Every one of us is different and we all have our own personalities. Some of us really love noise, large groups and being around people, others prefer a quiet space and would opt to be on their own. But does personality really affect whether or not we can do our job and how we contribute to a team? Here, Nathan Ott, Chief Polisher and Co-Founder of The GC Index, tells us what business leaders can learn from the sporting world when it comes to making an impact at work.

The problem in many businesses is that we have been seduced by personality data for years. But this does not connect individuals and teams to organisational outputs and we don’t use it to make business decisions.

Personality tools have value and can drive understanding about an individual in terms of how they feel or may behave in certain situations which can of course be  useful. But when it comes to looking at how a team is going to make its best collective impact – whether that is a football team winning a cup final or an organisation delivering a transformation programme – data on people’s personality doesn’t really help in the first instance.

If you asked any business person how many business decisions they make on personality data, they will look as you as if you are mad, and they are probably right to do so. However, for the last 50 plus years the only data other than skills and experience (the typical CV) business leaders have had to make decisions about their people is a myriad of personality data or indeed their own intuition!

However, the professional sporting world has always focused on impact and personality has probably come second so it perplexes me why  the world of business and education are still so far behind.

There is so much organisations and education can learn from the world of sports, yet all too often we revert back to the way things have been done before. And sadly, most of the ‘tried and tested’ models that exist in the business world are way out of date – when you break them down you will see many do not support the diversity, equality and inclusion agenda and almost all of them fail to focus on the impact and contribution people can make to a team or organisation. .

I often use a football analogy. When Football Managers put their team together they don’t sit there and think I need a couple of  extroverts, a few ‘sensors’ and ‘feelers’ diligent, and someone who is reflective.

They will say I need someone who wants to impact the team by scoring goals or a couple of players who want to impact the team by defending goals, and so on. Yes they will want to work on  the players personality and focus but that is secondary. Start with impact and work back from there. It is a simple switch of focus that we need to adopt in the business world.

Ultimately in team sport we are looking at a collection of individuals to maximise impact depending on the situation in the game and the same is true of teams in organisations. Understanding how people make their impact should come first and personality second but in the business world this wasn’t and to some extent still isn’t happening.

Companies measured expertise, they had a process to measure experience and personality but the impact part was missing. Then The GC Index came along!

Here, at The GC Index we have created a simple formula:

Impact = Proclivities + Skillset.

This is the missing link – The GC Index® provides the language and framework to help leaders make sound decisions along each step of their journey. It gives people the tools so that they can individually and collectively make their best impact and contribution.

It’s this that should form the basis of business decisions about how all people can make their best contribution to the organisation and it is this that will help drive business success. Impact first, personality second!

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