In the language of “DISC” behavioral assessments, High I”s are those Influencing type of folks who are optimistic, enthusiastic, trusting, magnetic, persuasive and convincing. In the interest of full disclosure, I resemble that remark.
I described these traits while debriefing a DISC assessment with an executive coaching engagement. The client responded “We don’t have many of those here.” And then asked in jest: Would you like to join us? After taking a couple seconds to envision their world of skepticism, I respectfully and decisively declined.
While I continued to ponder what it must be like to function in their world, I imagined drudgery and a general absence of fun. So I asked: “Doesn’t it bother you to have so few people like me? ” The answer was an equally decisive “no”.
How Could This Be?
My personal style bias took a productive hit as I understood the explanation. As it turns out, their industry generally doesn’t have much use for the likes of me. And I’m OK with that. They’re in the News Publishing business. They mostly recruit and hire journalists. And over-trusting, potentially gullible, detail agnostic folks like me don’t make very good journalists. As their journalists advance and get promoted to management positions, the percentage of “I“s on their team rarely increases. This inbreeding results in more than the usual amount of suspicious and critical types where trust is rarely assumed.
In considering the dynamics of high and low “I“s within a team, there are potential pitfalls with an overabundance of either. Simply stated, low “I”s are the realists while high “I”s are the optimists. Realists can excel at finding flaws. Optimists tend to gloss over them. So when it comes to meeting deadlines, driving innovation, taking risks like any business, I-balance is important element to the success of a team. While low “I”s make good journalists, out-of-balance realism can potentially take its toll.
Consider the business axiom…
“It’s not the big that eat the small. It’s the fast who eat the slow.”
How much has the demise of newspapers and magazines can be characterized as the fast eating the slow? It makes you wonder:
- Have management teams of publishers been overpopulated by inherently skeptical promoted journalists?
- If so, has that effected their agility? Their inability to anticipate or recognize the shift in news consumption?
Shift happens. As it does, there are advanced tools to help you assure that you have the right people on the right seats of your bus and maintain critical balance in your decision making.