We asked Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) members and EO Accelerator program participants to share how they use personality assessments individually and in their businesses. Here's what they had to say.
Type A. Introverted. Attainer. ENFJ . . . What's your personality type? With multiple ways to assess personalities, learning about ourselves to gain insight into strengths, weaknesses and behavior-drivers isn't that hard―and is a key to success.
We all have tasks that we gravitate toward, and also those we loathe, avoid or put off. If you're a big-picture type who detests the small stuff, the solution could be as simple as finding a detail-oriented person to counterbalance your skill set.
Many entrepreneurs utilize personality assessments to harness natural talents, maximize productivity and increase workplace satisfaction.
Personality Assessment Epiphanies
"I have gleaned huge benefits as an individual by experimenting with personality testing. It has made me more self-aware and taught me how to motivate others," said Rishi Khanna, CEO of ISHIR and EO Dallas member. "It allows us to understand our natural strengths, possible weak areas, and find others on the team to bridge the gaps."
"I was shocked to learn that I am an introvert (INFP)―I assumed I was an extrovert because I love to host parties, give speeches and talk to people," noted Kris Putnam-Walkerly, president of Putnam Consulting Group and an EO Accelerator program participant. "I was relieved to learn that my personality type benefits from spending time alone. I sensed I needed more time alone, but with five kids I had less and less of it. Now I schedule alone time to recharge, think and generate new ideas."
"When I heard Freak Factor author Dave Rendall speak at an EO event, his insights sparked an epiphany: I needed to embrace my 'freak factor'―the things we naturally excel in doing―and maximize those skills," said Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency and EO New Jersey member. "I also realized the importance of eliminating time-suckers that represented my attempts to improve business shortcomings."
"I've learned that I am 99.9% more impatient than the rest of the population and my inventiveness and spatial reasoning is similarly as high," explained James McDonough, EO Houston member and founder and CEO of SEE Forge, creators of FAT FINGER. "While this urge to action, fast pace and way of visualizing things are very natural to me, I wasn't aware that others didn't share them as deeply and easily. These insights have improved my communication skills, collaboration and leadership."
"I realized that the two people in the company with whom I work the most easily and collaboratively have the exact same personality type as me," said Vivek Puri, owner of Classic Homes Virginia and EO DC member. "Interestingly, the two people with whom I frequently have difficulty communicating, but who often spark the most well-thought-out ideas when we 'click,' have the same personality type as each other."
"Personality assessment taught me that people process information differently and has helped our company recognize blind spots that we now focus on," said Randy Gerber, founder and principal of Gerber, LLC and EO Columbus member. "The common underlying goal is to use the results to form a team that does outstanding work and meets their goals as well as works on their weaknesses."
Focus on Strengths
"The biggest change I made was to go all-in on my strengths and stop focusing on weaknesses. I once thought overcoming weaknesses was the way to grow into a better leader," explained Ian Morell, CEO of Caliber Real Estate and EO Seattle member. "I've made a mental shift toward leveraging strengths and surrounding myself with team members who fill in the gaps."
"Society tells us that we should work to improve our weaknesses. I have taken the complete opposite approach," said Vlad Molchadski, CEO and co-founder of BizTraffic.com and an EO Dallas member. "We only focus on our strengths. Weaknesses are addressed by process improvements or other staff members."
"I live my life attempting to be the best version of myself," Rishi continued. "I have begun to appreciate the importance of building upon my strengths and have also become comfortable with my weak areas."
"The real eye-opener for me was recognizing that each 'freak factor' has a natural opposite. In my case, creativity is my freak factor and organization is its natural opposite," continued Denise Blasevick. "The mess on my desk is one small example of my lack of organization--but it's also representative of what helps me connect ideas differently to benefit my clients."
"My strengths include creativity and 10,000-foot strategy. Execution is a weakness, as my personality type prefers changing routines and varying activities," said Vlad Molchadski. "As a result of this 'eureka' realization, we brought on an operations associate who road-maps the strategy and oversees execution."
"I've used Myers-Briggs in my company for years. I'm an ENFP and hired an ISTJ to counter me. It worked for a while but eventually led to selling my share of the company," explained George Morris, founder of The Framework. "I swear by Myers-Briggs, but I do think it can lead us down a dangerous path of pigeon-holing people and not seeing them for their full potential."