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Posts Tagged ‘business’

DISC Holiday Gifts – Books That Help People Help Themselves

Monday, November 28th, 2011

It’s that gift-giving time of year again, and a great time to use the insights provided by DISC to help you choose the perfect books as gifts for the people on your list. Show your appreciation and support with a book that can help a co-worker or employee to improve in key areas to communicate better and raise their team’s productivity. Give your spouse the knowledge and tools to improve their performance and reduce their stress by giving a book that directly addresses specific areas targeted for improvement.

We at Data Dome have organized a selection of practical, targeted books and grouped them according to the specific skills and behaviors they were written to address. We have a section for development-oriented books as well as an entire selection just for addressing sales skills and behaviors.

To find just the right book for your friend, spouse, co-worker, employee, or even yourself, just visit the Data Dome Bookstore. We’ve organized an extensive list of recommended readings based on the many varieties of report results that are provided by our best assessment tools. You will find books on Coaching and Development – both for Personal Development and Team Development, as well as a book list for Sales Skills and Knowledge. Simply go to either page and look for the link to the section that fits the diagnosis or area of improvement that is the best match for the area the recipient wants to improve. For example, in the Sales section we have recommendations for First Meetings/First Impressions, Overcoming Objections, Prospecting/ Pre-Qualifying, Closing and much more. Or venture into the Development section where you’ll find links to recommendations for topics as diverse as Low Assertiveness, High Self-Control, Dislike for Structure, or Sparking Creativity – in fact, our book recommendations cover the spectrum of Working, Relating, Thinking and Decision-Making.

All transactions are made through our associate account with Amazon so your buying experience and delivery options are safe, secure and reliable.

These books and our assessment tools are a valuable resource for coaching and mentoring, as well as for personal development. We at Data Dome wish you and yours a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season and a New Year filled with growth and improved productivity and communication.

Salvaging The Sales Team

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

It is a question that has becoming more and more prevalent for business owners and sales managers, “Why isn’t my sales team performing like it used to?” Fingers get pointed here and there, people mutter about competition and the economy, but you start to suspect that the real truth is that some of the players on your team aren’t the performers that you thought they were. When the economy is strong or when a business has found a new and productive niche, it is easy for a sales team to hide its weaknesses. The opportunities are so plentiful that there is more order-taking going on than actual selling, and it is very difficult to distinguish who on your team is effectively applying and cultivating true selling skills and who is coasting on “low hanging fruit” that virtually anyone could close. Or consider the salesperson fortunate to have a plum territory that always yields enough results to meet quota., but might be an even richer vein to mine in the hands of a more capable individual – but who would know? And let’s face it, during the good times we don’t usual care to scrutinize these things so closely – we need bodies in suits out there closing the deals and if the numbers are there who cares how you get them?

And then, along comes a recession. In the last few years more businesses are seeing their sales teams underperform against expectations – realizing that their ranks are cluttered with order-takers who can’t find or close the deal in a tough economy. It starts to become clearer who is still able to bring in the bacon, but it can still be hard to tell who among the underperformers is truly a dud, and who can be salvaged.

When the economy sours a lot of the easy deals go away: the call-ins, the referral business, etc. Businesses see the fall-off in closure rates and some react by investing in expensive training and hiring motivational speakers to whip up the team’s enthusiasm, or take the “Glengarry Glenn Ross” approach to brow beat the sales team into better performance. However, these efforts can be wasted if invested in the wrong people: Anyone, practically, can take an order that has been called-in, but when those easy orders stop coming a real salesperson must have the skills and attitude to go out and prospect for new opportunities, listen to customers needs, develop the relationships, establish trust, qualify the opportunities and understand & execute the closing process. Knowing how to read the buyer and having the nimbleness to adjust accordingly become imperative.

So, if your sales are down is it just because the market is down or is it also due to the fact that your sales team isn’t as good as you thought it was? According to Herb Greenberg, Harold Weinstein and Patrick Sweeney of Caliper, “55% of the people earning their living in sales should be doing something else.” This startling conclusion was reached while researching for their book How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer: The Five Qualities That Make Salespeople Great. The team reached this alarming statistic by comparing actual sales performance data with the results of hundreds of thousands of assessments.

How does your staff compare? Any behavioral style can be successful at selling if they have the right knowledge and attitude: they need the knowledge to know how to demonstrate, prospect, qualify, listen, read the buyers, etc., and the need the attitude to adjust their communication style to the needs of the situation. Without the right attitude the knowledge is wasted, without the knowledge the salesperson is underequipped to do the job. This is where advanced objective assessment tools can be so helpful. Sales-specific tools quantify the salesperson’s knowledge in key selling skills and give objective insights into the individual’s attitudes. These tools are capable of not only identifying areas for improvement, but can also direct you to resources that are applicable to the specific problem areas found. This makes it easy for the manager to supply the salesperson with the means of improvement. If they want to get better at their job they now have the tools to do so.

Salavageability of the underperforming salesperson is ultimately determined by the attitude of the salesperson – willingness to learn and focused effort to apply new skills can turn around performance issues and strengthen weaknesses, but as they say “you can lead a horse to water…” If you supply prescribed information to target knowledge improvement and training that is customized to the individual and that underperforming individual refuses to take advantage of those resources then, well, the decision becomes very easy: dump ’em. Sinking resources into an individual without the attitude for improvement is wasted money and keeping a low, unsalvageable performer in a spot that could be occupied by a strong performer has a high opportunity cost. On the other hand, if the salesperson in question takes to the study and starts applying the new knowledge, the decision is again easy, in fact it may simply be self-correcting as the poor performer with the right attitude continues to attend to the identified weaknesses with the targeted resources for study and improvement. As skills and confidence grow, so will performance.

From a team development perspective the sales-potential assessment allows coaching and training expenditures to shift from broad-based generalized approaches to hyper-targeted surgical strikes on an individual’s problem areas – the one’s an individual is most likely to be motivated to work on since the training is highly applicable and the improvements are likely to come far quicker, than in a generalized “ground up” approach.

In tough economic times it is more important than ever before to separate the wheat from the chaff on your sales team. Objective assessment of skills and attitudes can help you prune the weakest links and salvage those with the attitude, if not yet all the skills, for sales success.

Only 37% of Sales Professionals are Consistently Effective

Monday, September 19th, 2011

In a slide show recently published by the Harvard Business Review, researchers Lynette Ryals and Iain Davies present some fascinating and eye-opening findings regarding sales effectiveness. Their study based on observation of 800 sales professionals in actual live sales meetings led them to conclude that only 37% of sales professionals were consistently effective in achieving results.

Their findings categorized the study group into eight classifications of behavior patterns: Socializers, Aggressors, Narrators, Focusers, Storytellers, Consultants, Closers, Experts. According to the study only the last three, Experts, Closers and Consultants, were able to deliver consistent results. Together these three groups comprised just 37% of the sample.

Also of interest were some data points that debunked some “common knowledge” assumptions about what makes a good salesperson. Conventional wisdom and sales folklore point to the socializing sales professional and the hard-driving aggressor as the desirable sales personalities, yet in this study these two groups were the bottom performers. The aggressors could occasionally have a big win, but their performance on average was poor, while the socializers would get caught up in the small talk and not keep the sales pitch in focus.

The authors noted that “a disproportionate amount of training is allocated to presentation and rapport skills, as well as the actual sales pitch” and therefore these skills had become commodified across the field.

We, at Data Dome agree that much of the focus of sales training tends to overlook behavioral issues and instead focus on closing skills and process methodologies. However, as this Harvard study indicates, behaviors are more indicative of sales performance. Hiring salespeople is often an error prone process filled with subjective decisions that can bring disappointing results – just ask the sales managers who hired the Aggressors and Socializers in the study. This is one of the reasons why we encourage the use of behavioral and motivator focused tools to identify candidates with high sales potential. Objective assessments eliminate much of the guesswork whether they’re used as a selection aid during the hiring process or as a development aid to diagnose specific behavior and motivator weaknesses that may lower an individual’s sales success potential. These tools can also be valuable in recommending targeted training for awareness and improvement in these areas.

Hiring Mistakes: Looks like a Lexus, Performs like a Yugo?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Every manager has done it at least once in their career – interviewed that polished, refined, impressive “Lexus” of a candidate only to find out later that when it comes time to do the actual job the candidate suddenly starts performing like a Yugo, the car that Car Talk called “worst car of the millennium”.

How do these hiring mistakes happen? How can a candidate look so good, so right for the role, and yet end up being such a poor match? Well certainly, every hiring situation is unique, however there are trends and research that can help us understand the weaknesses of the interview process and some of the common pitfalls of communication biases.

As we pointed out in our earlier post Hiring for Cultural Fit – Look Beyond the Résumé statistical studies have shown that “decisions based on interviews alone are accurate only 14% of the time. That means we have the chance to be wrong 86% of the time in the hiring of top performing individuals.” Michigan State University Study, John Hunter and Rhonda Hunter, “Validity and Utility of Alternative Predictors of Job Performance”, Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 96, No. 1, 1984, p. 90 (links to pdf)

In other words the interview process alone only gets the hiring recommendation right one out of seven times – not a great average. Without the use of other hiring tools to derive objective data it can be easy to be dazzled by a strong surface presentation – a confident manner, neat professional appearance, firm handshake, eye contact, etc. However are these attributes truly predictive of success for the job at hand? Most people feel comfortable with people with whom they share similar behavioral profiles, they also tend to see certain profiles as aspirational – a candidate who shares a similar behavioral style or projects one that the hiring manager believes themselves to be will have an advantage in the interview process similar to the salesperson who is able to establish instant rapport with a prospect who natural feels more comfortable and trusting of someone whose behavior patterns mimic their own. This can also be true of projected attributes for a given role. For example, an executive candidate may project the demeanor of leadership along with the refined, polished manner and eloquence expected of a leader, but may not necessarily have the behavioral style suited to the demands of that particular organization – the surface “paint job” may impress the board, but a slick “luxury car” appearance won’t help you if what your organization needs is a leader who performs with the behavioral metaphor of a tough, hard-driving off-road vehicle, or a practical, economically-minded mini-van.

The hiring manager’s own effective behaviors, or projected behavioral assumptions for the role, may not be the effective behaviors needed for success in the position being applied for: As an example a department leader who is both a people person and very decisive may need to fill a slot for an analytical role that requires high compliance and a comfort with working in an environment with low people interaction. Although a candidate that shares the high people orientation and decisiveness (and perhaps an equivalent aesthetic sensibility) may seem like an appealing hire, once placed in the performance environment the very attributes that made the candidate seem familiar, attractive and credible would become impediments to optimal performance. The disparity would inevitably lead to some form of disruption whether it be stress/anxiety on the part of the hire, poor performance of job duties, or some other team disruption caused by the mismatched assignment.

The use of objective tools can be indispensable in identifying the aptitude of a candidate for a given role. However, pairing this approach with identifying not just a functional job profile, but a behavioral profile for success will allow the interview process to have an effective “check and balance.” There are tools specifically designed to streamline the process of creating a behavior-based job profile so that you can make sure the candidate selected is closely matched for behavioral alignment, and therefore job success. Using assessment tools to both understand the behaviors needed for the position and the behaviors displayed by the candidate can help you choose a new employee who has what you need “under the hood” no matter whether the exterior looks like a Lexus or a Yugo or anything in between.

Sales and DISC Behavior – It’s Easy to Sell to People Like You

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

(but not necessarily easy to manage them)

As discussed in our previous articles, “Sales Hiring Mistakes” and “Sales: What Makes a Great Salesperson (for You)?“, businesses that can sell well tend to do well – so it is not surprising that there is a lot of interest in making the sales process more predictable. Yet try as they might, salespeople and sales managers are often puzzled as to why some deals seem to go like clockwork while others feel like endless uphill struggles. They blame the market, they blame the people, they look to the 80/20 rule and see that 20% of the people bring in 80% of the profit, but can’t determine how to reliably duplicate the effective ones.

Communication is often the cause at the root of sales successes and failures. The fact is it is generally easier to sell to someone who shares the same communication preferences, that has a similar behavioral style, as you do. Comfortable communication is an important factor in establishing the trust and credibility needed to create a sale. By default we all tend to approach sales communication from the old golden rule “treat others as you would like to be treated,” however that old expression overlooks the idea that “others” may not want to be treated, in behavior or communication, in the way that makes you yourself feel the most comfortable.

DISC opens the door for us to understand that the behaviors or communication modes that feel natural to one person may cause stress to another. With this insight we can amend the golden rule to say “treat others as they wish to be treated” and use this idea to build a better foundation for sales success. Teaching salespeople to recognize their own behavioral styles and those of the clients they interact with gives them the opportunity to adapt to a mode of communication better suited to the client’s need. As the salesperson’s skill in recognizing and adapting to the styles of others increases so will their ability to build trust and credibility in relationships that were previously difficult and puzzling. Although the salesperson’s natural behavioral style will remain their same they will learn when and how to adapt for better results.

Recognizing that people have different natural behavioral styles also helps us understand a mistake that is unfortunately quite commonly made by businesses: they take their best performing salesperson and promote him or her to sales manager. Consider that the track record of the person in question indicates that the behaviors demanded to be a top sales performer are well-aligned with their natural behavioral style. Does a sales manager perform the same behaviors? What would indicate that the roles are interchangeable? As an analogy would a pro football team promote someone to quarterback because they were a great receiver? Not likely – the skills, the reflexes, the behaviors wouldn’t fit.

Let’s examine a scenario from a DISC perspective to further illustrate the point. At Company X the top performing sales people tend to be people skilled at keeping people happy and emotionally vested while driving for quick decisions and buy-in that keep the process moving forward rather than slipping into stasis. Meanwhile the successful sales manager at Company X must assert authority and accountability to the team, following a strictly defined process to assure fairness in hiring, firing, and compensation systems while also tracking the endlessly detailed expense reimbursement process. In the language of DISC that successful sales person is exhibiting high I (Influence) and high D (Dominance) behaviors while the sales manager’s role requires a low I and a high C (Compliance) – essentially opposite attributes. An individual might be able to adjust temporarily to fit the requirements, but quickly the stress and energy drain of maintaining that adjustment so strongly away from the individual’s natural behavioral preferences will cause the situation to either erode or explode. Reverting to natural behaviors the ex-salesperson now manager in question starts to try to make the salespeople she is responsible for as happy as she liked to make the customers she used to interact with, she grows restless handling the details and uncomfortable enforcing the policy and procedures because her C isn’t naturally high. Simply put, the former star receiver ends up being a lousy quarterback through no fault of her own.

At Data Dome we specialize in using the science of DISC behavioral analysis to unlock the keys to better performance, improved team dynamics and creating the best fits for your organization to thrive. Contact us to find out more about training and tools that can improve sales performance while helping you understand the success criteria for different roles in your organization.

Hiring for Cultural Fit – Look Beyond the Résumé

Friday, May 6th, 2011

In a recent article in Fortune / author, Ethan Rouen, points out the importance (and challenges) of finding a cultural fit when hiring job candidates. We agree in general that attitudes, motivations and behaviors are highly important as predictors of a job candidate’s long term success in an organization, even more so in many cases than the surface description of skills and experience found in a typical résumé. However we feel that the author may not be aware of all the tools and best practices that have been developed to assist hiring managers in gathering data to make critical hiring decisions that encompass corporate values and cultural considerations.

The author refers to a source, Brian Kropp from Corporate Executive Board, as saying, “The use of psychometric tests to gauge a candidate’s fit continues to increase in popularity, especially in Europe, Kropp says. These tests are a somewhat more scientific way to measure something that is, in reality, immeasurable.” This statement seems somewhat contradictory and unintentionally misleading: there exists many tools backed by scientific study and years of field usage that are able to measure and provide profile data for such diverse concepts as behavioral styles, attitudes, and motivators. Although there is no single assessment that encompasses such a broad concept as culture, the use of multiple assessments can provide reliable data to make far more informed decisions regarding the cultural fit of a given individual.

The source, Kropp, also points out that “some companies are providing detailed information about the company and its culture in the postings” in an effort to provide the information required for a job candidate to self-select on cultural fit. The author makes the point that some candidates will try for a job even though they know they are not a cultural fit. This certainly correlates with findings such as those from executive recruiters Christian & Timbers, which found in a survey of 7000 résumés that 23% of executives misrepresented their accomplishments. However, we think it is also important to note that without the use of any objective tools to measure these factors, a candidate may simply not know whether they are a fit or not, and that there may also be times that the company is the one providing an unrealistic portrait of their actual culture due to either lack of true understanding or a deliberate attempt to paint a rosier picture of the working environment in the hopes of attracting better candidates (or indeed a blend of both of the above).

Perhaps the most troubling point in the article is again made by way of a quote from Mr. Kropp, “‘The best way is not to test,’ Kropp says. ‘Like people like to spend time with like people. That is where networks come in.'” This can actually be a dangerous approach for companies to take. In fact, we consider it to be the #1 hiring mistake due to an increased likelihood of creating unbalanced teams. For organizations to thrive they require a diverse set of skills and behaviors. While some cultural consistency may indeed come from a network-sourced approach, this must be counter-balanced by objective measurement and strategic selection to make sure that the behaviors and attitudes needed to get the needed work done haven’t been glossed over in an effort to simply find people who get along. As an example an employee tasked with recruiting from her network, who also happens to be a people-pleaser by nature, might be overly biased toward other individuals who share her people-pleasing habit. This might seem innocuous at first, however, it could lead to a misfit if the position to be filled is in fact better suited to a candidate with, for example, a less people-pleasing disposition and a higher emphasis on compliance such as a role that involves enforcement of rules and procedures even if that sometimes means making unpopular decisions.

At Data Dome we do believe highly in the importance of looking beyond the résumé data to more deeply understand the attitudes and motivators that are vital to success, however we disagree strongly with the notion that testing is unable to provide vital information for making hiring choices, not when objective and well-respected tools are available to take guesswork out of the selection process. Using these tools and approaches we’ve reduced turnover in some positions by as much as 75%, and turnover costs are just the tip of the iceberg: companies can suffer profoundly from the hidden costs of eroding morale, miscommunication, and poor productivity that can fester in these situations. Assessments, when used properly, have proven their effectiveness and dependability in matching candidates for lasting organizational fits. Studies have shown assessments to be 4 times as effective as information derived from the interview process, which is typically only between 12% and 20% useful:

“Most people are still hired on the basis of an interview alone. Statistics prove that decisions based on interviews alone are accurate only 14% of the time. That means we have the chance to be wrong 86% of the time in the hiring of top performing individuals.” Michigan State University Study, John Hunter and Rhonda Hunter, “Validity and Utility of Alternative Predictors of Job Performance”, Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 96, No. 1, 1984, p. 90 (links to pdf)

Building a hiring strategy based not just on pre-employment selection, but also developing a foundation of understanding behaviors, motivators and attitudes throughout an organization will reap substantial long term benefits in reduced turnover costs, stronger team development, increased morale and overall productivity.

Sales Hiring Mistakes – Experience isn’t Everything

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

If there is one truth in business it is that you won’t stay in business if you don’t make sales. Every single day businesses struggle to unlock better sales performance and hire the best salespeople, but unfortunately all that training and screening doesn’t always get you the results you want. Why? To understand this let’s explore some common sales hiring mistakes:

Mistake #1 Over-valuing sales experience.
We love to see the president’s club mentioned on the resume, but it is dangerous to assume that past sales success will mean that the candidate will know how to sell your line of products or services. Simply looking at the sales performance numbers won’t tell you about the type of customers that salesperson was successful with nor the sophistication/complexity of the product or service sold. Looking at numbers without context won’t help you find a candidate with the right behavioral match and communication style required for successful sales at your company.

Mistake #2 Not hiring inexperienced people.
There are no statistics that show past sales success alone to be predictive of future success. A sales “newbie” is likely to be more receptive to the training you provide, with less need to unlearn approaches that may have worked while at a different employer, but are no longer applicable due to the changed circumstances. Hire for behavior and attitude first, aptitude second and experience last.

Mistake #3 Hiring based on old criteria.
Even when sales are faltering many companies will continue to hire salespeople based on the same old criteria typically established during a more successful “heyday” period in their past. The business landscape is always shifting making it necessary to adapt hiring criteria to those changing circumstances. Why would you bring in new people selected with the same criteria as your current team when that team is now underperforming? Hire for the future not to recapture a past that no longer exists.

Mistake #4 Hiring all the same type of people (just like you).
This isn’t just true in sales, it is a common problem in all areas of business. We fill teams with people like ourselves because they make us feel comfortable, but the real world is full of people with diverse communication styles and a range of behavior profiles. Salespeople tend to perform better when their behavioral style is similar to the prospective customer’s, but unless all your customers happen to fit the same profile, you’ll be missing out on your team’s overall sales potential.

Mistake #5 “Bumping” a top salesperson to sales manager
We’ll be expanding on this mistake in a future article, however, it is not uncommon for organizations to either take one of the best salespeople they already have or bring in someone with a great selling track-record and “bump them up” to the role of sales manager. Unfortunately this is all too often a mistake because many of the behaviors, reflexes and attitudes that work so well for the sales process are not necessarily desirable as a manager. Similarly, managing sales people requires behaviors that are not necessary for success in selling. Although every scenario is different, one common example is simply taking someone who is happy having independence, self-direction, mobility and a high degree of interpersonal interaction in their sales role and suddenly putting them in a position that requires spending the majority of time confined to a desk filling out reports and prepping for internal meetings. It is an abrupt behavioral shift and one that will be difficult to sustain.

Awareness of these common mistakes can help you build a more effective sales hiring process. We can help you learn to identify the behavioral and attitudinal criteria that are better predictors of sales success. We also offer behavioral based sales training that can teach your new hires and your “old guard” how to recognize communication preferences and adapt their own behaviors to build trust faster, lower resistance, and close more deals.

Improving sales performance requires educating your salespeople and improving their ability to recognize and adapt to behavioral and communication styles that may not match their own. At Data Dome we specialize in using the science of behavioral analysis to unlock the keys to better performance, improved team dynamics and creating the best fits for your organization to thrive. Contact Data Dome for more information on developing hiring strategies and for training that opens the DISC Doorway to Better Sales Performance.

DISC profile – “Delivering Happiness” with(out) a High D?

Friday, September 10th, 2010 is one of the most fascinating business success stories in recent years and an interesting DISC profile story too. CEO Tony Hsieh has helped lead this maverick company to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually prior to being acquired by Amazon for approximately $1.2 billion. That’s serious business, but along the way the company has also built an incredible culture that counts humility and weirdness among its core values. Sound strange? Perhaps, but that strangeness has landed on the list of Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For.”

So who’s behind this success? Recently Tony Hsieh released his book, “Delivering Happiness“, which is part autobiographical and in part an explanation of the company’s culture and how it got that way. Tony comes across in the book as a highly family oriented and service oriented individual. His DISC behavioral style is hinted at as his tale progresses from childhood experiments in entrepreneurship (and avoiding piano practice), to college dorm life, early success and frustration with Link/Exchange, to the loft years and into the growth of Zappos, certain themes emerge: a chronic habit of gathering a close, tight-knit group of friends – essentially an extended family – and a taste for pranks, bucking the system and choosing his own way of doing things.

Is Tony a High S?
The book seems to support the idea that Hsieh’s DISC profile would indicate a High S: In college his friends gathered around his dorm stayed very tightly knit – long-term stable friendships throughout the college years and into the twenty-something years. The loft Tony bought after selling LinkExchange was a deliberate attempt to mimic the “Friends” style of a clannish group of friends. He even talks quite positively about how moving the company to Las Vegas created a more insular environment for his employees – knitting the team together since they worked and socialized together due to the move. This is not the gregarious friend-making of the High I DISC profile, but a more stable and family-like drive. employees are referred to as “family” throughout the company website, there is a strong promote from within element in the culture, which reinforces this, and some of the senior employees were Tony’s friends from the loft days and earlier ventures. He definitely has a High S behavioral bias toward long-standing stable relationships.

Is Tony a Low C?
Again the book supplies ample evidence that Tony’s own DISC behavior leans away from a compliance orientation: playing pranks on his boss is an early sign, as was quitting the job at Oracle, pursuing untested business models, valuing people’s good judgment above building layers of process and procedure. Even the preface of the book has Tony thumbing his nose at his old English teachers as he describes how he deliberate wrote the book in plain language, rather than adhering rigidly to proper grammar. Later in the book he inserts an email he sent to his employees to answer questions about the then pending acquisition by Amazon. It is clear in the tone and humor of the note that although he must comply with SEC “quiet period” regulations, he is doing so only grudgingly, since his bias is to communicate openly with the Zappos family.

So, what about his D?
Now this is an interesting question – clearly the young entrepreneur has a lot of the drive and decisiveness associated with a High D’s DISC behavioral style: an early example is abandoning his childhood greeting card business after the first sales call to a neighbor. The instant he stopped believing the business would reach its goals he dropped it. Contrast that to a critical point in’s history when it was in a cash-crisis – because Tony still believed in it, he didn’t hesitate to make a bold decision to sell of his assets, even his beloved loft, to keep the company alive. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro speaks to his goal-orientation. Many decisions seem to have that decisive, goal oriented quality – moving the company, dropping the outsourced warehouse they used briefly when they couldn’t outperform’s own warehouse.

Is Tony anti-D?
Tony Hsieh isn’t afraid to pursue an objective or making a firm decision, but he is also noted for being personally highly service-oriented – not domineering in the least. He talks in the book about his fascination with rave culture during his twenties and how he embraced the rave term PLUR, which stood for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect.’s hiring practices are interesting too – there is strong design to bring in cultural fits – many candidates who were otherwise capable have been filtered out by the process for not being humble enough, bucking the “common wisdom” that star performers must be ego-centric, High D DISC profile employees and that they are necessary to build business growth.

Delivering Happiness” is an interesting book about an amazing company, and Tony Hsieh the author and leader will make some readers rethink the DISC behavioral style attributes necessary to build organizational success.

Align to Thrive returns October 6th

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Data Dome and Alignment at Work, Inc. are once again teaming up to deliver our popular Align to Thrive workshop.

This session, which will be held on October 6th, will show you strategies that, despite the uncertainty of economic and market conditions, can help strengthen businesses and increase profitability.

Organizational Alignment is an empowering concept for realizing full business potential. An aligned organization is a fine-tuned machine driving forward with focus, discipline and responsiveness to customer values.

In this workshop, through theory and practical application, you will learn new tools to measure and achieve organizational alignment. Simple, intuitive and quantitative measurements can show you how well your organization is aligned to your customers? and employees? constantly changing needs. This is the vital data needed to make the critical decisions for success.

You can find more detailed information and request your seat by visiting or calling 404-814-0739.

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