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It's Not Easy Being Green

David was struggling relating to key individuals in leadership roles particularly Becky and Kim. Kathryn asked me if I could help.

I called David to schedule a chat. I feel bad, but I never made it to the end of his daily recorded voicemail greeting.

Becky and Kim were classic drivers; comfortable taking charge and making fast and firm decisions based on a minimum of information. With a bias towards action they had little appreciation for David's in-depth analysis and detailed discourse.

I shared with David a description from the DISC model of a driver:

Driven by results and willing to take risks to achieve their goals. Extremely decisive, they are the people who will step up and take action. Preferring leadership positions, they are self-starters, confident and spurred to action by being presented with a challenge or competition.

I asked him if that reminded him of anybody. Without hesitation, he said Becky, Kim and Kathryn.

The DISC model provides the following guidance on how to interact with a driver.

The best way to work with and communicate with someone possessing a dominant personality is to be direct, succinct, and stay on topic. It’s also best to speak confidently and avoid rambling, speaking repetitiously, or providing too much detail to these big-picture people.

The E-colors personality model would describe David as Green and drivers as Red.

It's not easy being Green. We are often forced to make difficult decisions based on imperfect information and this new age of Agile may seem a hostile environment for detail-oriented people.

However, by experimenting and learning fast, we uncover greater insights and often way faster than if we spent more time doing analysis. Empirical learning through shortening the feedback loop is the essence of true business agility but it is also key to having two contrasting personalities co-exist and thrive.

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