The Truth Can Be Brutal

A Little Self-Examination Could Help Your Team

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Doug Zanger Doug Zanger
I'm an Aries.

According to this sign, on the good side, I am supposed to be adventurous, energetic (we'll see how long that lasts after my son is born), pioneering, courageous, enthusiastic, confident, dynamic and quick-witted. On the darker side, I am supposed to be selfish, quick-tempered, impulsive, impatient, foolhardy and a bit of a daredevil. Pretty close on some counts. But, then again, it is astrology. It can't be right, could it?

At the ANA Masters of Marketing conference, I had my handwriting analyzed (thanks to SAS) and it kind of echoed the Aries thing. It was eerie how much she could glean about me just by looking at my writing. The things that stood out related to creativity, quests for knowledge, some levels of impatience and wanderlust. It was very humbling to learn this, especially the "bad" sides.

Unwilling to rely on the psychic "analysis" for self-examination, I decided to go a third route by taking an Insights Discovery Personal Profile by Insights, based on Jung's personality model. There were plenty of encouraging parts in the results, but what I found most fascinating, and probably most valuable, were the weaknesses. A few that stood out:
  • Vocally judgmental and critical.
  • Becomes impatient with routine and repetition.
  • Can be impatient over relatively small issues.
  • Unduly affected or influenced by others' opinions.
Ouch. The truth hurts, and it makes me sound like a complete ass, but it is really valuable to know. This amazing survey also gave advice on how to engage with my "opposite type," my value to the team, my communication style (and how I prefer to be communicated to), possible blind spots, suggestions for development, management issues and style and insights on where I am headed.

The true value in exercises like this (the Insights one, not the astrology stuff) is that they may help you better communicate with the people on your team. It's also especially valuable in knowing the pitfalls of your own communication and management style.

Like I said earlier, there were plenty of good things in the survey, but I think it can be too easy to lean on those instead of fessing up to the bad stuff. What makes this most interesting is how I will approach the agency moving forward. By knowing these weaknesses, I will be able to fill those gaps in with people who can help shepherd those pieces while giving me the chance to learn and develop.

What's encouraging is that my current roster of talent does a great job in keeping everything in check as I mosey around the "what if" world. What was also telling was that, at the end of the survey, it noted that I am making strides in becoming more of an observer. Combined with my natural inclination for inspiration and motivation, this could be just what I need to keep it all moving.

Now if I could just have a little more patience.

(In the spirit of transparency, I am more than happy to share my full results with anyone who would care to see it. Hit me up at: However, if you're thinking of contacting us or you're a current client, my dog ate it.)
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