20 Things to Stop Assuming


The silent underminers of influence. They take us to a dangerous precipice of misattribution and blinded action. On the surface, they seem solid and reliable. After all, the very definition indicates a certain level of certainty about a conclusion, whether based on past experience or ignorance of additional facts and perspectives.

Assumptions Undermine Influence

But it’s that foundation that makes assumptions so dangerous. They often lead us to make hasty, misinformed, or potentially offensive judgments without seeing the true situation clearly.

If you look back at your own journey, it will probably surprise you how many leadership snafus or personal mistakes have come from misplaced assumptions. Success, greatness, breakthrough, liberation, and overall personal or relational peace are all at risk when we assume.

So, because a “Stop Doing” list is just as crucial as a “Start Doing” list, here are 20 things you should refrain from assuming in the future (in no particular order).

20 Things to Stop Assuming

  1. Don’t assume it’s a simple task and others should just “get it.”
  2. Don’t assume asking for help will harm your credibility.
  3. Don’t assume gossip is accurate! Better yet, just stay away from gossip. (Tweet This)
  4. Don’t assume if they read “this” book, they will change.
  5. Don’t assume they don’t feel entitled to all that you give.
  6. Don’t assume your awards, your numbers, and your things prove you are a great leader.
  7. Don’t assume everyone will love you if your plan succeeds.
  8. Don’t assume your idea will motivate others if you haven’t taken the time to know them.
  9. Don’t assume they won’t value your view or opinion.
  10. Don’t assume their annoying behavior will go away on its own.
  11. Don’t assume they are ready to jump on your objective without a “good morning” and cup of coffee first.
  12. Don’t assume their intent based on their Facebook post.
  13. Don’t assume your family sees how much you love them based on how hard you work. Tell them.
  14. Don’t assume your kids love it just because you do.
  15. Don’t assume they’ll just say no.
  16. Don’t assume your vote doesn’t matter.
  17. Don’t assume they won’t embrace the card, the letter, or the apology.
  18. Don’t assume things will never change.
  19. Don’t assume you can’t start over.
  20. Don’t assume you’re in good health. Be proactive, manage routines, and go to the doctor.

Oh, there’s one more.

If you just skimmed this and assumed none of them pertain to you, you better read it again.

Wishing you all the best!

This was originally posted by Dan Frey, Senior Associate with GiANT Worldwide, and I wanted to share it here as well. 

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how assumptions can affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

The Effect of Culture and Environment on Preference and Creativity

The “Oughts and Shoulds” of Culture

Today’s fifth, and second-to-last, post in the ongoing “S” vs. “N” series will focus on the impact of cultural expectations on Sensors and Intuitives. We’ll also take a quick detour towards the end to explore how physical environment and art affect Sensors and Intuitives differently.

For those of you who have studied business or psychology in the context of different cultures, it will come as no surprise that many cultures tend to idealize various personality types and tendencies. These differences are especially distinct between East and West, but even within those larger groupings, a myriad of deviations exist. 

Cultures Idealize Specific Personalities and Tendencies

America, for example, constitutes a very extroverted culture. It idealizes the charismatic leaders and bootstrappers who rally and inspire those around them to great heights. In fact, as a culture, America tends to emphasize extroversion, intuition, thinking, and judging. This ENTJ depiction of the “American Ideal” fits closely with the country’s pioneering, self-driving, outgoing, and competitive focus on competence and winning.

Scandinavian countries, however, tend to highlight introversion, preferring contemplated thoughtfulness and a respect for others demonstrated by staying out of their business, which contrasts sharply with the free-wheeling, gregarious style of the typical American. Neither ideal is “right” or “wrong,” it just serves to highlight the differing values that individual cultures place on how people operate and behave. These cultural “oughts and shoulds” are critical to understanding a society’s impact on individual growth, self-leadership, and self-concept. You can imagine how liberating it might be for introverts in America, who have grown up feeling like they always had to be more outgoing and charismatic due to cultural expectations, to finally feel free to be themselves and own their need for introverted recharge without apology or guilt.

Consequently, these expectations affect every personality preference set, including the Sensor-Intuitive dichotomy.

Cultural Expectations and Dissonance

Take the “American Dream,” for instance. How would you describe it? In general terms, The American Dream is to stake your claim, to build something which is not there yet, and work hard to realize the entrepreneurial longing of a pioneer’s lifestyle and legacy. It’s about envisioning a future and bringing it to fruition. As a result, America has an incredibly strong cultural pressure to be an Intuitive, despite the fact that only about 30% of people are actually Intuitives. That means 70% of the American population feels some degree of pressure to lean into a tendency that may not come naturally to them.

It’s these “oughts and shoulds” of cultures all over the world that end up causing many personality test-takers to self-report letter preferences that are actually quite different from their natural tendencies. Years of nurturing influence from our parents, communities, cultural groups, and broader society have placed a set of powerful expectations on our lives that both consciously and subconsciously affect the decisions we make as well as the way we view ourselves and the world.

Personality Ideals Indicate Cultural Values

In some cultures, to work for the government is the pinnacle of achievement, and if you can’t do that, then you work in education, because they’re the two most stable, recognized professional systems. This often tends to be the case with some Western European and Asian nations. 

In America, however, most people idolize the start up entrepreneur, the small business owner, or the industry pioneer – people who take risks and chances, and build something they can call their own. As a result, working for the government is seen as less prestigious, and the salaries tend to reflect that notion. teach someone else how to do it, and if you’re really struggling, work for the government. On the other hand, places like Germany, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian nations tend to pay teachers extremely well, on average.

So for those of you Americans who are borderline about whether you are an “S” or “N,” it’s most likely that you’re a right-handed Sensor by nature, but that you’ve simply been conditioned by the cultural oughts and shoulds of America to be a pioneering “N.” 

Impact of Environment on Creativity

It’s good to remember that all of us use both “hands” – that is, Sensor and Intuitive capabilities –  every day. And while we don’t get to utilize our dominant hand all the time, it’s really helpful to know where we start from naturally, and how our work environment impacts our productivity and creativity as a result. 

In this case, a Sensor’s productivity tends to be highly impacted by their physical environment. Bedrooms, workspace, offices, etc. – the condition, organization, and aesthetic of these environments will provide either a huge boost, or a daunting obstacle to task-achievement and creativity. Most Sensors can’t get down to serious work if everything is not in exactly the right place on their desk, or if their house feels cluttered and unkempt. 

Intuitives, meanwhile, can often remain blissfully unhindered and unaware of their surroundings when they get caught up in their work. They may prefer or like some sense of order, but when push comes to shove, they tend to be so caught up in their thoughts and work (especially Introvert and Feeler Intuitives) that the state of their environment ultimately has little affect on their productivity.

The Role of Art: Sensors and Intuitives

Whereas Intuitives simply need warmth, WiFi, and a computer plug in to start work, Sensors have their creativity deeply affected by what’s going on around them, due to their constant vigilance for the details of the present experience. As a result, being amidst nature or surrounded by your preferred colors, textures, and lighting, can do wonders for a Sensor. One of our Intuitive team members recounts how his Sensor wife once asked him how many pictures he thought they had hanging about their house. When he responded with a confident approximation (10 pictures), he was shocked to be informed that they in fact had 140 pictures throughout their home.

For Sensors, these artistic reminders tend to represent physical places they’ve been, people they were with, or some other tangible connection or reminder of the people they know and love. Art often serves as a form of tangible memory around things that are real, concrete, and meaningful.

Many Intuitives, however, are much happier with the more abstract concepts of art. They might like the fact that looking at a certain painting from various angles or in a different light, takes them to a different place, or otherwise serves as an aspirational reminder, such as a climber summiting a mountain they might never get to climb. 

When it comes down to it, a great deal of Intuitives use the things they see as triggers to the future, while Sensors usually prefer to store memory and preserve the knowledge of concrete places they’ve been. 

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how culture and personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

The Humblebrag vs. True Humility

“I just did something very selfless. But more importantly, it was genuine & I know it means a lot to the person in the longrun #soworthit”

If you’re like most people, you might be scratching your head after reading the above statement. Unfortunately, as self-congratulatory as it sounds, that’s a real quote from a twitter post. 

Fortunately, thanks to hilarious storytellers in the golden age of television, we even have a word coined for what you just read – in fact, the person who posted that message literally gave us the definition of a “humblebrag.” 

Have you ever committed a humblebrag?

Humblebrags gained widespread popularity across Twitter when Harris Wittels, a writer on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, coined the phrase to describe a brag clumsily couched in falsely humble phraseology.

False Humility

Since Wittles started the Twitter account, which he uses to post examples of humblebrags, he’s gained almost 200,000 followers (His Twitter profile photo? A woman giving herself a gratuitous pat on the back).

“I think bragging sucks, don’t get me wrong, but I get it,” Wittels told the Wall Street Journal. “What I hate about a humblebrag is that people try to come off like they aren’t bragging. It’s people not being honest about their intention. Just tell us you are at an exclusive party. Don’t hide it behind a complaint about your dress not fitting.”

Humblebrags present an interesting question: What is true humility? Is it genuinely thinking less of yourself? Is it trying to sound less prideful than you actually are? Or is it something else—something deeper?

True Humility

True humility isn’t about lowering yourself for the sake of keeping up appearances simply because it’s impolite to brag—but to do so for the sake of serving others. “Humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself,” as the British writer C.S. Lewis once put it, “but thinking of yourself less.”

The existence of humblebrags underscores the idea that our pride has a way of leaking out, despite our efforts to disguise it in seemingly humble language. It also illustrates the chasm between authentic humility and faux humility.

The dictionary defines humility as having a “low view of one’s own importance.” But humilitas, the Latin root of the word, means “to lower yourself,” as Macquarie University Professor John Dickson notes in his excellent book Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership. As he explores the origins of humility—which he says was first used in Roman culture during the second and fifth centuries AD—he defines it as “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.” Dickson’s definition of humility goes miles deeper than our culture’s comparatively crude use of the world.

True humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s not being outwardly humble, while harboring pride. And it’s not being weak. True humility is service to others, service to a cause greater than your own personal ambition.

Question: How would you define humility? What does it look like in your everyday life, or the lives of others? Leave a comment below.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how humility (and pride) affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Intro to The 5 Voices of Leadership

The Problem With Personality Tests

Have you ever taken a personality test, only to forget what it means a week later? 

You might recall whether you thought your results were good or bad, but ask you what your letters were or which color you scored, and you stumble through a response that could generously be called a jumble of alphabet soup.

Well, fear no more. At GiANT, we devised a framework for understanding personality that is simple, intuitive, and designed with an educated thirteen-year-old in mind. In fact, the core principles of simple, scalable, and sustainable are baked into every concept and tool we create.

When it comes to personality, we realized that while systems like Jungian Type and Myers-Briggs are incredibly powerful (check out our ongoing series on Jungian Type!), we needed to create another system to help those of us who struggle to remember and communicate what we learn about ourselves to others. That’s why we distilled the multitude of personality types down to 5 basic leadership voices, and grounded each one in a distinct character narrative. Before we get going, however, we have a few ground rules to cover.

A Word About Ground Rules

One of the biggest complaints you’ll hear about any test related to personality is that “you can’t put people in a box.” That is certainly true and I promise we’ll never do it. In the 5 Voices system, everyone can and does speak all five voices. The issue in discussion is not about which one you are or are not.  Instead, our system acknowledges that we all have access to each of the five voices, but that some are more natural for us. Think of it as using your right and left hands, you might be able to use both, but one will naturally be more dominant and effective. Usually, there are two voices that represent how we typically come across to others, so as we run through each voice, try to consider what your order of most prevalently used voices might be in your everyday life. Now that we have the basic assumptions out of the way, welcome to your official introduction to the 5 Voices of Leadership.

The Nurturer Voice

A Nurturer voice is usually the quietest voice on a team. They are the champions of relationships and doggedly fight to maintain relational harmony if at all possible. Confrontation is often a last, highly unattractive resort. Nurturers, as a rule, are always thinking of other people. It’s incredible how hyper-perceptive they can be regarding the emotional realities of their team. This ability often compels them to champion others before themselves. Therefore, most Nurturers consistently (and stubbornly) underestimate the contribution their voice brings to the table. 

Because they tend to be quite sensitive and highly relational, their conflict avoidance often prevents them from standing up for themselves or voicing their ideas if others have already taken a position against it. As someone leading a Nurturer, you will have to create an environment where the nurturer voice feels safe to share their ideas before they are willing to put themselves out on a limb. Amazingly, 43% of people speak Nurturer as their first voice. If you aren’t sure whether someone is a Nurturer, they’ll be the one constantly advocating for “people before profit.”

The Creative Voice

As a future-oriented voice, you’ll often find the Creative dreaming about far-off visions and driving towards innovative possibilities. As champions of innovation, they’re always pushing the envelope in terms of new ideas, technology, thought, and better strategies. They also have a highly developed concern for social consciousness and will fight hard to maintain organizational integrity. Most creatives are constantly asking, “Are we being true to what we say? Are we people of integrity? Are we being authentic? Are we truly aligned with our values and strategy for the sake of our clients and employees?”  

However, others will generally find the Creative voice hard to hear because what the Creative thinks they’ve communicated versus what they’ve actually communicated seldom align. This comes from both their impressive ability to draw connections between dots at such a high level or so far in the future, that they leave out what seems obvious to them, or they otherwise feel afraid to be assertive for fear of being wrong or stepping on toes. Nevertheless, the Creative voice provides a huge competitive advantage to most teams because they tend to see the long-range opportunities and dangers way before the other voices. They’re like a long-distance radar for potential strategic or ethical pitfalls, but usually need help from the rest of the team to encourage them in sharing their message.

The Guardian Voice

As many will soon realize, you’ll never have trouble hearing the Guardian voice on a team. Guardians are the custodians of traditions, systems, and processes, and as such, they seldom shy away from speaking their mind. They thrive on due diligence and will remain stubbornly devoted to the detailed analysis of pros, cons, and hard evidence in the decision-making process. You’ll also find Guardians ruthlessly dedicated to asking the difficult questions, which can be off-putting to ideators and caretakers, but will ultimately prove invaluable in the long-run through the mistakes and poor decisions they prevent.

Their “party-pooper” reputation may gain some merit from the sometimes blunt tone they adopt, but you’ll never find a better steward of team resources.  The most daunting challenge for the Guardian voice will be their management of tone and tact, as well as reserving judgment of (in)competence just because someone disagrees with their strongly held opinions.

The Connector Voice

Connectors are the ultimate champions of strategic networking partnerships and people connections. This voice loves to play the role of translator and charismatic leader, thriving on their love of communicating vision and possibilities to everyone they meet. They always have a feeling for what people hear and work hard to ensure that what others are hearing is both accurate, and sparks a similar enthusiasm for the vision they want to build with everyone. 

Interestingly, a Connector can sometimes feel like a chameleon because they tend to shift their message to others based on what they believe the other person wants to hear to get on board. That sixth sense for what inspires others can be both a powerful tool as well as a potential to come off as a “slick salesperson.”

The Pioneer Voice

Lastly, the Pioneer. We’ve deliberately chosen this order, with Pioneers last, because the voices get louder in volume as we move down the spectrum of voices towards them. As the most assertive voice on the team, Pioneers tend to naturally assume command and champion big picture vision. Their capacity to align people, systems, and resources make them like a sort of field marshal that always wants to win, and win big. Pioneers love to compete and play the role of captain, relishing the challenge to move everyone forward. They always want to be the one to make the tough decisions, or take the last minute shot to save the day. 

When Pioneers work healthily with others, they are incredibly effective. However, when this voice trends toward immaturity or selfishness, they pose the greatest danger inside a team. Without self-awareness or a “for others” mentality, Pioneers can become domineering and dismissive of the other voices in favor of pursuing their own agenda. As part of their nature, Pioneers rarely shy away from arguments or sharing critique, but when harnessed effectively, they provide a powerful catalyst for team and organizational achievement.

So What?

Keep in mind that no one is all one voice, and yet, each voice matters and brings an invaluable, unique contribution to every team. The best thing you can do for your team is to take the time to learn about each voice, own your voice order, and be sure to value every voice at the table. Too many companies, leaders, and employees suffer because voices are either unknown or unappreciated.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your leadership voice affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Leadership Secrets: Leveraging Your Rest

Sometimes the best investment you can make at work is to step away from it for a while. To get out of the daily grind and make time for rest, peace, and recharging with family, friends, and reflection.

In fact, we would all love even just an hour of this time every day. When we take some time off during the day, we call it a break.

When we do it every week, we call it a weekend.

And when we do it for an extended period of time, we call it a vacation.

While there are some out there who believe that taking more than 5 minutes to go to the restroom and scarf down lunch equates to laziness and an irreparable loss of productivity (don’t even ask about vacation), much of the science behind actual productivity and human psychology would disagree.

Contrary to the claims of holiday naysayers, I’ll give you three reminders for the upcoming season of travel to help you hold on to the advantages that the occasional leave of absence affords. Whether you’re returning from Spring Break with the kids or hoping to get away for a week of vacation this summer, don’t let your vacation go to waste like a flash in the pan. Hopefully these three thoughts will help you bring your newfound rhythms and rest back home to your daily life.

1. Reset Your Pace 

Hopefully, you unplugged enough to actually rest while on vacation. This is the best time to reset to a healthy pace that allows you to be productive in your work. Don’t return to the frantic pace of your work-culture or your past stresses. Instead, reset what you do, when you do it, and how you do it. Consider your emotions, experiences, and how you think while on vacation, then implement a few strategies during your daily and weekly routines to cultivate the peaceful mindset of your best moments. Did you love playing volleyball on the beach? Try rejoining your old softball league or find a sand volleyball team. Did you get lost in a book for the first time in years? Carve out 30 minutes a day (before breakfast, at lunch, before bed, etc) or an hour on the weekend to indulge your love for the written word, whether fantastical adventures, practical self-help, or an interesting biography.

2. Capture the Trip

Many people run from one thing to the next on vacation – either out of excitement or a sense of responsibility to take advantage of every available moment – but too often they fail to capture the moment. And I don’t just mean through pictures, though those are certainly invaluable and a staple of memory-making for our nostalgic future selves. But what about your emotions? Your excitement or peace? What about the little things or the unexpected adventures that made the trip just perfect? Take thirty minutes at the end of your trip and write down what you learned (about yourself, your family, friends, destination, etc) during your time away. Surely there were 2-3 “aha” moments or opportunities to learn something you can implement in your daily life. Did you love drawing on your foreign language skills for the first time since high school? Maybe pick up a Rosetta Stone to help you pursue it further. Did you realize your family enjoyed a more relaxed pace of activities rather than a frenetic rush to fill every moment? Keep that in mind not just for future vacations, but for your everyday approach to family time or weekends. Capture your ideas so that you lead yourself better the next time.

3. Keep a Restful Attitude at Work 

For most people it takes at least 3-4 days until they can rest on vacation. There is an unwind period in order to get into a restful groove. So keep it. You put in the effort and time to get into a restful state of mind, why not keep it that way? What would happen if you were able to carry your restful groove into work. Maybe you developed some habits to recharge on vacation, or picked up a saying that reminds you of peaceful days on the beach or adventures in the wilderness. Whatever the quirks or routines you found, figure out a way to keep them embedded in your everyday life. Use them as anchors to those moments of adventure, rest, relationship, and joy. 

It’ll make your days go by faster and drain some tension from the moments of stress. You worked hard to get a break. Now, work hard to keep your newfound rest at work. 

Cheers, you deserve it!

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your rest affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

4 Ways to Get Your Team on the Same Page

Anyone out there trying to get a group of people moving in the same direction? 

It’s hard, isn’t it? When it comes down to it, there are only a few seasons in the life of a company where an entire team is aligned and moving in the same direction.

Few leaders are able to do this consistently, while most leaders get swept up into the drama of the week or otherwise get tired and unfocused. We’ve all been there.

But, for those of you who want to improve your ability to get your people moving together, on purpose, here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. Do People Know You Are For Them?

Our experience working with clients tells us time and again that if people believe you have an ulterior motive, they will not jump in. If, however, people know that you want the best for them and they believe your motives are earnest, then they will at least approach your ideas with openness and give you the benefit of the doubt. 

If you want people to know you are for them then you need to spend time with them, listen to them, make sure they know you have heard them, and then speak to them with respect, as you would want someone else to do with you. Practice being “for people.” Ask them if they believe you are for them. If they don’t believe you have their best interest at heart, then you have an opportunity to grow with them. It may seem like an oddly personal subject to broach in a work environment, but even having the presence of mind and intentionality to ask them about it will communicate your motives powerfully.

2. Communicate in Their Language/Voice:

At GiANT, we teach a framework called the “5 Voices,” which helps people understand their leadership voice, from how they interact with and lead others, to what they value and how they make decisions. In our system, people fall into one of five voice tendencies -Pioneer, Connector, Creative, Guardian or Nurturer – though we can all exhibit tendencies of each voice to some degree. The point here is to make sure that you are communicating effectively to each style of leader. 

If you are moving your team forward, have you answered the questions for those who value people and want to make sure they are taken care of (Nurturer)? Are you addressing the issues of the Guardian who safeguards systems and wants to make sure the logical details have been addressed? Think about the various voices on your team and make sure you answer the questions that they would ask.

3. Set a Deadline to Hit a Project:

While simple, very few tactics elicit a better way to get teams working together than having a goal or deadline to hit. When project or initiative timeframes are ongoing, the natural lack of urgency allows busyness and other issue to creep in and erode both morale and momentum. If you want to get your teams moving on the same page then choose a date like New Year’s or the end of summer, or an anniversary date of the company as a motivation to move towards. Setting both project deadlines and overall company goals with tangible finish lines can do wonders for fighting complacency, maintaining focus, and keeping engagement high.

4. Celebrate!

Some of us are better at celebrating than others. Now, that doesn’t mean how hard you can party or how well you throw a fancy get-together. Appropriate celebration means calling out and raising up the things we see and value in others, particularly in a genuine, meaningful manner that honors your people in front of one another. 

You would be surprised how powerful something as simple as a celebration dinner can be in which you simply stand up and share something you value about each one of your team members, then invite them to do the same with the rest of their colleagues. It’s an incredibly effective means of creating memories and inside stories that build a strong, cohesive culture. And the truth is, very few professionals ever get to be on the receiving end of such a personal, specific moment of edification from their peers. Most of us don’t even realize it’s the jolt of appreciation we need to nudge our hearts and minds back to our team and its goals, until we experience it ourselves.

So, choose a proper time once the your team has hit a big deadline, then create some celebration events or moments to stop and publicly share successes. This makes future initiatives easier to launch, while binding your team closer to one another in the process.

Let’s get our teams moving together. It starts with you!

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use the 5 Voices and other strategies to get your team on the same page, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Leadership Foundations: Pride vs. Humility

Each of our leadership styles are framed on a foundation shaped by personal experience, nurture, and learning. We have all picked up good and bad habits from those who have led us and we inevitably learn certain leadership skills in school, through informal reading, blogs, news, etc.

Have you ever thought, however, that there may be different foundations of leadership? 

Different philosophies that take you in different directions?

While various degrees and nuances exist, there are 2 fundamental foundations for leadership:

1. Humility-based Leadership

2. Pride-based Leadership

Humility & Leadership

Humility-based leadership is grounded in security, knowing who you are and what you are good at (and not good at) and being comfortable with both. Humble leaders are secure leaders who are confident without being arrogant. They are realistic about their skills and passions, while also embracing the wisdom and expertise of others. Since they don’t feel the need to prove anything or hide anything they are easier to follow and more often endeared.

Pride & Leadership

Pride-based leadership, however, is grounded in insecurity – not knowing who you are and what you are truly meant to be. Those without grounding become uncomfortable in their own skin. Prideful leaders are insecure and tend to compensate by pretending to be different (arrogant), trying to prove themselves often while hiding when they are afraid someone might find out their insecurity – be it financial, emotional, relational, experiential, or a deficiency of competence.


The ramifications of these two styles are groundbreaking. If you lead in humility there is less drama, both internally and externally, not to mention greater productivity. However, when you lead from pride then the pattern becomes increasingly volatile, marked by rampant abuse of power and a lack of peace of mind.

If you’re wondering which style you’ve rooted your leadership in, here are a few questions to help you find out and make adjustments as needed:

1. List the significant leaders in your life. Which platform above did they build off of?

2. What was the wake of their leadership impact on you?

3. Do you have a tendency to be insecure or over-secure (arrogant)?

4. How would those you lead describe you?

5. Finally, which foundation do you believe you lead from? Pride or humility?

If we are going to grow as leaders we must be willing to ask ourselves the hard questions. Let’s all choose to start now by building our leadership platforms from a base of humility and then begin raising up leaders from that foundation. Doing so will not only benefit those around you, but most importantly, yourself.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your foundational leadership style affects your influence, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

How do You Process Information? Sequential vs. Pattern Processing

Sequential vs. Pattern Processing

Welcome back for Part 4 of our Sensor vs. Intuitive series in Jungian personality preferences! Last time we took a closer look at the varying relationships sensors and intuitives have with the past, present, and future. In the course of uncovering why sensors tend to fear the future and intuitives often scorn the present, we also discussed the different approaches to change taken by each type. Sensors, for example, often engage a methodical, incremental approach to change management, while intuitives typically spring for radical, “game changer” strategies.

Building on that understanding, today’s post will dive into the processing tendencies employed by sensors and intuitives. When it comes to processing information, the two types could not be more different. 

Sensors: Sequential Processing

Keeping in line with their methodical disposition, sensors generally tend to communicate and learn in very sequential, ordered steps. Their linear style of reasoning makes them very easy to follow in logical discussions, which is why they also make great teachers. Rather than jumping off on questionably related tangents, sensors stick to the trail of evidence, stringing together their arguments one step at a time.

If you think about how you approached math in school, every sensor would admit to having written out their work completely, being sure to detail every painstaking step just in case they made a mistake or wanted to retrace their progression. After all, if you don’t show your work, how can you check it for the 100th time and be sure you did it right? How else can you reproduce your steps to generate the same precise result when needed?

Similarly, when taking in a their surroundings, sensors pay attention to the sequence of tangible details. The color and placement of items, the textures and details of what’s right in front of them. By gathering each concrete detail, they can gain a precise picture of the world they are experiencing as it exists.

Intuitives: Pattern Processing

Intuitives, on the other hand, always assume that there is a pattern and meaning behind the data they’re processing. If they are looking at a picture or taking in the surroundings, they might focus on what’s missing, or why the stage is set in just such a manner. The facts of the present reality are of little interest to the intuitive, but the “why” and the “why not” of that reality are enticing.

If you give an intuitive any piece of information, they’ll always assume there’s a specific reason why you’ve given it to them, and then get really exciting about discovering the things they can’t yet see. Rather than processing the information before them as it is presented, the intuitive generates a multitude of possibilities and connections to other facts or outcomes, doing their best to link its significance to some other piece of data that makes for a more exciting whole than the straightforward appearance of what’s in front of them. In the end, they’re looking for the underlying pattern or high level connections that reveal a deeper, truer reality.

When intuitives approached math problems in school, most would look at the scenario and try to figure out how to jump to the end result as quickly as possible. They become easily bored by the rigid, laborious process of working out each step in its entirety, preferring instead the rush of puzzling out the connections from a more conceptual approach.

Confusing Conversations

Contrary to sensors, intuitives will oftentimes jump from thought to thought in a conversation without realizing they’re leaving out three or four steps in the logic chain that connects them. They don’t want to spend time fleshing out the details when they could continue following the rabbit trail of possibilities and implications. Consequently, intuitives, particularly extrovert intuitives, tend to litter their conversation with tangents and random thoughts. You might even hear someone say, “Hang on. Stop. Two minutes ago you were talking about subject A, and now you’re talking about subject K, and I have no idea how you got there.” That’s because the intuitive brain usually has about three or four possibilities in any given moment where the conversation could go, therefore, they’re always looking to track down the tangents. 

What Does It Mean?

In the end, intuitives are just wired to assume there’s always pattern and meaning behind data, whereas sensors fixate on the need to gather the concrete, accurate, precise information of the task at hand. One type inspects and presents their analysis of the situation at hand as it is, while the other makes conjectures about the reality as it might be.

Each tendency comes with it’s own unique perspective on a given scenario, task, or situation. Their assumptions, processes, and conclusions may vary widely, but we would all do well to remember that even those who process the world very differently from us have unique insights to contribute. Sometimes it’s not a matter of which approach is best, but rather, what can I learn from a different manner of seeing the world.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

The Cost of a Hardened Heart

An Important Conversation 

These days, there’s a lot of conversation in the workplace around the idea of hard skills vs. soft skills. Various camps adamantly defend the virtues of technical excellence or emotional intelligence, but the truth is, both are incredibly important.

In this article, however, we’re going to dive into a topic that, while impactful for the working world, it holds even greater influence over our lives as a whole. Let’s begin with a simple question to frame the conversation:

What if one of your goals for the year was to keep your heart from becoming hard?

Hard Hearts vs. Soft Hearts

Some people grow softer with age, enjoying the changes of seasons and rolling with the punches that inevitably appear in the everyday circumstances of life. They grow, adapt, and face the unknown with an intentional humility.

Other people grow more bitter and cynical. The pain of the last let down casts a shadow on the potential hope of the new. The heart becomes hard. The pain becomes seared in the memory so deeply that any potential new opportunity is mitigated.

To keep your heart softened is to believe the best in others – to fight for their highest possible good, no matter the outcome.

To keep your heart hardened is to do nothing intentional, but rather to just keep taking the hits and talking circles in your head about why this person should have done this, or why that opportunity should have played out differently, but didn’t.

The Cost of a Hardened Heart

The hardened heart becomes a protective shell that keeps the light out of the right areas and eventually suffocates the life that was once there. The hardening might protect for the short term, but it kills the soul in the long term.

To soften your heart means that you learn to become secure, confident, and humble so that you can actually learn to live again. The best way to do that is to deal with forgiveness, focus on others with consistency, and prioritize connecting with your values in a real way. 

The Choice is Yours

When we refuse to extend forgiveness, we tend to not receive it from others, not to mention the fact that we often struggle to find an ability to forgive ourselves. When we focus on ourselves more than others, we eventually find that life is lonelier with our own interests at the center, rather than investing in relationships and the good of others. And when we skim over the things that make us who we are and give life it’s meaning, we lose our compass and become a rudderless ship tossed about by the whims of life.

But a person with a softened heart garners greater influence.

A person with a hardened heart drives everyone away.

The choice is yours.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your heart affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

An Outdated Philosophy: “Us vs. Them”

Have you ever heard someone, maybe even yourself, say this:

“If they’re not for us, they’re against us?”

Many leaders love to adopt the philosophy of “us vs. them” to help define and solidify a sense of camaraderie and organizational identity. It also serves to reinforce – or coerce – loyalty and competition among employees by characterizing the tendency to question or operate differently as a form of betrayal. And though the coercion motive is mostly frowned upon, most people tend to believe there is some degree of truth in the “us vs. them” mentality.

What If…?

But what if we’re wrong? What if the “division for the sake of unity” tactic actually harms you and your business? Do you truly understand the ramifications of cultivating such a negatively-based competitive environment like this?

Here are few obvious repercussions:

  • A culture of paranoia
  • Posturing and intimidation as standard workplace behavior
  • Vindictive communication
  • Passive-aggressive behavior
  • Short-lists of “good” and “bad” that foster more rivalry than collaboration 
  • Hyper-competitive actions in the marketplace with loose moral standards
  • Slander and malice as everyday tactics
  • Disloyal culture

All these things affect people and the families they go home to every night: Stress increases. Productivity decreases. Conflict grows.

Blackballing every group or person whom you deem is not “for you,” and is therefore adamantly “against you,” is no way to live. Nor is it an effective way to do business. Last time I checked, there is little research to suggest a net-positive effect on productivity, culture, or competitive advantage when the workplace encourages burning bridges, fostering enmity, or adopting a cut-throat modus operandi. Ask Enron how that worked out for them. Better yet, watch the documentary “The Smartest Guys in the Room” and then determine whether you want to emulate such a culture.

Flip the Script

Instead, try flipping the philosophy to something resembling this:

“Anyone who is not against us, is (or could be) for us.”

This statement highlights only those who are obviously and notably against you, which for most of us would be a very small amount. It assumes, then, that unless it’s clear someone is actively working against you, then they are or have the potential to be for you. Such a change in approach fosters a mindset and strategy of growth, opportunity, and collaboration – the hallmarks of sustainable profitability and company culture.

Meanwhile, the alternative outdated philosophy puts the pressure on others to be notably for you in order to avoid condemnation as outright enemies.

In all fairness, it’s easy to slide into the habit of pressuring others to be over-the-top “for me” – as if they must become dedicated heralds of your business and no other, or else they are against you. 

Honest and regular evaluation of the competitive landscape is not only good, but healthy and essential. However, paranoid and vicious demands of “my way or the high way” shut down the benefits of varied perspectives and partnerships, whether inside or outside of your company. If others feel a heavy pressure to declare constant and unwavering support for each idea or decision you make, then you are endangering your business rather than helping it. 

Stop Burning Bridges

Though the following statement may vary based on situation (inside or outside the company, etc), a friend of GiANT once put it this way, “Relax. They are on our side. They want to do good things for others, let them. Don’t claim that only you can do that. They are obviously not against us so let them be.”

For many of you, we hope this blog post will serve as both a confession and a profession. A confession to perpetuating a philosophy that may actually be hindering you rather than serving you, and a profession of collaboration that will extend further and wider than you previously thought possible. Try to consider that everyone who is not obviously against you may actually be for you, or at least in concert with you, even if they bring a different perspective to what you do. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you, but rest assured that if you start viewing others as partners to be embraced rather than enemies to be eliminated, you will find more partners than traitors, and your business will grow stronger for it. 

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how the “us vs. them” mentality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

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