm not a really big fan of these kinds of tests ... nor do I believe they are a predictor of someone's impact on the world or ability to lead. Second, even if you are X and Z ... not Y and W ... didn't the tortoise beat the hare? didn't the little engine discover that it could? didn't Einstien fail math in school? History is replete with the 'wrong' people doing the 'right' things. Needless to say, I've never done well in these classes, maybe because I'm a J and no one knows what to do with that letter!

You do lead, you know.
Susan said…
I'm a "D" AND an "i" and you're still a way better leader than I'll ever be... In fact, you're about the only person I know that could lead me. (I'd put a smiley there, but I'm dead serious.)

And at least you're not "ego-centric, demanding, faultfinding, direct, domineering, forceful, impulsive, emotional, self-promoting, impetuous, frustrated by the status quo, arbitrary, rebellious, defiant, obstinate, tactless, and last but not least, sarcastic. In case you don't recognize that despicable person, that would be ME! :)

(Hmmm. Come to think of it, no wonder you would question your leadership abilities - you have to lead me, after all.)
Susan, I guess this is my day to be contrary, but you clearly know a different Susan than I do ... you should meet the one I know, she's a lovely, lovely woman. You'd like her. Really!
Belinda said…
Hmmm. I guess I will not put all my eggs into the DISC basket. We are so much more than a letter after all--I agree.

And Susan, I guess if I want you to let go of that stuff, I better do so too! Silly me. :)
Susan said…
Arghh! Belinda, you can't ask me to let go of that stuff! I finally have an excuse! "I was born that way." :)

(And Dave, thank you. I'll try to be nicer to myself. :) )
Serge said…
Even if you scored high both in S and C, that doesn't mean that you're automatically a follower. There are several people in those categories who have the potential to lead great teams!
Susan said…
I agree, Serge. Belinda is a fine example of one of those!

(Notice he didn't say anything about "my type" having any potential... :) )

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