Self-Inventory: Adjust for a Healthy Blend of Favorable Traits
There are two types of people in the business world when measured according to any particular trait scale. Consider the two ends in the following trait scales…
- honest to crooked
- introvert to extrovert
- genius to moron
- positive personality to negative/nasty personality
- optimist to pessimist
When you consider all the scales and their own spectrums that could run from +100 to 0 to -100, there’s an infinite number of possible combinations. Each of us is just one very particular blend of all those traits.
That said, it’s not as complex as it may seem. We can break the combination down into all the scales and then self-assess where we sit on each. That’s the first step to self-awareness, which gives us the ability to adjust and get out of our own way (at least where that’s possible, which is generally good enough!).
Achieve a Healthy Blend of Favorable Traits
You do not need to be in the Top 2%, let alone the Top 30% of the “favorable” end of any particular scale, to succeed. A healthy blend is one where you lean towards the “desirable” end in most or all traits, and excel at only a couple. Based on what I’ve seen over the years, it’s probably more important for all of us to learn how to stop blocking our way than to excel in one more way.
It’s rarely necessary, or even desirable, to be at the extreme “favorable end” of a scale. But it sure is critical to get out of the “bad end of many scales”…
- Being at the absolute “undesirable” extreme of any one scale will be harmful to your financial health (ex., at the far end of “negativity” – the consistently nasty are folks who repel others – they can find solace only with other nasties, which is a hard way to do business or lead life).
- Too much of a good thing can be bad, too (ex., if one goes to the extreme end of “positivity,” the overly ingratiatingly positive have an irritating liability, too – granted, it’s a far smaller “problem”). A generally positive person who knows when and how to criticize has a head start on this scale.
- Some scales favor the middle very strongly, where neither end is particularly favorable (ex., optimist-pessimist). It’s almost as unfortunate to be an ever-hopeful optimist as an ever-helpless pessimist. We all like optimists more, of course. But realistic optimists are the ones who start with an edge.
Next step? Answer this question…
Who Are You and What Can You Do About It?
Doing a personality trait self-inventory can be a useful thing, if you’re willing to accept a bit of painful insight. Doing one with a close friend (ideally one who can be constructively honest) can be even more useful. Some traits, once recognized, can be controlled and therefore adjusted, more easily than others. Some are just bad habits.
Even those “negative traits” that are ingrained into a personality can be controlled once recognized. It takes ongoing work because personalities don’t change. But you can control behavior once you’re self-aware.
Some types, though, simply can’t help themselves. Crooks/liars usually don’t want to change (some do learn, albeit often after a painful lesson), while those who are “too honest” do not need to change. (They do, however, need to recognize the sharks who would cheat them – a common blind spot of the very honest.)
Introverts can do better online than off because it’s much easier to talk to anyone online. You may still have to screw up your willing-to-risk-rejection courage to reach out to someone for the first time on LinkedIn while trying to build a personal-social relationship. But that’s nothing compared to the shy person walking up to someone at a trade show and saying “hi” while sweating and stammering.
Extreme extroverts would do better, offline, to stop booming “hi pard” to us with big toothy grins while slapping us on the back. It’s like screaming “run away” to many. This type is often in “sales.” It can be hard to get past that initial impression to find out if they’re actually good at their jobs. Toning it down may be all it takes to break through and let others see the talent under the bluster.
If you’re at an extreme, moving your behavior a little more toward the middle can be a helpful thing. Recognizing that it takes much more than intelligence to succeed would help many super-brilliant people.
Persistence/determination and focus are both critical, as we all know. These traits need little adjusting-to-the-middle if you possess them in spades and want to succeed in business. A little “life balance” is always good for those of us at the far end of this scale.
The far-opposite end of those scales, weakness/laziness and unfocused-flitting are both hard to change and indeed are usually fatal (unless there’s a very lucky blend of “sheer luck” and having every other favorable trait in perfect balance). Sadly, the weak and lazy suffer from the very traits that would keep them from making a determined adjustment.
- Just about anyone can succeed.
- Those with an ideal blend of “favorable” traits are more likely to do so.
- Folks can adjust weak traits to increase their likelihood of online success.
I highly recommend the movie, Broadcast News. It’s about people and how they get in their own way (or thrive) despite and because of a unique combination of traits and neuroses, partly genetic and partly “trained” (nature and nurture).
The movie reinforces how we can adjust our future by adjusting ourselves.
Often You Really Are What Stops You
Anything is adjustable once you realize where you fit in the “double-feature” spectrum. At one end…
1) Excellent interpretation skills but horrible execution of the details
This person is able to judge information and understand the key points and the principles, but does not follow detailed instructions well, or at all. This person rarely has the patience to “read it all,” to click on the ?-mark help. This person is more likely to read the first few paragraphs, “get it,” and then run out and “figure the rest out.” It’s not laziness – it’s impatience to go.
Great Understanding + poor-following-of-instructions will yield sub-optimal results.
At the opposite end of the spectrum…
2) Read but miss the bigger picture
This person will read and understand every last detail and follow instructions, but s/he may often miss the bigger picture, the “big conclusions” and principles under which to be guided.
1) Regarding the “original intent” of writing this…
SiteSell customers who follow our proven business building program (SBI!) are often told to “follow the Action Guide”. This sound advice could more accurately be stated (albeit not as memorably!) as…
“Understand the principles, the driving reasons, of the Action Guide. Follow the detailed execution, adapting appropriately for your particular niche and circumstances.”
If you tend to jump in too fast without reading the details of the Action Guide (and without investing time to learn more about the tools we provide i.e. reading the detailed help files), it can only result in decreased profits (at best) or failure (at worst).
If you meticulously read all the details and follow the instructions to a T, the results can be the same if you don’t understand the goals and principles…
You can execute every detail perfectly well but it may not be of much value when you don’t understand the reasons and big-picture goals. It’s like being the world’s best driver (technically and legally), but failing to get to the airport on time because you would have had to exceed a speed limit. Or, in this particular case, executing perfectly to achieve zero profit is a lot of work for literally nothing.
So be sure you have a firm grasp of the what (goal) and its why (principles behind it). Knowing the details behind it (depth) gives you the ability to adjust appropriately.
Follow the process (instead of just “getting going”).
Those who do best, do well at both levels… Understand. Then execute well.
Ask yourself if you tend to miss at either level? If so, the potential rewards certainly justify making adjustments.
And, if we consider this topic in the widest sense…
2) Regarding the bigger picture…
We all get in our own way, in so many ways, many of which we just don’t see. Doing a self-inventory of as many “trait scales” as possible may find what could be holding you back… not just in SBI! but in life.
Here’s to self-improvement, aimed at helping you generate higher business profits!