Hello and welcome to Leadership Begins with you. I am Doctor Daniel Crosby, Orion's Chief Behavioral Officer and I'm excited to spend a little time with you today talking about leadership from a very personal perspective. We're going to talk about a five part framework for you better understanding yourself on route to you becoming the kind of leader that your organization deserves. Now, one of the things that's tricky about this idea that we should know ourselves, it's first of all, it's very old, right? We've seen this on the the Temple of Delphi, Know Thyself was was emblazoned there over the door. So this idea is, is as old as ideas themselves. And yet it can feel kind of out there. I can feel kind of ethereal. It can feel kind of hard to get our arms around. I think most people are bought into the idea of self-awareness, but perhaps don't know where to start. And so that's what we're going to embark upon here today is this five part system for for knowing thyself and and really getting our arms around this process. And before we jump in, I'd like for you to imagine your best friend. I hope you're smiling, Hope you're thinking about, you know, your latest adventure with your best friend, some of the good times you've had. But I want you to think about this person, really get that image in your head and pull out a pen and paper if you would pull out that pen and paper. And I'd ask you here in just a moment when I say go to to pause this recording. And I want you to describe five things about your best friend, five things about their core, their personality, who they are. Don't tell me they have brown hair. Or or Green eyes. I want to know who they are at their core. What are they like and what is it that's so draws you to? This person knits you too close together. So now go ahead and pause this and write down five things about your best friend. All right, we're back. So I wish I could be with you all here and in hearing all about your best friends and some of the adventures you've been on and and what they are like. But I want you to compare how you describe your best friend to how we're going to talk about the Big 5 here in a moment. So we're going to talk about the Big 5, which is the most valid and most reliable measure of personality around. Odds are you're probably familiar with some of the color codes or the Myers Briggs or different sort of assessments that try and get a personality. But really the the granddaddy of them all is the Big 5, and the Big 5 is the most scientifically sound. And what's fascinating about the Big 5 is that it was constructed by doing something much like I just asked you to do. People were asked to describe the important people in their lives, the people they knew very, very well. And when they were asked to describe these people in depth, 5 common themes emerged. And you're going to learn about them all today. So this is called semantic analysis, taking these rich qualitative descriptions of people and teasing out the common themes that are common, that are common across cultures. One of the things that's cool about the Big 5 is that it is cross cultural. We see these Big 5 personality traits emerging in a variety of cultures, and this was actually what came about through what we call simultaneous discovery. So four different research teams were working on personality measures simultaneously and each of them arrived at something that looks really similar to the other three. So pretty cool when people on really the four corners of the earth are working on. On this project and coming up with something that looks a lot like their peers in other parts of the world. So it's incredible as you, as we think about the Big 5 and we talk about the Big 5 today, think that this accounts for about half of who you are. So this accounts genetically, you were born with some of these predispositions. You were born sort of innately with preferences among these five attributes that we'll talk about today and when we look at twin studies, so studies of identical twins who were raised in different homes. We see that about half of the variability in their behavior is down to these Big 5 traits, and they're sort of innate loading onto who we are. The final thing I'd have you know is that these Big 5 are relatively stable from childhood to adulthood. We do see tweaks. We do see changes of course, as people have life experience and people grow and change a bit, but they are relatively stable. So the things that you'll learn about yourself today are, this is news you can use five and even 10 years from now. Okay. So no more preamble, no more, no more guesswork. What are the Big Five? Well, you're in luck because the Big 5 lend themselves to a really nice acronym. You can either say OCEAN or CANOE. For the for the acronym, we'll probably stick with OCEAN. It's a little more scenic here, so we'll go with OCEAN. And so the five, the first of of the five Ocean Big 5 personality traits. The first of these is openness, openness to experience. So this talks about a level of of wanting to try new things, of of intellectual curiosity, of creativity, of of risktaking, even people who are open to trying new things, being inventive and curious. On the low openness, of course, we have the opposite. People with a preference for tradition, who are a little bit more staid and more cautious. The second of these factors, the sea and ocean, is for conscientiousness. This is how you prefer to order your life. Do you order your life in a systematic, organized, dependable, stepwise way? Or do you order your life in a more spontaneous, emergent, easygoing sort of way? It probably won't surprise you that when we look at predictors of success in the workplace, that those with high conscientiousness tend to have good grades. They tend to be the kind of coworkers that most folks like to work with. They get their stuff turned in on time. So low conscientiousness, however, has its own benefits, as we'll talk about in a moment, which is basically approaching problems in an emergent and a spontaneous way, which can be good for. For shaking up a staid or stale organization, the E in Ocean is for extraversion. This is probably a term you're all more or less familiar with, but this is the tendency to seek out or not seek out by the company of other people. And also, more importantly, it speaks to where we get energy. I think 1 common misconception is that people who are low on extroversion who are a little bit more reserved or solitary, that they aren't good with people and this simply isn't the case. Introverted people are. People with low preferences for extroversion, as it were, are are some of the most friendly. People you'd ever hope to meet. Many of them are extremely good with people, but it takes some effort, it takes some energy, and it can be a little draining. Conversely, people who are high on this E function, high on extraversion, get a great deal of energy. They could speak in front of a crowd and shake hands and kiss babies and and still have energy to spare. Because all of these interpersonal interactions gave them that much more power, that much more oomph. So the. A and ocean is for agreeableness and this really has to do with how trusting someone is and how likely they are to rock the boat. So how likely they are to rock the boat. So people who are low on agreeableness. Are going to sort of push the status quo a little bit. They're going to challenge they're going to you know come to you with uncomfortable truths. Whereas people who are high on agreeableness may bury the truth a bit if it if it hurts people or they they're going to tend to be more friendly and compassionate. And then finally we have the end neuroticism. This is kind of a a word that folks don't love to use as much anymore but it it still is what it's called in the in the original construct. So we'll stick with it here. Sometimes you see this as stress or anxiety, but regardless neuroticism has to do with your your basically your level of worry and your level of anxiety in in the workplace. Especially for for our for our purposes here today. So people with low neuroticism are going to be confident, secure, worry free, not very anxious. People high on the neuroticism scale are going to be a little more sensitive, a little more nervous, a little bigger worriers. So again, I've, I've, I've tried to start speaking about it in these terms, but across all of these five constructs. We're going to have high and low, right? So high openness, low Openness, Low openness basically means just sort of tradition bound. They want to operate within a sphere of competence. They want to do things the way they've always been done versus someone who's high on openness, who's going to be more fond of newness. So sort of conceptualize this as a continuum. Again, conscientious, low Conscientiousness. You're going to have the spontaneous versus the high conscientiousness, Highly planful. Extroverted. You've got reserved versus sociable agreeableness. You've got the the suspicious sort of truth teller versus the the trusting soothsayer, if you will. And then finally, neuroticism, of course, is just calm versus anxious. So I want you to just stop for a moment and I want you to think back to that best friend. Did your description of that best friend encompass one or more of these Big 5 traits? Did you find yourself falling into this common semantic analysis that so many people before you did? If so, you think maybe there's something to this whole Big Five thing. And throughout this we're going to talk about the Big 5 and in the context of of hiring, in the context of leading, in the context of of trying to solve problems and even. And develop yourself. So I want you to begin to try and place yourself along this continuum, along this Big 5 continuum, because I think that as we take these these constructs and apply them to ourselves, that's where they're real. So we've talked a bit about what the Big 5 is. Let's talk about what it is not. Because hopefully, hopefully, when I went through those five, just now, ever so briefly, we'll go through them in much more depth, no worries. But when I went through them ever so quickly there, perhaps you found yourself saying, well, I'm a little bit of this, but I wish I weren't or I wish I was a little bit more of this, a little, you know, less neurotic, a little more extroverted, whatever the case may be. One thing that I want to really emphasize here is that this isn't a measure of right and wrong. This isn't a measure of good and bad. There are no good personality types and bad personality types. There are simply personality types that work and don't work in a given situation or or when trying to solve a different a certain problem. So all of us, I, I think, have have flaws, of course. And our our exercise here today is not to say that one type of personality is better than another, but simply to facilitate understanding. Because I think when we understand our preferences and we understand the preferences of the people with whom we work, we're able to view them through a new lens. We no longer see their behavior as. Damaging. We see it as sort of one option among many. We realized that they didn't get out of bed in the morning to make us frustrated. We realized that we just sit, perhaps on on different ends of the spectrum, on one of these five personality traits. It's also worth mentioning that this is not an intelligence test. You know, people with one type of personality are not innately smarter than another type. So please don't read any sort of intellectual value judgment into this. This is not a measure of mental health because even the neuroticism scale, which is the one that has perhaps the most ostensible tie to mental health, it is really a non clinical scale. I mean, it's perfectly, it's perfectly fine and sometimes even advisable, as we'll talk about later, to be a little neurotic in the sense that we're talking about here. Because it causes you to be watchful, it causes you to be thoughtful, and it causes you to be a good risk manager. So please know that when we're talking about things like stress and anxiety and neuroticism, even this isn't a mental health assessment in the truest clinical sense. And then finally, I think this is big. I it's not an excuse. I think sometimes something I've seen is that when people start to learn about their personality, they go, well, you know, that's just how I am. I'm an extrovert or you know, I can't do that because I'm an introvert, etcetera. And what what we want to understand here is that this is going to facilitate more capacity and not less. And this is supposed to facilitate more flexibility on our part and not less. So this is not an excuse. Now, this isn't for us to say okay, this is what. You are like now. You can never be otherwise. It's for you to understand where you sit on the spectrum, how that place on the spectrum is going to intersect with other people with whom you work and what you can do about that. So please don't use it as an excuse. Even people with strong preferences, which we all have, can learn new tricks. We can learn to be different than we have been. So as they enter each of the five personality traits in greater depth, I'll I'll take you through a brief exercise, and the exercise we're going to do here is to imagine you are out for dinner at your favorite Thai restaurant. Or a a Thai restaurant, perhaps in a new Thai restaurant you're a big Thai food fan or insert your favorite type of food here. If you're not a Thai food fan, you're a huge Thai food fan and and normally you get pad Thai. So you go to this new restaurant and what are you going to do? What are you going to do here? You're out at a new Thai restaurant with with colleagues. Are you going to order the pad Thai, which is sort of your old standby, or are you going to try something new, perhaps a Curry or or a noodle dish or or something different, right? What are you going to do? Most likely stick with the old favorite or try something new? Well, you've probably intuited by now smart person that you are, that we are talking here about openness to experience. So I gave a high level sort of cursory overview of openness to experience. But let's take a moment now and dig a little deeper and again. I want you to think about this continuum and where you sit along this continuum. And a hint you're probably not directly in the middle. You probably have a preference. If you find yourself saying, look, I am the perfect balance of both of these traits, perhaps check the overconfidence a bit. Not many of us sit squarely in the middle. Most of us have at least some leaning with respect to all of these five. So what is openness to experience? People with low openness to Experience. It doesn't sound like a great thing the way it's worded, but it's actually fine. These are folks who prefer routine. They prefer tradition. They prefer to excel within a circle of competence. They want to be the best in the world at this little thing, this little box. They want to own that space. And there are very, very, very successful people who own that space. I would say that someone like Warren Buffett would perhaps be someone who exhibits low levels of openness to experience, eats the same thing every day. He eats fast food and and coke every day. He knows to stay out of sort of parts of the investing world that he's unfamiliar with. And so clearly a very successful and a very smart person who has low levels of openness to experience. Practical, conventional, and just wants to be the best in the world at this small little piece of the world. Now in all of these, I thought it was important. I thought it was important for me to call out misunderstandings. Because one of the things that I think can happen in our in in our relationships and our work relationships and our home lives, is that people with different preferences. Can see someone else's opposing preference and view it as pathological when in in fact it really isn't that. So how do people with low openness to experience get misunderstood? Well, this drive for excellence in this limited area can sometimes be state mistaken for a lack of of intellectual curiosity. That's not necessarily the case. These folks are just a little more tradition bound and really prefer living in that comfort zone. So what about people who are high on openness to experience? While they're more curious, they're free thinking and they have a wider range of interests and and usually a more shallow experience across a wider range of interests. Now how can they be misunderstood? How can they be misunderstood? Well, they can be misunderstood in that this broad interest set can be mistaken for sort of a lack of focus or feeling distractible, when in fact they are really just out there exploring the world, fascinated by everything they come in contact with. Another thing, again, I try not to get political here and I won't get political. I'll just tell you what the research shows. We also know that there are political differences in in how people with different levels of openness to experience shake out along the political spectrum. So this is another sort of check on on who you are and and even maybe why you vote the way that you do. Understandably people with low levels of openness to experience tend to be more conservative and people with. High levels of openness to experience tend to be more progressive in their voting patterns. So just another thing for you to sort of check yourself on and to understand where you sit along that spectrum. So onward and upward okay, take just a moment, read this slide and count how many errors there are on this slide. Give you just a second to do that. All right, hopefully you've had a chance to read this very, very mangled paragraph here. So how many errors did you count? Well, you know what? Actually, I don't care because that was a trick. I didn't really care how many errors you counted. I think there's about 20-3 if you if you insist on getting the right answer, I think there's about 23. But what I really want to know about is the process. How was this for you? Was this enjoyable, right? Was this enjoyable? Did you love digging in and editing and and and rooting out those errors and finding those mistakes? Do you have that deep level of detail orientation that causes this type of editing task to be interesting and and fun for you? Or were you in my camp where this was torturous for you? And you say, look, I get the point. I understand that there's a lot of spelling errors and then grammatically errors here, but I don't really care. I don't really care to correct them. I don't really care to count them in. This whole thing that you've asked us to do, Daniel, is rather tedious. I'm. I'm letting on that. That is decidedly where I sit in that camp. Well, we're going to talk about how this deals with conscientiousness in just a moment. But as you can probably guess, people with high levels of conscientiousness have have high levels of structure and detail orientation and find this task to be more complete, this task more enthusiastically than people like me with with lower levels of conscientiousness. I also want you to look at the picture. By brutal and I want you to describe the picture. So pause the pause the the TV here the screen here is for just a minute when I when I say go and I want you to just write down, how would you describe this picture. OK how would you describe this picture. All right. Welcome back. So I'd have you refer to your list there. I've done this a number of times with live groups, and I always get one of two sorts of answers. One will call this sort of higher level philosophical answer. A higher level philosophical answer might say something like chaotic or noisy or or something to that effect. That gives sort of an emotional gist at a high level. It's chaotic, it's cluttered. It feels noisy. People with stronger detail orientation though, actually start to describe the specific elements of the picture. You know they would describe well. There's a man burying an animal, you know there's a fish eating another fish. There's a peasant throwing things on a roof. They would really go to the level of detail orientation to actually describe the actual, practical, concrete, detailed things that are happening in this picture. So how did you respond? Are you of the lower conscientiousness, sort of higher level thinking, school of thought? Are you in the High conscientiousness, more literal, more specific camp? Again, none of this is a definitive test. It's just a fun way for you to play with these ideas and see that they're everywhere, to see that something like personality is so pervasive that it can determine whether or not you like to edit a paper or even how you consume art. So let's talk about conscientiousness now. People with low conscientiousness get a bad reputation. And indeed it it must be said. I know I said from the outset that there's no right or wrong answer, but it must be plainly stated that the American workforce is set up for high levels of conscientiousness. Because folks with low levels of conscientiousness tend to be better starters than finishers. They tend to be creative, But But along with that creativity comes a level of disorganization. And impulsivity. Now, this creativity, this emergent sort of style of moving through the world. I can get them mistaken for being sloppy or, or in extreme cases, even lazy. But of course, you can see why that sort of creativity and that emergent thinking could also be really good in an organization. But it must be harnessed either by other people or by that person at the appropriate level. Now, people with high levels of conscientiousness again, tend to be a little bit more comfortable in the the average W2 workforce. They're organized, they're systematic, and they're thinking, they're principled, they're orderly, they've got their stuff together. But I think the the way that these folks with high conscientiousness can can get misunderstood is that they can get mistaken for being uptight or and caring or or preferring the process to the people, preferring and privileging the process to the people. That's how they can be misunderstood. So where do you sit along this continuum? And just a little preview of coming attractions. I'm going to ask you to to pick something to work on towards the end of this. So as we go through these five, be thinking about where you sit along this continuum and if if any of these things, any of these tendencies are negatively impacting the way on that you do your work. So for the third year talk about extroversion and introversion in a moment. But I want you to imagine that you you are at a large, busy conference. So you are at a large busy conference. You're in and out of these mainstage presentations all day and at the break, you know, every couple of hours you get a 15 minute break to get a snack or use the restroom. And how would you spend the break? I want you to, again, just take a moment, try and visualize this as concretely as you can. When you've gone to conferences like this in the past, how have you spent the break? Where have you positioned yourself? What have you done with that time? Okay. Once you've thought about that, let's talk okay. So if you're like me, right? You're going to go seek out other people. You're going to try and run down your friend that maybe you haven't seen in a bit. You're going to try and go shake hands with the speaker and ask them a question. You're going to go to the booths and try and meet the folks at the booths and and see what sort of new company is around or what new product they have. Basically, you're an extrovert. Even though you've been sitting there listening to someone, you're maybe a little bit low on energy because you've been isolated. You haven't been able to talk. So you're going to spend this time connecting. If you're more introverted in your tendencies, you're going to find a quiet part of the convention hall because likely you were drained from all of the shaking hands, all of the meeting new people, all of the newness. You're going to find a quiet part of the Convention Center, and for that 15 minutes you're going to eat your you're going to eat your pretzel, you're going to check your e-mail and you maybe send a text to a couple of friends, right? So this is, again, not prove positive scientifically, but it is information. The way that you spin that break is information about who you are and your preferences. Now Western society is one that has historically really privileged extroversion. We like people, people as a society think largely the demands of of the workforce call for some level of extroversion. But I think increasingly we are understanding the power of introverts, people with low extroversion preferences. So let's talk about these two ends of the spectrum. As I just said with the conference example, people who are introverted tend to get energy from being alone. That's fine. They tend to be more private. Now again, this can be mistaken, right? These people tend to hold back a little bit. There may be a little bit harder to get to know. And so because they are this way, they can be misperceived as being aloof or snobbish or uncaring when really all they're doing is being private and. Reflective and considerate. Now I like to say the introverts think, think, speak, and we'll talk in a moment about how extroverts speak, speak, think. An introvert is likely to leave a meeting and have the thought. I wish I would have said more. I wish I would have said more. I had something to say. I had something to offer in that meeting and I didn't speak up and I wish I had. So if you have an introverted preference, that's something to think about. This is a tendency you like we have and your organization. You may be leaving good ideas on the table because you have this tendency to think and think and think and think and get it just right before you speak up. Introverts tend to see interruptions as rude and and don't like talking over each other, right? Whereas extroverts have a more rough and tumble approach to speaking, 2 extroverts speaking could be cutting each other off at every turn and very happy to do so. So again, another way that extroverts can be misunderstood. They may be mistaken for being a bad Lister or or being shallow or rude when really all they're evidencing by their constant inner. Erupting is that they are are comfortable with you and that they want to talk and that they're interested now. Extroverts are the flip side of the think things speak, obviously, and they might be likely to leave a meeting and say, wow, I I probably should have said less. Like, maybe I overshared their maybe I didn't give other people adequate time to talk. Maybe not all ideas were considered around the table. So that's what the extrovert has to look out for and ensure that they are not not getting in trouble with to introduce the A in ocean. I want to talk about a scenario that we've all probably found ourselves in. So imagine that it's date night. You are with your significant other and you are about to go hit the town and he or she descends the stairs dressed in their evening finery. And you think, this isn't great, right? Whatever they've come down wearing, perhaps it's not flattering, perhaps you don't like the style. Whatever the case, you're not, you're not on board. And your significant other says to you how how do I look? How does this make me look? What are you going to do? Are you going to be the person who rolls with it and says you look great? Honey, let's go. Like, right you look wonderful or are you going to pee? The person who says with the best of intentions, look, you know those jeans aren't great or I, I I don't love the top or the shoes have to go, you know with the best of intentions, hoping only to make that person look good. Are you going to to speak up or not? Well, this tendency to rock the boat or to not rock the boat is what psychologists call agreeableness. People who are low on agreeableness are very blunt. They're task driven, they're task focus and they just want the truth to get out there. They just want the truth out there. And so they're going to say to you and they're low agreeable in this way. Now you don't look great. You know, I want you to look great and this is not it. Right, this is not the outfit for you. We'll have a better time if you change, right? But you can also see how that gets misperceived as being critical or cold or unkind, right? This. This what what the person who's low on agreeableness understands from a very functional level. You know, wanting the best outcome, wanting you to look your best, The person receiving the criticism from someone who's low unagreeableness can can take that to be quite offensive. So that's how they get misunderstood. Now, people who are high unagreeableness, they're helpful, they're caring, they're trusting, they expect the best of their coworkers, and sometimes they can even even be sort of cheerleader types. But this constant cheerleading, this constant smiling and and always putting the best foot forward can be misconstrued as inauthenticity. And if people always are getting good news from you, I think people have a balanced view of the world. And if you're never giving it to them straight, if you're never, if you're never having these hard conversations, I think people can can become mistrustful. So it's interesting to to think about this, right? You can see how taken to these extremes, low or high levels of agreeableness within an organization could be really cancerous. Low levels of agreeableness, you might find a critical nitpicking, unkind workforce. High levels of agreeableness. You'd find a workforce that's in more interested in being friends than getting anything done and who might be inauthentic. So the truth is somewhere in the middle, right? Like most things in life, the truth is in moderation and finding appropriate levels of agreeableness to keep those those social interactions protected. But also have honest conversations in a way that moves the organizational organization forward. So where do you sit along that agreeableness continuum? The last one we'll talk about is the in perhaps the most charged of our five constructs. So this is neuroticism or the person's level of anxiety. So to get at your neuroticism. And again, remember this is not in a clinical sense. So I'm going to ask you a nonclinical question. I'm going to ask you to invest in my lemonade stand. I'm starting the Doctor Crosby lemonade stand and I am asking for some of your Hardearned money to get my lemonade stand off the ground. So what do you say? So think about this. When I approach you with this offer to invest in my lemonade stand, where does your mind go first? Does your mind first go to the possible upside? Right. Wow, Daniel sure does make great lemonade. This could really be something. One day. This could be really big. This could be really big. I can make tons of money with this. Or do you go to the downside? Do you go to. Well, there are a lot of lemonade makers in the world, and you know, Daniel's a psychologist. I don't know what he knows about making lemonade. And so on and so forth. Where does your mind instinctively go? Do you instinctively go first to risk or to reward? Well, it turns out that this is a clue to the levels of neuroticism that that are present in you. So someone with low levels of neuroticism is calm, easygoing, relaxed, stress free, and not anxious K How can these folks be misunderstood? Well, they can. They can be misunderstood by seem to be lacking urgency. In a fast-paced corporate work environment, as nice as it might be to be calm, cool and collected, sometimes that is not the response that is warranted or that's desired by the people with whom you work. Then we have people who have high levels of neuroticism, the people who saw the risks first, who went to the risks first on on the lemonade stand, They're always looking for ways to mitigate the downside. They expect the worst and they try and protect against that and they can be a little bit more nervous and they can be more prone to say no because they're trying to, again, mitigate those risks. So how do folks like this get misunderstood? While they're trying their best, they're trying their. Best to save the organization money by managing some risk, by saying no, by anticipating failure points. And unfortunately, this can be viewed as being a naysayer or overly pessimistic or not a team player right when when really in their mind all they're trying to do is protect against future hurt. So how are you doing? You've been drinking from the fire hose now, but you have now all five points of the ocean. So I want you to take a moment and write these down so we have Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness. And neuroticism, and I want you to sort of rate yourself from high to low, just in a very crude way. Just rate yourself from high to low and see how you think you're doing, see how you think you're doing across all those five. Remember, there's no wrong answer. We just want the truth because in a moment we're going to be talking about how this applies to things like decision making and problem solving and even hiring. So let's take just a moment now and get a sense of where you sit now that you have an understanding of these. These five. All right. Welcome back. So you've now given yourself to sort of your informal diagnosis along the Big 5 personality dimensions. I want to have you continue to apply this because this isn't again, this doesn't exist in the ether. This isn't something that I want you to learn about and never reference again. This permeates everything you do and everyone you talk to. So I want you to learn to start to spot personality traits in behavior. OK, so let's talk about someone who spends time alone between meetings. What do you think they are on the ocean scale? What about someone who compares all new initiatives to previous initiatives? Well, let's start with the first one, someone who spends time alone between meetings. This is likely someone who is a little introverted, right? They're taking that time to recharge and and revisit. What about someone who compares all new initiatives to previous initiatives? This person is likely low on what? Openness to experience. This person is someone who is prefers their circle of competency. They want to be good at that one thing. They liked how they did it before, and they want to keep doing it that way. K So those are two I want you to take just a minute, pause the video again and take those little quiz and see if you can get the rest of these correct. All right. How'd you do? Hopefully our introduction to the Big 5 has gotten you to the point where you can be a junior psychologist, spotting behavior in the most mundane of places that will give you insights into both who you are and to to who the people you work with are. So one thing that we have to bring up about these the Big Five. I've talked about the power of of moderation. Right. The power of moderation and the fact that that being somewhere in the middle ish and no one's perfectly in the middle. We all have preferences. But being sort of grounded in the middle on these things is is a powerful place to be because any one of these strengths can become a weakness. It's very easy for me to think about strengths about, you know, a preference for high openness to experience. This is a person with someone best with a with a zest for life, right? That's that's a lovely thing, but taken to its extreme. I can lead to sort of fixing things that aren't broken or always tinkering in a way, always starting projects and never getting anything done. What about conscientiousness, for crying out loud? I said this was the best predictor of job performance, but taken to an extreme, it can lead to an obsession with project completion at the expense of the people around you and their feelings and their priorities. What about extroversion, which again, our our society so prizes people who are highly extroverted. But extroversion, taken to its logical extreme, can can lead to, you know, an emphasis on socializing and connecting over business results. What about agreeableness? Again, we as a society love people who are happy and upbeat and trusting and friendly and always smiling, right? But that kindness? That desire not to rock the boat can actually lead us to overlook things that would be the saving grace of our organization. Or or or to not talk about something that may be broken. And what about low levels of neuroticism? Right, Low levels of neuroticism? That sounds nice. Don't we all want to be stress free? Don't we all want to be easy going and laid back? Well, extreme low levels of neuroticism can lead us to not think about the future, can be so busy seizing the day that we fail to worry enough about the future, enough to adequately prepare. So wherever you sit along this continuum, I just kind of ran with some of the ones that I think are probably the most socially prized. Wherever you sit along this continuum, just know that again, there's no right or wrong answer. The only the only wrong answer is when your tendency to in one of these big 5 categories becomes so pronounced that it becomes a weakness. So let's get down to the nittygritty. Let's get practical with this. Let's talk about a practical business concern and how you could help to solve it. So the practical business problem you're going to solve is on the screen before you. You notice that attrition has been worse than normal this year and that it is particularly impacting young professionals who seem to be leaving your business at an unusually high rate. You sit down to examine the possible causes of this exodus of young people from your organization. So if we just sit down to do this, we've got this problem in front of us and we have some understanding of where we sit across these five constructs. And we try to solve this problem left to our own devices. We're going to do it in our own peculiar way. We're going to do it in our own way that privileges our preferences along those five those. Those five different dimensions. But if we want to be more thorough and if we want to rid ourselves of bias, one thing that we can do is what's called Walk Around the Brain. Now that sounds a little goofy, right? This sounds a little goofy. That's walking around the brain. So we also referred to it as the Z model of decision making. So hitting, you know, imagine drawing a letter Z hitting both sides, the low and the high of two or more of these constructs. So how would someone with a low level of conscientiousness approach this problem? How would someone with a high level of conscientiousness approach this problem? How would a some of the low level of openness approach this problem? And how would someone with a high level of openness approach this problem? So this is a little abstract, so let's let's get down to it. If we're walking around the brain making sure we check every one of our biases along the way and try and view this through every possible lens, how does the person with low levels of conscientiousness? I want to solve this problem, right. People with low levels of conscientiousness say, look, the reason that we're leaving is because there's not enough flexibility, right? There's not enough flexibility. There's not enough spontaneity. That's what we want. We want this spontaneous, emergent approach to work. We want to seize the moment, and you're not letting us do that. Is there a high sea problem? Are you being appropriately attentive to detail? Is that the problem? It is stuff slipping through the cracks because you're not being attentive enough to detail. Are you being regular enough with followups? Right. Consider it from the openness perspective. Someone with low levels of openness is going to approach this from a from a what has worked traditionally perspective, what are retention best practices? What do we know that's out there? And someone with a high level of openness to experience is going to approach this retention problem. By saying is there something that we can come up with? Is there something that we can create that's never been done before, but that should have been done? So think about what you've done here. You've now considered this from every angle and you could use this. I thought that C&O went with this particular problem, but you could use this with different different of these constructs. And apply them in a way where you consider both the high version and the low version of each of these constructs and try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who is going through what they're going through right? And that way you rid yourself of bias. You don't just see it through your lens, you actually walk around the brain until you've seen it from the lens of all the stakeholders, all the people you are trying to serve. So we've talked about the Big 5 now. We've talked about applying it to problem solving in a way that that leads you to walk around the brain and consider it from every angle. Now I want to talk about recognizing these personality traits in the people with whom you work. And so I have drawn upon, again, I don't know that they're personality types, but I think we can take a good stab at it. I want you to begin with JK Rowling here, So I have there's three of these. I want you to read the quote, consider what you know about this person. And I'll ask you to pause the video. And again, across the ocean, across those 5 levels, where do you think this person sits? OK, so the quote from Miss Rowling is nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than an unashamed misfit. So the author of Harry Potter, where do you think she sits? Along the Big 5 Continuum? Pause the video now and jot down your answers. All right, welcome back. Let's take a stab at it again. This is our best guess. Openness to experience. What do we know about JK Rowling and openness to Experience? Do you think she is more of the traditionalist or more of the person who is prone to new ways and creative ways of trying to solve a problem? I'm going to say JK has high levels of openness to experience that are consistent with her world building. In her character building, I think that one we can say pretty definitively what about conscientiousness. Conscientiousness, I think is easy to say that she probably has highish levels of conscientiousness. After all, she sat down and wrote I'm going to mess this up. However many books there are in the Harry Potter series, 79 many books. They were long. It took her some real stick to itiveness to get this done. I'm going to hypothesize that that Miss Riling has high levels of conscientiousness. Extraversion. I'll be honest, I don't have a great sense. You're not always going to get every one of these just from what you know about a person. I admittedly don't know a ton. About our author here, and I'm going to say too little information on extraversion for me to make a judgment. Agreeableness, I think is one that we can weigh in on. On neuroticism. Again, I don't know that I know know a great deal about her, her levels of stress, but I think agreeableness, I'm going to go ahead and say low levels of agreeableness. You know, she didn't write a a book about conformity. She wrote a book and and has a quote here about being a misfit. She has a book about being a misfit. And so that's what we can know. I think at least take an educated stab at someone with high levels of openness to experience, high levels of conscientiousness, and low levels of agreeableness. Right. Next we have Atlanta's own Doctor, Martin Luther King. I have a dream K So pause the video now and put where you think Doctor King fits across the five levels of the ocean. Welcome back, Doctor King, on openness to experience. What do you think? I am going with high levels again of openness to experience. After all, the the great man was a visionary who was trying to, in a very real sense, break down the traditional way of doing business and bring a new dream, Bring a new dream to the table. He had a dream of what could be, and it was much better than the reality that we were mired in at the time. Conscientiousness. Conscientiousness. Doctor King led a movement. He was in a very real sense and organizer that takes higher levels of conscientiousness. Extraversion. He was the face of a movement. He was the face of a movement. He mobilized mobilized the movement and I and I would hypothesize that he was extroverted Agreeableness. Now, interestingly, this is interesting to consider because on one hand. I think relative to the racist and classist norms of the time, Doctor King showed low levels of agreeableness. He was very comfortable rocking the boat, but it's interesting to consider that relative to even some other civil rights leaders, there were things that he wouldn't do, and he also tried to build bridges. Between the black community and the white community and the various communities that he served, so agreeableness is an interesting one. With Doctor King, he had low, low enough agreeableness to to fight against, sort of a wicked status quo, but high enough agreeableness to try and do it in a nonviolent, socially sanctioned way. So it's an interesting one for to think about, and it's also interesting to think about how personality. Intersects with with our sort of cultural norms. Neuroticism. I really don't have a strong sense of of Doctor King's level of anxiety or worry. Don't feel like I perhaps have enough information to weigh in there. Right. So next I think you're going to like this one. Homer Simpson. Homer Simpson. The quote is Donuts K So one last, one last time. Pause the video here in just a moment. Write down where you think Homer Simpson fits across the five levels of the ocean. Okay, so openness to experience. Now, don't get it twisted, please. Anything, Any personality characteristics I put on Homer Simpson. Please don't see this as an indictment of any certain personality characteristic. We're just having some fun here. I think Homer Simpson probably has very low levels of openness to experience. He goes to sort of his boring debt and job. He pulls the levers. He works at the nuclear power plant. He he just kind of punches the clock and does what he's told to do. So we're going to say low levels of openness to experience. What about conscientiousness? I think Homer Simpson is perhaps the prototypical low conscientiousness individual. He has no system for, for eating healthily, for exercising, for working hard, for doing. You know, many of the things that we value very, very low levels of of. Conscientiousness. Extraversion. I'm going to say his extraversion is very high. He is certainly the epitome of the speak, speak, speak, think. He often says too much, he often puts his foot in his mouth. And I'm going to say high levels of extraversion, low levels of of agreeableness. I would say that he is perfectly happy to to rock the boat, or to say an impolite or rude thing. And then what about neuroticism? It's interesting to consider Homer Simpson with respect to neuroticism because I think his neuroticism is really quite low. And it's interesting because you can say that in a way he's a very pathological character. He's a very flawed, broken character, but he's not bothered by it. You know, it's important to note that neuroticism is sort of an internal construct. He may be as broken or or as flawed as can be, but it doesn't seem to bug him much. He's not, he's not losing any sleep over his dead end job or his beer belly or, you know, the violence he he, you know, greets his family with. None of these things are are bothering him. So we're going to go ahead and say low levels of neuroticism. So there you have it. Couple of couple of examples, some more serious than others, but it shows you how you know you can take someone with whom you work. You can take your partner. You can take your spouse, your kids or whoever, and understand where they sit across these five constructs and understand how they view the world and where you might complement each other to speak complementary skills. Let's turn our attention now to trying to build a workforce. With complementary skills. So in each of the next couple of examples, I'm going to give you a business case, a hire that needs to happen, some talent needs that need to be met. And you tell me what kind of person you want to hire and what it's in particular stand out to you for this hire because not all five matter. Candidly, not all five are going to matter for for every job. So the the the case study is this. You decide that your business needs an office manager to help coordinate calendars and schedule meetings. This person will also have client facing responsibilities including coordinating client appreciation and educational events. What sort of personality might be a fit for this wall? So an office manager who's coordinating calendars, scheduling meetings and interfacing with clients in in sort of a a limited way. Okay openness to experience. What do you think? High or low openness to experience? If for this job I'm going to go ahead and say mid to low openness to experience, or else this person will become bored, I think someone with a high need to be creative, High need to have openness for experience would be rather bored in this job, and I think that's a fairly important consideration. Conscientiousness. Where do we want this person to be on conscientiousness? I want this person's conscientiousness out the roof. I want this person to be the most conscientious, most systematic. Most annual retentive person that you have ever met. Because they are after all, they are the the beating heart of the office. They are the They are the person that's keeping everyone else on time. Making sure that everything happens as it should, making sure that everything every I is dotted and every T crossed for the event. Conscientiousness is of the utmost importance here. What about extraversion? I think this is 1 where it gets a little tricky. I think if you're like. Most people here you would say, oh you want someone who's extroverted because they're going to have client facing responsibilities. But I think that misunderstands what extroversion truly is. Extroversion is primarily about where you get your energy right. Someone can be introverted and be exceptionally good with people. They can love people, they can be a great people person. They can be very, very socially skilled. It's just a little draining for them. So I think it doesn't really matter. I think their social skills matter a great deal, but I don't think it matters much whether or not they are extroverted in the sense that we are talking about here. I think agreeableness, you want to be on the medium to high, medium to high end. This person will have a have a role in sort of being a liaison between different parts of the business and also with clients. And I think that that customer service role comes with a a medium to high level of agreeableness. And I think neuroticism should be on the on the low end because this is a stressful job and there's a lot to coordinate, There's a lot to keep straight and I think someone with with low levels of neuroticism would be better suited for the job. So there you go, We took a simple job requisition. Here we are job we are trying to fill and through the magic of ocean to the magic of personality, we are able to fill that role handily. You're looking to hire a detail oriented, analytically minded portfolio manager to run your proprietary in house asset allocation models. In addition to running your existing models, they will be tasked with creating new models and doing original research. Finally, they will communicate directly with clients and prospects on quarterly updates. So what do we think? I want you to take just a minute again, write down those 5 characteristics. Take just a minute and write high or low across each of those 5 ocean categories. You're going to really get this by the end of this presentation. All right, We're back. So you're hiring a detail oriented, analytically minded portfolio who's also going to be tasked with developing some new models. So what do we think? Openness to experience. It's a little bit tricky because you there's a dual mandate. On the one hand you want them to to run these old models, these proprietary models, but on the other hand you want them to to be able to flex enough. To be able to create their own models and to explore new ways of running money. So I think in in a sense, there's no wrong answer here. I think you, you know, someone with an ability to do both things, someone kind of with a middling preference could be a good hire. But I also think that that someone with a strong preference in either direction could be good as long as they understand that preference and they were able to to sort of flex and change as the job changed. What about conscientiousness? Conscientiousness, I think is is critical here. You're dealing with other people's money, you're dealing with with models, and I think you're going to want you're going to want a level of conscientiousness there. Extraversion doesn't matter. I don't think it matters much. You know, going back, going back to our previous discussion, they will have some client communication duties, but there's plenty of introverts who can communicate with clients just as soundly as extroverts. I don't think it's, I don't think it's all that important. Likewise, agreeableness, I don't think it's all that important. I think neuroticism here becomes a little bit more important because we know that people with higher levels of neuroticism actually are are sort of looking around corners, looking for problems, trying to anticipate things that might go wrong. And this is what you want, I mean for a sort of a risk first portfolio manager, at least that's how I'm conceptualizing it. You're going to want someone with a a higher level of neuroticism perhaps than you were when you were looking for your office manager. So again, some of these things sound bad at first blush, but we have to develop a deeper. More nuanced understanding of what we're talking about here to understand that that some level of neuroticism is actually quite good for what we're trying to do. Do birds of a feather flock together or do opposites attract? Which of these sort of folksy aphorisms is actually true of human behavior? So what do you think? Do birds of a feather flock together or do opposites attract? Well, as it turns out, the research is is fairly unequivocal that that birds of a feather flock together. We like people who are like us. And so the problem that we can have, if we're not careful and we're not running through exercises like the two that we just went through with the new, the new hiring wrecks, is we can hire people who are just like us. We can see people who are like us. We like them, We hire them. And then we get an organization that's just redundant. We get an organization that's carbon copies of each other and is mired in groupthink. So we know that teams that are psychologically diverse, diverse across the five constructs that we've talked about today of ocean, teams that are psychologically diverse, they fight more, they take longer to make decisions, but they make better decisions and they build better businesses. So that's how this is powerful. You want to make sure that you're hiring people that are suited for their roles and people that add psychological diversity to your organization. But then you have to manage that psychological diversity a little bit to make sure that everyone is still being respectful and that all voices are being heard. And it's not just people, though projects actually have personalities to believe it or not. Okay. So let's run through a couple of these and and then I'll leave you to do the rest of them to to take a little quiz here. So what about innovative blue sky thinking A, a project that required innovative blue sky thinking? Who would you put on that project, Someone who showed high levels of what? Openness to experience. Right. Of course, openness to experience is what we're looking for there. What about solid execution? Well, that's going to be someone with high levels of conscientiousness. So I got you started. Pause the video. Now, take the assessment, take the little quiz here and see if you can get the other five right. Carl Jung has a quote that I absolutely love. That epitomizes how I think about all the personality work that we've talked about today. He says until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. So, so much of what we've talked about today I think goes unnoticed in people until they have a mental framework to to place it on. Like the Big 5 personality paradigm, right? So many of these preferences, we have so many of the behaviors that we see in other people, we don't know where to place them. And so we just call it fate and we say we like people or we don't like people and we don't quite know why. And this, This is why right after we're able to articulate our own differences and how they intersect with other people's differences, we're able to do differently. We're able to make different choices, and we're able to. Hire and promote the right kind of people. So as a challenge here today, I always want to leave you with something to to run with. Think about all of the the things that we talked about today. What is something perhaps that is a strength of yours, that that is crossing the line into weakness territory that it's so overplayed or so overextended that it may actually become a weakness. And conversely, what's strength of the what's one strength of yours that that may not be on full display yet? Is it something like these, these sort of hidden characteristics, something like low levels of agreeableness that you keep bottled up because you don't want to rock the boat, but in fact you have great insights about how to to shape the organization or you have big ideas that you don't want to share for fear of stepping on someone's toes? Is it something like a higher level of neuroticism, which can sound bad at first blush, but is actually a great way to manage risk, to see around corners, and to anticipate future problems? So find that one strength that you overextend, and find that one strength that you're not yet fully displaying, and come up with a way and come up with a plan to begin to exercise that in a more fulsome way in your work? My final quote is from Carl Jung, who says everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves. Behavioral finance should be a mirror for you to hold up to yourself and look at yourself and make changes. It's a way to view the world and as you move through the world and as you meet these people that irritate you, they're going to teach you something about yourself in the process. So the next time you get irritated, I would challenge you to think. Are you really sitting across with someone who who is truly, truly damaging or obnoxious? Or are you really just encountering a rub where two sort of personality preferences come into friction? And I would suggest to you that more often than not that is the case and that every single one of these opportunities is an opportunity to learn about ourself and to learn about others. Thank you for your attention today. I I hope that the Big 5 provides you a a strong mental lattice work to help you do everything from solve problems better, to improve yourself, to improve the way you you hire and promote within your organization. It's a powerful scientific structure for thinking about the people in the. World all around us and I hope you found it as useful as I do. Thank you. _1718577943024

Leadership Begins with You

The third and final installment of the Spring of CE series will introduce you to The Big Five personality traits model. Personality science helps advisors better understand themselves and their clients to ultimately strengthen the client-advisor relationship in the long run.