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Branson vs. Buffett. Gates vs. Jobs. Many of today's top CEOs and corporate honchos share similar personality traits. Here are a few heavyweights and some insight into their personalities. Which leader of the pack you resemble?
Richard Branson is driven by fun and action, an Influencer, I type. The I type personality is extraverted and people-oriented. They're inspirational leaders and entertainers-charismatic, charming, social, playful, enthusiastic, confident, optimistic, energized and caring. Branson is a fearless risk-taker and daredevil. He makes quick instinctual decisions unhampered by data analysis. He hires the right people and trusts them, empowering them with freedom to be creative and innovative. He treats employees like family.
Warren Buffet is driven by a high need to be right, a Conscientious, C type. The C personality is introverted and task-oriented. Cs are often accountants and engineers. Buffet is analytical, a critical thinker, detail-oriented, conservative, risk-averse, quiet and private. He's controlled, even-tempered, objective, dispassionate, patient and diplomatic. He has very high standards, follows the rules and is perfectly organized. He picks good people and treats them with respect.
Bill Gates is a blend of two types, C and D. Most people are a blend of two types. They can switch types depending upon the situation. Gates, like Buffet, is a C type. Think geek-so introverted, task-oriented and socially awkward some people once thought he had Asperger's Syndrome. Gates also is driven by a high need to take charge and be in control-a Dominant, D type. The D type personality is extraverted and task-oriented, direct, self-assured, forceful, competitive, daring, decisive and risk-taking. On the flipside, Ds can be quick to anger and hard to work for. Gates has been described as aggressive, rude, sarcastic and impatient. The D personality type may break rules because he or she tends to believe the end justifies the means. Most leaders have some D dominant driver type in their profile.
Steve Jobs is a combination of three types: D, C and I. Like his nemesis, Gates, Jobs is a combination of D and C types. Jobs' C is reflected in his techno-geekness and drive for perfection. Jobs' D is reflected in his old reputation for leading with an iron fist-rough, tough, intimidating, aggressive, mocking, demanding, hot-tempered, egomaniacal, pushing employees to work hard-all potential downsides of D. Jobs is also an Influencer, I type, like Branson-visionary, charismatic, magnetic, persuasive-all I traits. Currently, Jobs is switching his leadership style to I type. He's people-oriented, asking for input and feedback, open to ideas and holding on to talent. He's becoming a consensus manager and team player and is transforming the corporate culture of Apple.
None of these leaders is the fourth type, the Steady, S type-driven by security and stability. S types are introverted, people-oriented, steady-paced, risk- and change-averse, loyal hard workers and team players you rarely see at the very top, but they're the type these leaders need to implement their visions.
Kathy Reed builds people skills and high-performing teams. www.workteamdynamics.com.