16 Personalities Type Testing

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If you’ve followed my blog, you know I have generally come out against most conventional personality type testing. While the results of such testing can be helpful in identifying the behavior tendencies in your work team, I am always cautious about the risk that we, as managers, have for putting people in tidy little boxes.

My campaign about this phenomenon comes from years of watching the the application of these personality type testing tools being used across large workforce’s. The result tends to allow managers to “cop out” with quick answers for why certain employees behave certain ways. Every time I have been subject of such a program at work, the facilitators have been true to their profession by warning about the proper use of such testing results. Yet when the symposium is over and the test results are in, I’ve seen too many managers use the data inappropriately.

On one hand, it could be called naive on my part to suggest that NOT using these tests will resolve the problem. Quite the contrary. I do find value in subjecting yourself to the personality profiling so that you can better understand your own bent.

That said, I have been introduced to an effective, online tool that presents you with results. Before I share the link, you may want to explore their statement of methodology. They claim to have administered over 39 million tests.


Here is the FREE link

I am sharing this information as a service to aspiring new managers and anyone else interested in taking a personality test. In full disclosure, I have no financial arrangement with 16 Personalities. Our introduction came through social media. I have communicated with them to gain permission to use the content and links as you see it here.

If you are a new manager looking for ways to improve your effectiveness, you might want to know about my book “The Uncommon Commodity:The Common Sense Guide for New Managers”. I will show you simple ways to make a difference.

Take the 16 Personalities test and enjoy its results.

Question: Leave me a comment and I’ll share my results. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Managers: Visionary vs Dreamer

Which are you?

Business leaders come in many different shapes and sizes. There are styles and methods. Some have a natural charisma and some not. Despite there being so many legendary leaders with so many different approaches to their individual commitments, I find one common thread.

That thread is vision. Having a visionary capacity is far different from dreaming. Dreams can give birth to ideas; they may or may not happen.

However, being a leader with a vision is powerful. Visionary leadership takes into account lessons learned from the past, current circumstances, and future projections. Then from that mix, the leader who is a visionary can formulate a new idea; a different way to go.


Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution. Bill Hybels
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=visionary
Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution. Bill Hybels
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=visionary
Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/billhybels402214.html
Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/billhybels402214.html
Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/billhybels402214.html

Steve Jobs didn’t merely build technology. He built a whole new human interface with the world. He and his co-founders laid the framework for applying technology in new and different ways to elevate the human experience.

Did Jobs’ vision make sense to everyone? NO! He was even ousted for a time as CEO of his own company. Yet when the momentum that had been driven by his vision flickered, he was brought back.

I don’t have illusions of being mentioned in the same breath as a Steve Jobs. But I have been coupled with very capable business leaders who may never make a front page headline or the 6:00 news. That is reality.

For every business titan who makes news, there are thousands of other business managers and leaders who make a substantial difference right where they are. You can be one of those too.

You can have a vision for your team, your unit, or your small business. You can be the visionary that grabs hold of a new idea and brings it to life.

Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution –  Bill Hybels

Being a visionary requires a few special attributes though. Here are the ones I’ve seen at work:

Clear Thinking

Visionaries seldom get side-tracked by details. Their minds maintain an uncluttered look at the world around them. Once a vision emerges, the visionary is able to communicate the vision to his/her team. Those discussions frequently begin with “What if..?”

Ability to Master Complex Thought

New visions are not always simple ideas. The bigger the vision, the more complex the details seem. The visionary sees the whole picture with great detail. Like an champion athlete who finds themselves in a “zone”, the visionary can be thinking about one aspect of their idea and quickly turn to another aspect without losing their place or confusing the details.

I’ve known visionaries who describe their idea as a large landscape canvas in their mind. All the details are carefully mapped out, each properly aligned with the other critical elements, moving in a perfect harmony. When a colleague asks about a detail, the visionary simply moves to that place on the picture and describes the view right there.


Once an idea takes hold, the visionary becomes determined to see it through. Failure along the way is merely seen as the process of eliminating solutions that are not the right answer.

5 Meditation Tips For Beginners

Guest Post Series 7/26

Have you considered meditation, but thought it was either too hard or too “out there”? Not so fast.

Here is an article submitted by one of my contributing writers.

Meditation is renowned for its benefits and there are all sorts of reasons now is the right time to start.


Those looking to begin would do well reading the information below. It can be a big help and really get you off on the right foot.

Scan Your Body

Our minds are always being distracted by all kinds of messages and thinking.  Therefore, it can be very challenging to relax and clear our minds.  There is one trick for getting rid of the mental side-talk is scanning your body so that it is in unison with your breath.

Begin with focusing on your toes and tell them silently to relax.  Next, repeat the process until you’ve scanned all parts of your body including your head, heart, arms, fingers, abdomen and legs.  By the time you have paid attention to your whole body, you might be surprised at how relaxed it makes you feel.


The word “mantra” is derived from two Sankrit root words. “Man” means “mind,” while “tra” means “instrument.”  Therefore, a mantra is when somebody makes some kind of repetitive vibration or sound, using either an instrument or their own voice to calm and soothe their mind.

A majority of individuals are aware of the word “om,” which is frequently used as a mantra.  However, there are a number of others as well.  The key is repeating the word or sound over and over so that you feels its sound and vibration course throughout your entire body.

Peaceful Music and Sounds

The sound and vibration of peaceful music helps you relaxes your mind, which makes it easier to reach a meditative state.  The key here is choosing music that is dreamy and soothing and ideally something that doesn’t have words.  However, if you would prefer to have words as part of your peaceful music, then it is recommended that the words have soothing and soft tones.

The volume should also be low enough so it provides more of a backdrop for things instead of being all-consuming.  In addition, be sure that your music doesn’t change significantly or end abruptly as you are meditating.

There are also a number of peaceful sounds that can help with meditation. Indoor Fountain Pros suggest an indoor fountain system. The trickle can really be a notable benefit for concentration and many find it very relaxing. Alternatively, chimes and other natural noises are also known to help.


Whenever you think of or see an alarming image, it results in your body being flooded with cortisol, the stress hormone, and it becomes on edge and alert.  The other side of that phenomenon is that through focusing on peaceful and calming images, it allows your body to have the ability to tap into your stillness within, which sets you up for meditation and relaxation. Those kinds of images are quite powerful for harmonizing the body and mind’s energy.

38758661 - deep forest waterfall

In terms of meditation, practice makes perfect.  Therefore the more you practice it, the more it becomes easier to move into a meditative and aware state.  In addition, try mediating regularly so that body becomes accustomed to it.  There is one thing you should do prior to meditating, which is to ensure that you are comfortable at all times.  If you aren’t comfortable, it makes it more difficult to achieve a state of inner peace and make it more difficult to relax.

Focus your awareness on your heart and brain

When a majority of people meditate, they have a tendency to just focus their awareness on their brains.  Whenever people do that, it means they are missing a critical element of the overall meditation process.  In addition to your brain, the other thing that is very important is your heart which can help you achieve that desired state of inner peace.

44957814 - concept of human intelligence with human brain on blue background

Focusing on your brain at first is among the most effective methods to help you achieve the desired state of mindfulness.  Following that, slow down the activities from your brain through relaxing and clearing your mind of distracting thoughts.  After you have achieved this, the next thing you want to do is bring your awareness to your heart and then relax your heart to allow your hear and brain to work in unison.

Focus your awareness onto a specific body part for a couple of minutes or even longer may be difficult at times. If you discover that you are having a difficult time with focusing your awareness, these 5 techniques can be used for helping to make your spiritual awareness stronger.

All uncaptioned images courtesy of 123rf.com

Great Leaders Don’t Set Out to Be a Leader

They Want to Make a DIfference

Seldom does an individual sense the call of leadership at an early age; as in “I’m going to be a fireman” or “I’m going to be an astronaut”.

“I’m going to be a leader” is not usually the designated path. People with innate skills and passions to make good leaders start out with a desire to make a difference. As the graphic says, “it’s not about the role, but always about the goal.”


I spent my early years pursuing a military career. It wasn’t because I liked war; quite the contrary. I wanted to make a difference serving my country. Without exception, the other military personnel I met and worked with had the same sense of purpose. They never wanted to GO to war, but they not afraid of the potential outcome should a war develop.

Starting a new business is seldom about making the money. It’s about making a difference. I know a young man, Jeremy, whom I now call friend, who opened a fitness program in our community. It is called Iron Tribe. The program is vastly different from the usual big box gym model. At the core of the Iron Tribe is the message “changing lives inside and outside the gym.” They live it, mean it, and above all, do it.

Jeremy and some of his coaches

Jeremy and some of his coaches

This Iron Tribe gym has opened its doors to community outreach, sponsoring blood drives when friends and family have needs, lifting up members who are experiencing tough times, and keeping connected with every member on a very personal basis. And it’s real. It’s not about the high pressure promotion to join. It’s about making a difference in each and every life. That is leadership.


Great leaders emerge from the dedicated effort to make a difference. As they go about their work, the sense of commitment, direction, and drive are recognized by those around them. Opportunities open up. Others begin to say “I want that person on my team”.

Why do you think it is that CEO’s with good records move across whole industries to take on new challenges? The proven skills that come from the commitment to make the difference become hot commodities.

New Managers

As a young, first-time manager, your primary focus should be to define the difference you can make. You may have been selected to be a unit manager without ever first wanting the job.

Now that the role is yours, stop thinking about how to be a better manager and start thinking about the difference you can make for your team. Leadership will emerge.

As you set about making the decisions needed to make the difference, your natural leadership tendencies will begin to take shape. Day by day, your leadership skills will evolve. Experience will become your best teacher.

When challenges arise (and they will), you can seek advice from those more senior, get a mentor or coach, and grow into the role.

Stay centered on the purpose for your role; the difference you can make.

For more ideas on ways to become a better manager, check out my new book “The Uncommon Commodity” I’ll show simple, common sense ways to build your management and leadership skill sets and grow your ability to make a difference.


Some quotes attributed to Lisa Haisha

How Do You Look at Opportunity?

Abhor, Ignore, or Explore

The decision to accept a new opportunity can be difficult. You may react to opportunities in one of three ways; abhor, ignore or explore.

Let’s call this a Decision Wheel. Whether it’s a new product, a new idea, or a new way of doing something, are you quick to react by jumping into one of these modes?


In order for you to have the most fulfilling success in work, life or faith, you must be aware of your natural, go-to mode when confronted with something new.

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The Uncommon Commodity : Common Sense Guide for New Managers (Charleston, SC: Palmetto Publishing, 2016)

I know Doug. He speaks with a servant’s heart and from an authentic manager’s real-world point of view.  A superb combination!
The Uncommon Commodity: A Common Sense Guide for New Managers” is your foot up against the competition. Step up. Now.

Rick Gillis
Careers Expert, Speaker, Author “PROMOTE!” & “JOB!

Cover-2I wrote The Uncommon Commoditybecause I believe new managers need to know that they are not alone. The challenge of taking on a management and leadership role for the first time is possibly the biggest career move anyone can make. Whether you were groomed for it or just thrust into the seat, nothing can be a bigger test than taking on this responsibility. After over 30 years in business management and entrepreneurship, I can promise you many of the answers come from pure common sense. Yet so many get tangled up in fancy program language that they fail to realize how easy some solutions can be found. In this book I use a story telling approach to guide you through common issues.


Doug has developed mastery in the field of management and leadership through years of hands-on experience supplemented by a desire to understand the best practices in these fields. With this book he is opening the vault of his own experience and insight so that others can benefit for what he has learned.  Take this guide and put it to work at once!

Cathy Nunnally
Nunnally & Company


I am so impressed by Doug Thorpe and the valuable service he provides. Watching him work, it is immediately clear that his broad array of business and interpersonal skills have come together beautifully to create an excellent product for those he serves. If you are looking for a coach to help you navigate the difficult waters of searching for new employment, Doug is definitely the person you should call!

Wes Avants
Executive Director, Physician Leadership Institute






Why Didn’t You Become You?

Continuing my Tuesday/Thursday series of guest posts, here are some wise words to ponder.

Brought to you by David Harder, Founder & President of Inspired Work

There troublesome aspects of change. Many people believe they cannot change. Or, they are so afraid of changing themselves they won’t take meaningful action. Finally, many people want to change but they don’t know how.

These seeming dilemmas are natural as we lay to rest a world where all that we did with are lives was spelled out for us.

The industrial revolution built a work world and a culture that was fixated on predictability and survival. For 300 years this is what we sold within most recruitment pitches. Predictability and survival is what many of our parents told us to pursue. In that world, change was a bad thing. We changed reluctantly when we got laid off.

I happen to have a unique vantage point that has given me the awareness that all of us can change for the better. All of us have the capacity to transform our lives. These are not new age ramblings, my viewpoint comes from observing thousands of people change in valuable and positive ways.

I began to experience the human capacity for change right after we launched Inspired Work in 1990. In our second month of business, one of the nation’s largest banks became a client.

After years of success and stability, the CEO was looking for ways to manipulate more value into the shareholder’s pockets. That plan backfired and the bank no longer exists. Thousands of their ex-workers came through our programs. Most of these employees had what they believed were “jobs for life.” Many of them came in wearing blue suits and stickpins with the bank’s logo.

Before the participants found new lives and renewed purpose, they had to navigate through the shock of having ten to thirty years of employment come to a swift (and often bitter), end.

Something happens in the program that moves me as much today as it did at the beginning. We continue to find that when someone sees how to move into their right path, that sweet spot that will bring them emotional, practical and spiritual wholeness, they go there.

One participant was a young man who had become a senior finance executive. He had grown up in a family of migrant workers and was the first child to go onto college. He had become wildly successful at the bank but now on that seemingly melancholy day, the truth came out. He had never felt passion about climbing a corporate ladder. He had always been in love with being out in the fields.

At one point he whispered,

“All I ever wanted to do was to grow things.”

Now, he was a role model in his community. How could he let them down? You see, when we start peering into our best life, the way forward actually appears like we have to go back. But, we cannot. The way forward is about taking all that we have learned and applying that to our best life.

I engaged our friend in a dialogue. He had been working in the real estate side of the bank. He had become something of a financial wizard. That conversation was the moment where he began merging his passion with all that he learned.

Today, he is a wealthy farmer growing premium lettuce for gourmet restaurants across the western seaboard. Not only does he “grow things,” he is a wonderfully sensitive employer and looks out, every day, at the life he is meant to lead.

Every single one of us has that kind of sweet spot and we either live it or live with the alternative.

In the years since, I have run into so many people who get laid off and they are too frightened to raise their standards. They come to me and request, “Get me another job, just like the one that paid the bills.”

We have our reasons for going there. Once again, we fear that moving forward is about going back. We fear that our responsibilities will not be fulfilled. But, the truth is that going forward is about becoming the person we really are, the person we are meant to be and the person that we have come to be. And, there is always a practical solution.

In the end, finding our right path is about finding the practical purpose of our souls.

Recently, we lost the Holocaust survivor and great philosopher Elie Wiesel. He once said,

“When you die and go to heaven, our maker is not going to ask, ‘Why didn’t you discover the cure for such and such? Why didn’t you become the Messiah?’ The only question we will be asked in that precious moment is, 

‘Why didn’t you become you?'”


Brought to you by David Harder, Founder & President of Inspired Work

Ways to Explore the Power of Your Mind’s Attention and Your Heart’s Affection

Find This Balance - Find Great Success

Nothing can be more powerful than the exact moment you harness the power of your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection.

Projects, life changes, new directions, and many other parts of our life can become monumental successes when these two dynamics come into perfect alignment.


“Have you realized that today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday? It is your responsibility to change your life for the better.”
Jaachynma N.E. Agu, The Prince and the Pauper

Let’s break it down.

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Where and What Holds Your Faith

Your Source of Leadership Strength

Faith is a delicate subject these days. There is so much debate being derived from the religious extremists’ assertions of faith.

I want to dial it down a bit. I want to get more basic. I want to talk with you about faith as an essential element of effective leadership.

Courtesy 123rf.com

Courtesy 123rf.com

Here is my argument.

We all exercise faith every day. We have faith that the chair we are about to sit upon will hold. We have faith our car will start. We have faith the air conditioning will work. We have faith the lights will turn on when we flip the switch.

If we work for a larger company, we have faith the paychecks will not bounce each payday. Faith tells us we can do certain things without fear of failure; crossing at the light, taking a bath in clean water, finding food at our grocery stores, etc.

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The Only True Leadership Is Values-Based Leadership

From time to time I find articles that are just too good to try to paraphrase or boil down. This is one such article.

Reprinted by permission from Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr.

My students told me time and again, “You should write a book!” Finally one of them handed me a transcript of my lectures that he had done and suggested I use it as a start.

As a clinical professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, I’ve been privileged to engage in many thoughtful discussions with my students about values-based leadership, and I saw that a book could take this crucial topic to a bigger and broader audience. And so I wrote From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership.

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