Harnessing the Drive to Succeed

It is difficult to imagine a person more primed for success than the young executive who saw himself as the future CEO of a Fortune 100 company.  He was smart, competent, confident, and determined.  His organization was thrilled with his performance, and his future seemed boundless. 

Despite all appearances, the executive was unhappy with his career trajectory.  He decided to get some help to get his working life back on track.

The first thing was to pinpoint what problems the executive faced at work.  It turns out that the executive had frequent arguments with his superiors and expressed clear discomfort in team settings.  In addition, the executive felt swamped because he believed that he had to do everything himself.  Finally, he often tuned people out or ignored them, leading to a reputation among peers that he was condescending or arrogant.

Obviously, the executive had taken no effort to get to know his colleagues, nor did he understand their preferences.  But there were other underlying causes for his problems.  For starters, he didn’t know his own behavioral style or role.  He also had great difficulty delegating tasks, and the team process was a total mystery to him.  Perhaps most important, however, was that he was floundering in an incompatible work environment.

The executive’s department did not nurture creativity and was hostile to change.  He was a dynamic person who wanted to try new things.  At every step he faced a lot of resistance.

The approach that was devised was to develop the executive’s communication skills and teach him about his behavioral style and to learn about his colleagues’ behavioral patterns.  Of course, another objective was to find a conducive environment for the executive’s talents and drive. 

To help achieve this goal the DiSC Classic Profile was administered to the executive.  The executive’s DiSC Classic Profile results were discussed, paying special attention to its insights and motivation and preferences.  The executive quickly comprehended the DiSC model and its usefulness to his work situation. 

The DiSC Classic Profile proved helpful when some of the executive’s colleagues responded to the DiSC Classic Profile.  Comparing his behavioral style with those of his co-workers was a breakthrough for the executive, who saw for the first time how to communicate better with his peers.

With this insight fresh in the executive’s mind, the discussion was shifted to an analysis of productive teamwork.  For this portion the Team Dimensions Profile was administered to the executive, who again quickly picked up on the Team Dimensions Profile’s applications.

The executive learned about his strengths and weaknesses in a team setting, and he saw how he fit in with his colleagues.  Because the executive had been particularly uncomfortable working with others, the Team Dimensions Profile results were enlightening to him.  He became aware of the different approaches that people have in teams.  It helped him not only understand himself, but the culture of his team.

Throughout the training, the executive learned more about his own behavior.  He also saw how others perceived him, which helped him understand the reasons for miscommunication in the past.  These insights, along with his new ability to identify his colleagues’ styles and roles, helped the client become more effective when dealing with others.  As a result, the executive is now less self-centered, which can only improve communication. 

The new insights also helped the executive come to a powerful conclusion:  His environment was a complete mismatch and he had to move on.  He realized that he required a creative setting, and his department would never be that.  In addition, even if such a radical organizational change were possible, the executive was not the person to create it.

The executive’s interaction with his coworkers had become negative.  It wasn’t all their fault either.  He realized that he had failed to gain their trust before he tried to make big changes.

So the executive made the difficult choice to transfer to a new department within the same organization.  The hope was that a fresh start, aided by the development of his communication skills, would be the match that he was looking for. 

He’s very pleased with his new position and his new manager is thrilled with his progress.

The executive immersed himself in the creativity that he needed.  And he used his improved communication skills to work more efficiently with his new colleagues.  One of the most positive developments was the executive’s increased ability to delegate when necessary.

Rather than merely settling for a successful transition, the executive continued to work to keep his skills sharp.  There was an action plan established for continued improvement and new goals set every few months.

The results from the coaching, the DiSC Classic Profile and the Team Dimensions Profile insights was a young executive who regained his motivation to excel.  And the client’s organization was also a beneficiary, as a talented worker finally began using his strengths to help the company.

DiSC Case Study from Inscape Publishing