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October 19, 2012

Would your CEO publish their personality test? Our’s did.

Our good friends at Cream.HR have the world’s most accurate method for personality assessment.  They can determine cultural fits and screen the best talent based on years of proprietary research from the thought leader in cognitive ability and performance, Dr. Jordan Peterson.

Cognitive ability and personality are the key contributors to success which Cream.hr focuses on and the assessment is impossible to game.

In our ever increasing effort to protect privacy of customers and greater transparency with the companies they rely on, we thought this would be an opportunity to put our words into action.  Paul decided to take the assessment and the results were interesting.

Special thanks to the team at Cream.hr for going above and beyond to do the analysis of the findings.

 

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Cognitive Ability

Your cognitive abilities are in the 80th percentile. This means your cognitive performance is higher than 80% of the population, which is well above average. To get a more accurate assessment would require more time, and much more rigorous assessment measures, which we can do. Suffice it to say that a quick-and-dirty evaluation places you at 1 in 5 for your intelligence. (see Ron White: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gxKStPXyn8)

More interesting is your personality breakdown.

Agreeableness

You scored extremely high in agreeableness. This sounds good, but really it is a double edged sword. Agreeableness isn’t a predictor of performance; in fact some research indicates that disagreeableness is a predictor of higher rates of promotion and higher pay grades.

You are exceptionally compassionate, polite, and trusting. Colleagues and family likely say you are very congenial and considerate. This makes you extremely likeable. You are very likely to be highly accomplished at listening to others, and parroting back complimentary responses. In this way you are very adept at mirroring whomever you are interacting with. You are extremely likely to interview very very well. All of this is good, but it comes at a very significant price.

You are unusually trusting. Unfortunately this puts you at a very high risk of being ‘walked on’ or ‘taken advantage of’.

You are also very highly likely to avoid conflict. This also means that you are very unlikely to enforce standards if people’s feelings will be hurt.

While agreeableness is advantageous in social relationships and team building, it is extremely problematic in business and management. Only 4% of people would be more likely to say “yes” to any given request. It is extremely difficult for you to be assertive. Not sugar coating it, in many ways you are a yes-man. It is highly likely that previous bosses and even girl friends have abused your trusting and caring nature. You are at an increased risk of being the martyr.

You need to learn to say “No”. You could easily say ‘no’ 10 to 20 times more often than you usually do – and that would just make you average. Believe it or not the rest of the world expects that you’ll say “no” a lot more often.

Also, consider that you are smarter than 80% of the workforce. When someone recommends or asks for something, chances are that you know better than them. Unfortunately, you’re exceptionally likely to value their opinion over your own, even though you are right. That isn’t good for you, or your business. As your company grows you have more peoples interests to manage you will very likely struggle to act in the best interests of the company, if doing so will upset your employees. Research indicates that disagreeableness predicts better managerial ability because they are able to enforce what is best for the company.

Be extremely careful in negotiations, you are more likely than most people to get burned in a bad deal.

 

Extraversion.

You are very highly extraverted. You are very likely to be outgoing, social, dominant and status-seeking. You enjoy being the center of attention. You are talkative, happy, active, excitement-oriented and impulsive. Statistically speaking, an individual with your extraversion is likely to be highly energetic and group-oriented. High extraversion is well suited for sales, promotion and other social jobs. You are comfortable working within large groups and can be a passionate speaker.You do not enjoy working or being alone for long periods of time.

Extraversion doesn’t predict performance. It is more just an indication of someone’s methods of operating. It is certainly the most observable of the personality factors, because it is very much out and in people’s faces. Since it doesn’t predict anything, it really shouldn’t be considered a problem. Rather just know that when it comes to schmoosing at conferences and events, you should know that you are highly likely to shine and be the life of the party.

Be careful of how your impulsiveness combines with your agreeableness. This further heightens the chances that you’ll be taken advantage of in a bad deal.

 

Stress Tolerance

You’re stress tolerance is slightly above average. This is a small predictor of success. Like extraverts, people with high stress tolerance are generally happy. They are also calm and rebound from stress quickly. You are likely a good contributor to work place morale, and even more so when combined with your extraversion. You are relatively good at handling uncertainty and pressure. You are likely good at managing risks as your tolerance of uncertainty, stress and pressure is above average. This is a ‘nice to have’ but it isn’t an absolute necessity. Of all the things you could work on improving, you won’t see the most ROI on this.

 

Openness

Your openness is exceptionally low. I believe it’s a bit lower here than it should be. It is typical that in forced choice assessments high scores actually push down the low scores. While it helps to exaggerate the differences between people, it slightly distorts the individual profiles. Because they are all distorted in the same way it doesn’t affect the use of it as a hiring tool, but when we start building profiles from it, it becomes a consideration.

Nevertheless, in terms of priorities your Openness ranks 4th out of five.

In comparison to others, you are more conservative in your thinking – which may help to counter act the impulsiveness of your extraversion a bit.

You are not likely to get your head lost in the clouds. Your thinking isn’t likely to be abstract or radical. You likely don’t put a high value on novelty and variety.

Statistically speaking, you would be conventional in dress, action and attitudes. While jeans and a t-shirt for a pitch isn’t as conventional as a suit and tie, it isn’t terribly unconventional in the startup community, either. It isn’t like you were dressed as a hipster in bright orange skinny jeans. That would really seem strange, and would exemplify openness.

Statistically people with scores like this prefer occupations with rote elements and enjoy having a routine. Sales positions likely suited you well in the past, it would combine your social, people pleasing motivations, while keeping the daily activities routine and predictable.

Honestly, this score caught me by surprise most. Openness is a huge predictor of creativity and originality. Much research has also strongly correlated it with entrepreneurial ability. High openness helps entrepreneurs pivot quickly and often, and the faster and more often a startup pivots in the early stages the more likely it is to iterate enough to find traction in the market before their money runs out. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had difficulty in the very early stages of Ecquire, as you worked through the different possibilities of the direction of the company. Based on these scores, it seems that you’ll likely have the same struggles should you decide to start another company.

Ecquire itself is an interesting example of your openness at work. While beautifully simple and elegant, it isn’t a quantum leap in correspondence or CRM’s. That is actually the genius of it. It is brutally practical and predictable in its functionality. Too many entrepreneurs have genius ideas, but they are so complex and wildly different that they struggle to get users. Ecquire on the other hand doesn’t aim to be creative; rather it focuses on being pragmatic.  In future projects and businesses, you should continue to focus on finding that golden nugget of pragmatic solutions. You’ll likely do it better than most entrepreneurs.

I am guessing, but I suspect that you likely team up with some very creative people. You would perform well if you focused on reeling them in.

 

Conscientiousness

Your Conscientiousness is extremely low. Next to intelligence this is the single biggest predictor of productivity. Pound for pound this is the most valuable thing for anyone to improve. In fact, you will likely see exponential returns for even the smallest improvements in this area.

On the positive side, you are laid back. You are a big picture person, and you don’t often care for the details. You may even be easily bored by details.

You are neither orderly, nor organized.

Statistically speaking, individuals with conscientiousness scores like yours are not concerned with meeting responsibilities, are not self-disciplined, and are more impulsive in their behavior – which would reinforce the impulsiveness in your extroversion.

At work, be careful to settle for ‘good enough’ too early. Be sure to pay strong attention to completing tasks. You’re at a greatly increased risk of not carrying out task to completion.

Given your high agreeableness you are likely committing to doing things that that you simply do not have the administrative capacity to accomplish. Either you are forgetting to do things, they are just falling off your plate, or they just aren’t happening by deadline. I doubt this is coming as a surprise, forgetting girlfriend’s birthdays, customer needs, conference follow up etc. Fortunately you probably have a high enough stress tolerance that it isn’t causing you to get close to a breakdown.

At the same time, your low conscientiousness will also negatively impact your ability to manage. No doubt your team loves you. You are likeable and fun. But you very likely don’t have the ability to efficiently manage a lot of tasks.

Your low conscientiousness unfortunately even further heightens the concern around your extremely high agreeableness. If you were higher in conscientiousness you’d have a much easier time upsetting people because you have a much stronger attachment to the company’s benefit over the individual’s happiness.

Without a doubt this is holding you back, and will continue to hold you back.

Both short term and long term solutions are recommended.

In the short term, get an assistant that is highly conscientious. We can help you find just the right person. They will need to be your shadow. You’ll need them to follow you everywhere, so you can delegate items as they happen. Make them responsible for doing your follow up for you, managing your schedule, to getting you to places on time. You need your assistant to boss you around, so you always fulfil your obligations. You are a marvelous frontman and sales person, and as the business scales and grows it will become too demanding for your current task management skills to handle solo.

In the long term, we need to increase your conscientiousness, obviously. This won’t be easy.   Conscientiousness is the root of self-discipline. Imagine trying to lose weight, or quit smoking with very low self-discipline.  The irony of it is that in order to improve yourself discipline, it is going to take self-discipline. Sigh… It won’t be easy.

 

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