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Talent Dynamics RSS Feed Blog Archive: February 2013

Jans Corner: Which Profiles makes for the best Leader?

We often get asked which of the Talent Dynamics profiles are the best leaders. On the surface the answer might seem very easy. Of course, the Supporters. Given their people focus, blaze energy, and extroverted action dynamics, Supporters are best at leading teams and organisations as they bring others together and motivate them to be their best naturally building collaboration, trust and loyalty critical for sustained high performance.

High profile Supporters, such as GE’s Jack Walsh, eBay’s Meg Whitman or Microsoft’s Steve Balmer, have shown how much they can accomplish if they put their talent at work.

This natural talent, however, doesn’t give Supporters a monopoly on leadership. Everyone can be a leader. Businesses are complex ecosystems and different talents come handy at different times and in different situations. All profiles can bring a valuable perspective and energy that can be used to build performance and increase flow depending on the teams focus, task at hand, nature and stage of business or season of the economic cycle.

Let me give you a few ideas about how to make the best use of the leadership potential of the other seven profiles (apart from the Supporter) in the team or businesses context.

Creators might not be the best people-people or data-driven analysts, but they lead best by setting the vision and a high standard to reach for. Being task focused to start things they lead others to reach their goals. They are best at the helm of new projects and initiatives, thinking out of the box and out of the ordinary. They are the best initiators and pioneers.

Stars are fast and often don’t wait for their team to catch up or bother with the details, but they will give energy and credibility to new ideas, projects, programs or strategies through the power of their personality. They can improvise while leading upfront to build and maintain excitement, momentum and buy in when it matters. They are the best promoters.

Deal Makers are true people’s people, but they are more private than a Star or Supporter, and prefer to work one-to-one. They bring people and opportunities together and lead best when they are able to be in constant conversation whilst listening closely to what is happening around them. They are the best connectors and negotiators of win-win solutions.

Traders thrive when they can build and grow a connection with their team or customers. They might be paralysed when facing a blank sheet to fill, or strategy to create, but will quickly make sense of what is going on around them. They lead best when immersed in daily action, when timing is of essence and when they have ongoing input from their environments and people to inform their decision-making. They are the best operations leaders and excel as hands-on troubleshooters.

Accumulators are excellent project managers given their analytical skills and sense of timing. They are reliable and will find the way to deliver what is needed on time. However, they have little interest in and are ill equipped to handle office politics. Accumulators lead best when a well defined task or project needs to be accomplished and when the detail and risk management are critical for success. They are the best planners, and project and risk managers.

Lords are great at finding inefficiencies because they patiently track data, analyse the detail and strive to stay in control. For this reason, Lords are best at leading through the numbers instead of through conversation and collaboration. Lords almost always value process and policy over people, and are great at providing leadership when resources and finances are tight and success requires efficiency and precision. They are the best data-driven analytics and efficiency leaders.

Mechanics constantly look for improvements and as a result they are continually challenging the status quo on the way things are done. This can be very stimulating for some, and very frustrating for others. The best way to for them to lead people is to make it easy for others to collaborate and perform indirectly, not through motivation but by perfecting the underlying processes, procedures and systems. They are the best systematisers, improvers and finishers.

If you currently experience frustration or ineffectiveness of leadership in your team or business, it might be that you are trying to put a square peg into a round hole. As businesses and demands evolve so will the need for the appropriate leadership. Chances are that you will not need to re-organise the whole team or organisation. For a start, just notice whose talent can help most with the task or challenge at hand and provide them a space to contribute it at the right occasion. Build from small opportunities, for instance, just allowing the right person to lead a meeting or spearheading a project – and then expand from there. The reward will be a more resilient and better performing team as well as increased engagement and flow of everyone in it.


What is Communication?

CommunicationIn order to get the most from performance management you have to have communication.  People, teams, departments and even seperate businesses need to communicate.  This is sometimes easier said than done.

When I think of the word communicate I imagine the transmission of ideas or instructions.  I also imagine the reception of those same thoughts and ideas.  In my head its very much two cans on a piece of string.  But that isn’t what the word communication actually means.  Communication comes from the Latin “communis“, meaning to share.  Its the same root as communal and community.

How much communication is undertaken with the thought of the recipient in mind?

People take in information differently.  Some prefer face-to-face, some written, some via the phone.  All of these have their own strengths and weaknesses in terms of practicality but if we are honest we communicate in the form we prefer.  This isn’t always the best way to ensure information is received.  Consider the preferences of the person you are communicating with.  How are they most likely to take in the information?

Some of the most common problems of communication is in misunderstanding.  The message is sent but not received correctly.  Again this can be solved by going back to the root meaning of sharing.  Ask for feedback on the message you have just sent, not only to allow for additional ideas or improvements but also to allow you to judge whether the message has been received correctly.  In this way you are not transmitting the message but are sharing it.

Top 5 Communication Tips

1. Remove complexity.

Consider two messages.  One is packed with jargon and tangents wildly.  The other sticks to the point and keeps everything as simple as possible.  Which is the easiest to understand?

2. Share as much as you can.

Often critical pieces of information are withheld, either through company policy or through error.  Ensure that you are aware of all the relevant information and give access to it through communication.  Ensure you ask whether the other party needs any other information to get the job done or have full understanding of what has just been said.

3. Remove barriers.

Hierarchy and communication processes can often stop the sharing of information.  Ensure that feedback is encouraged and that the best channels are identified, explained and used.

4. Foster co-operation.

Competiton drives problems in communication.  If people or departments are in competiton with each other, barriers will be erected and mistrust will fester.  Unite teams and departments through a shared purpose and encourage transparency to ‘get the job done’.

5. Involve others.

The best way to communicate is through knowledge of yourself and other people.  Be as clear and honest as you can be.  This will increase levels of trust in the team as you become reliable and approachable.  The Talent Dynamics Profile Test is a good place to start in knowing where your team’s natural strengths lie and where trust can be easily built.

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New Speaker for the Trust Conference: Richard Barrett confirmed

We’re really excited to announce our fourth speaker for the Trust Conference today. Richard Barrett of the Barrett Values Centre, is a best selling author, speaker and social commentator on the evolution of human values in business and society.

He is the Founder and Chairman of the Barrett Values Centre and an internationally recognized thought leader on values, culture, leadership and consciousness.

He is the creator of the internationally recognized Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT) currently being used in 60 countries to support more than 3,000 organizations and leaders in their transformational journeys. He is a Fellow of the World Business Academy, and Former Values Coordinator at the World Bank.

There are just a few days left until February 28th, to get yourself special launch price ticket for the Trust Conference at just £59!

Book today to get your ticket along with a stack of bonuses valued at over £300!

Click here to see Richard Barrett explain what the key factor is within an organisation in order to build a high performance team.

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You care about kids, like we do, so you need to see this.

Isn’t enough, enough?

How much more do we need to hear about the state of our global education system or the state of our environment before we decide to do something radical about it?

Do you think it’s time for a shift in how we educate our kids, and how we look after our environment? Then, I’d invite you to join me with my good friend, Roger Hamilton and some inspiring educational changemakers from The Greenest School on Earth, The Green School, for a very special evening in either Melbourne or Perth this March.

You see, these extraordinary individuals are already reshaping the educational system and have been getting a huge amount of global media and acknowledgement for the outcomes students are achieving as a result of their revolutionary work.

Hear about “The Future of Education”, and get to meet parents and teachers in your area who too care about our children and are keen to learn the latest innovations in education.

You can book your complimentary seat here, limited seats available:

19th March – Melbourne (

22nd March – Perth (

“Supercamp is a model learning environment.” – CNN

“A new breed of summer camp.” – WALL STREET JOURNAL

“An awakening for students to their academic and social potentials..” – BOSTON GLOBE

“An ecologically balanced seat of learning, where there are no walls and the only light is the natural kind. Nowadays there is such a place: Green School on the island of Bali.” – FINANCIAL TIMES

“These students are the ones who are going to make a difference in this world.” – CNBC

A revolution on your doorstep

In 2012, Green School, Bali was awarded the title of “Greenest School on Earth” by the USGBC Center for Green Schools. The revolutionary school is educating children from Pre-K to Grade 12 in a nature-based, student-centred way, transforming them into tomorrow’s leaders.

Roger Hamilton, the Chairman of Green School, will host the evening with Alan Wagstaff, Green School’s Learning Manager, as they bring their Green Educator Certification (for both teachers and parents) to Australia for the first time.

The evening will also feature Green SuperCamp, which has seen students increase their average grades significantly, with life strategies and learning strategies including memory skills, speed reading and many others, picked up in a fun, exciting week in nature. This is a partnership between Green School and SuperCamp, the world’s leader in student enrichment camps.

Heather Yelland, Co-founder of Green SuperCamp, will be presenting alongside Roger and Alan at these evening events. Heather will be hosting Green SuperCamps in Australia this year.

Bali is on Australia’s doorstep, and many of the families who have been attracted to Green School come from Australia. In these two special events, Green School is coming to you!

19th March – Melbourne (

22nd March – Perth (

Give your child the education of a lifetime

If you are seeking a new paradigm in effective education, don’t miss this opportunity! Join other parents and teachers to learn first-hand how your child can benefit from the education of a lifetime.

For more information and event details, visit:

19th March – Melbourne (

22nd March – Perth (

I look forward to seeing you there,


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Unas Spotlight: Sending out some love this Valentines day!

Whether or not you are a romantic, this is a great opportunity to remind yourself to ‘spread the love’ in your business. Valentine’s Day is all about making new and/or deeper connections. How could you do this in your workplace? Look to build trust and demonstrate value and appreciation.

You might want to start with romancing yourself. When was the last time that you sat down and wrote down your accomplishments in the last year or few years? Large or small, get them all down and congratulate yourself for what you have achieved. Treat yourself with a special meal, a trip away or even a nice soak in the bath with a good book. It will be hard to make others feel special, if you don’t feel special yourself.

Make sure you are really clear about the value you offer to your team and customers. What Talent Dynamics profile are you? What profile is your typical customer? How do you help them get into flow? Think about ways you could increase the amount of time you get to spend working in your strengths to increase your value to the business – and have more fun.

If you are working in a team then make sure to thank each and every team member for their contribution. Write them a note of what you value most in them and their work. Not only will it give them a warm fuzzy feeling, they’ll likely do more of whatever you wrote and improve their performance. Just use a plain card or one with a picture on it, rather than an actual Valentine’s card – you don’t want your staff to think you have romantic attachments!

If you are in a smaller organisation, do the same with your suppliers as they are your team too. What do they do that enables you to focus on your strengths and have a stronger and more sustainable business?

When it comes to customers, what could you do to make them feel special? Make sure  it’s not just a discounted offer but something free that’s genuinely of value. It doesn’t have to be a product or something that costs you. It could simply be a list of useful resources or an e-guide on a hot topic.

Highlight your top customers and send them a Valentine’s card explaining what you appreciate about them as a customer – perhaps how they are great to deal with, or even what they do for their customers that you think is wonderful. This applies just the same to internal customers.

With everybody, make sure to consider their Talent Dynamics profile or energy (Dynamo, Blaze, Tempo or Steel) and how they may prefer to receive this appreciation. Some would love for you to talk with them face-to-face or on the phone, others would prefer to see what you say in writing and could be embarrassed if in person.

In order to thank others, you’ll first need to truly consider their strengths and weaknesses and how these show up in performance. Are they in flow? What difference is each individual really making to business performance? How do they make your life, your team’s or your customers’ lives that bit easier?

This clarity on who delivers what kind of value and communication around it can deepen your connection with those that you work with because it builds trust.

This trust is vital In order to stand out in your marketplace. A sustainable career and business depends upon effective collaboration over the long term, whether a solopreneur or part of a multinational corporate.

The special bonus is that you get to feel good by making others feel good. Go on – make their day!



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