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“When I'm driving, I sometimes turn on the radio and I find very often that what I'm listening to is a discussion of sports. These are telephone conversations. People call in and have long and intricate discussions, and it's plain that quite a high degree of thought and analysis is going into that. People know a tremendous amount. They know all sorts of complicated details and enter into far-reaching discussion about whether the coach made the right decision yesterday and so on. These are ordinary people, not professionals, who are applying their intelligence and analytic skills in these areas and accumulating quite a lot of knowledge and, for all I know, understanding. On the other hand, when I hear people talk about, say, international affairs or domestic problems, it's at a level of superficiality that's beyond belief.”—Noam Chomsky from the Chomsky Reader edited by James Peck, this is from the opening interview in the book.
The Coloring Book of Leadership
In a leadership course this week, I was introduced to the “Insights Wheel of Color Energies,” a framework for understanding people’s personalities and leadership styles.
In the Color Energies framework, there are four types of personalities/styles:
- “Fiery Red”—The Director—competitive, demanding, determined, strong-willed, purposeful, and driving— they seek to “do it NOW.”
- “Cool Blue”—The Observer—cautious, precise, deliberate, questioning, formal, and analytical—they seek to “do it right.”
- “Sunshine Yellow”—The Inspirer—sociable, dynamic, demonstrative, enthusiastic, persuasive, and expressive. They seek to “do it together.”
- “Earth Green”—The Supporter—caring, encouraging, sharing, patient, relaxed, and amiable—they seek to “do it in a caring way.”
There is no one best type—each is simply a personal preference. And further, each of us is “incomplete and imperfect”.
- The one who seeks to “do it right” may miss the point with their “analysis paralysis” when something needs to be done in a time-critical fashion.
- Similarly, the leader that’s focused on “just getting it done now” may be insensitive to providing adequate support for their people, or collaboration with others in the organization.
We saw this clearly in the class. After each person was asked to self-identify which color they were most closely aligned to, it was clear that people were oriented toward one or maybe two types, and that they did have an individual preference.
While no framework is 100% accurate, I like this one as it seems to capture key distinctions between personalities and also helped to make me more self-aware. (I am Cool Blue and Fiery Red, in case you ever decide to “tangle” with me :-).
Combining Color Energies with other personality assessment frameworks, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI), can help us to understand both ourselves and others.
With that knowledge we can work together more productively and more pleasantly, as we empathize with others rather than puzzling about why they act the way they do.
Once we start to identify the “color personalities” of others whom we know and work with, we can better leverage our combined strengths.
To me, therefore, leaders have to surround themselves with other excellent people, who can complement their personality and leadership styles so as to fill in the natural gaps that we each possess.
“Politicians are obsolete as fundamental problem-solvers.”—R. Buckminster Fuller, American engineer, scientist, systems theorist, author, designer, poet, inventor, futurist and second president of Mensa International (1895-1983)
As females we tend to over analyze things A LOT of the time. Sometimes its better if we just go with the flow and not allow our brain and heart collide when they seem to both be at war with one another. I’m not saying to not use either one; both are critical to decisions we need to make in life, but balance the two. Its kinda like seeing both sides of a conflict: out weighing the pros and cons of both. BUT, In the end just step out in FAITH. Lose yourself for once and don’t be scared of the outcome. God is the final say-so in our problems and solutions. So from there just LEAN ON HIS WORD, because he won’t let you fall.
Personality test: http://www.41q.com/
Your personality type: “Analytical Thinker”
Logical, original, creative thinkers. Can become very excited about theories and ideas. Exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings. Highly value knowledge, competence and logic. Quiet and reserved, hard to get to know well. Individualistic, having no interest in leading or following others. Highly analytical, they can discover connections between two seemingly unrelated things and work best when allowed to use their imagination and critical thinking.
Careers that could fit you include:
Physicists, chemists, biologists, photographers, strategic planners, mathematicians, university professors, computer programmers, computer animators, technical writers, engineers, lawyers, forensic researchers, writers, artists, psychologists, social scientists, systems analysts, researchers, surveyors.
Renowned persons with similar personality types:
- Abraham Lincoln, American president
- Albert Einstein, German physicist
- Ashley Olsen, actress
- Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist
- Charles Darwin, English naturalist
- Gerald Ford, American president
- Jeff Bingaman, U.S. senator
- Mary-Kate Olsen, actress
- Meryl Streep, actress
- Socrates, Greek philosopher