One Leadership Tool You Shouldn't Forget

DISC QuadrantsI'm blessed with just enough of a commute to be productive while I drive.  No, I don't mean that I have a laptop open while I'm on the NJ highways.  What I do is cue up podcasts on my iPhone so that I can be learning while I'm driving.

For me, an average week features 450 minutes of driving.  That's a lot of time if you add it up over the course of a year.

So what do I listen to on my way to and from work?  I enjoy sermons from prominent pastors, productivity talks, gadget reviews, etc.  With the amount of free material on the internet, the possibilities are endless.

One of my recent favorites includes Manager Tools.  This two-man team of executive coaches provides podcasts galore about everything from meal etiquette to getting a raise.  I discovered the DISC profile through MT about two months ago.

What is the DISC Profile?

DISC stands for Dominant/Influential/Steady/Conscientious and is a behavior profile based on psychological data from earlier in the 20th century.  It varies from Myers Briggs which focuses more on your personality.  As a fan of Myers Briggs, I've seen the benefit of going deeper into one's personality so as to lead more effectively in the workplace.  DISC predicts behavior rather than personality.

How Does DISC Help Leaders?

For me, DISC was insightful in learning more about my colleagues at work.  I feel as if I can walk around campus and figure folks out.  This in turn allows me to get frustrated less often and leverage behavior that I want from our team.  Here's an example- if you score high in the S category, it usually correlates that you are a people pleaser.  Instead of seeing this person as having no backbone, I've learned to appreciate their desire to involve others in decision making.

In my own leadership as a school executive, DISC has made a huge difference in how I also see myself.  I wanted to score higher in the D category, thinking that "real leaders" have a take-no-prisoners attitude.  What I've since learned is that leaders come in all shapes and sizes.  My highest category was C which I initially disliked.  I've since learned that it's spot-on and now I accept that I really am a C kind of leader.  Some of the qualities of a C include:

  • Focus on data

  • Being task oriented

  • Keeping your hands close to your body when you speak

  • Emphasis on digital communications

  • Being tech-savvy

Once I learned more about these qualities and then looked back on my own career, I realized that DISC was right on the money.  I had been leading via a "C Lens" for years without even knowing it.  I recommend DISC to anyone who wants to get ahead at work.  You can purchase it here via Manager Tools.  Try it today!