You’re A Dominant (D) and You’re Killing Your Team
Dave. What a guy.
Back in college, my friend Dave worked construction one summer driving a steamroller. During one of his paving jobs, he was smoothing macadam as normal when his driving mechanism got stuck. He frantically tried to stop the roller but it would not release (why doesn’t anyone think to pull the key out at this point?) Several crushed cars later the steamroller came to a stop. Truth.
Although I don’t think Dave is a Dominant personality, the episode of the steamroller is a good one to remember for Ds. Here’s why.
You’re a D—Dominance.
You are confident, courageous, commanding, pioneering, resolute, definitive, determined, damn the torpedoes full steam ahead! You are task oriented and love to get things done. You’re motivated by power, authority, competition, winning, and success. In fact, that’s your claim to fame! “I get things done!”
You’re also a steam-roller and flatten your people—including your best people. And they leave. Now who’s going to do all the work you can create?
You say, “That’s okay—many have said, ‘Lead, follow, or get out of the way’ or something like that.” George Patton said “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
You know where you’re going, you can get people involved, and storm the gates of hell. But you can’t keep your staff because you burn them out emotionally and discard them. “There are wars to fight, battles to win, dragons to slay, products to sell, money to be made before our competition does and yada, yada, yada.” If you’re a one person business, that’s fine—you only have yourself to work into an early heart attack.
Everything looks good right now. Why worry? Why change? That’s like saying I’ll learn self defense after I get beaten up or I’ll learn to drive after I get on the road. You’re going to crash—and maybe burn. Do you always have to only learn on your failures? Isn’t it okay to learn on other people’s failures? Wisdom has been defined as learning on other peoples failures.
But if you’re the leader of a growing business, church, or NGO, you must rely on good people and the way to get and keep good people is to use your D skills to learn and be a better leader.
If you embrace personal growth and start to learn leadership skills from the moment you start a business or a career, you will not fail for lack of knowledge—maybe for not applying the knowledge, but you will always know what to do.
So what is so important about understanding this as a D?
There are positive traits that you resonate with and knowing them and pushing them help you to work in your strengths and accomplish much more because you live in your strengths. Have a sane estimate of your capabilities and don’t work too much outside of your strengths—unless you’re a one-person show.
You have limitations as a D (or I,S,C). Particularly, Ds have a tendency to run over people. They deal with tasks/things better than people. By recognizing this you can lead to your strengths and understand your limitations. If you know the DISC system, you know that S type personalities are kinder, gentler, supportive people and you need to deal with them as people instead of as a thing or task. And similarly—though not as much—with the other two traits. This way you can build them up to add to your success instead of squashing them and taking from your success. If you have a whole company of D types, you would eat each other for lunch. We need all personalities in strategic areas of our business. Know your people and their traits and you can help them help you succeed.
No personality type is better than another—we are all different and all needed to survive and thrive. If you think your type is better, you’re starting out in the wrong place. The eye cannot say to the ear I have no need of you. The ear gives spatial context to the brain as the eye takes in focus. In contrast, the parts that seem to be less needed, are more needed than we realize. Now, not everybody is a steamroller! But those that are Ds have a propensity for plowing ahead over everybody. The point is to be aware!
Learn to live life from people to tasks instead of tasks to people. Treat all people as people first, then as someone that can accomplish a task. Hire a great assistant and empower he/she to keep you in check when you are rolling over people. Great leadership looks to making people a success first. Here are three of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership that will help the most:
- THE LAW OF ADDITION—Leaders Add Value by Serving Others
- THE LAW OF CONNECTION—Leaders Touch a Heart Before They Ask for a Hand
- THE LAW OF EMPOWERMENT—Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others
Don’t lose your Dominance traits! But do add the necessary people skills and become an awesome leader. Learn to love people. A kind word will always go further than a command. People do what people see. Model love and kindness as you lead with strength and confidence. Read and practice the above three laws from the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (you can get it here on Amazon). As a matter of fact, read all 21.
Want to get your UNIQUE profile assessment and learn how to work/live/sell better with others? DISC Personality Profile assessment and 50 page report here. It will change your life and the way you look at yourself and others.