I came across this post in the Executive Assistants Mastermind – KW Mega Teams Facebook group which asks about the DISC profile:
I’m a Director of Operations with a High S. The more I grow into my position, the more I seem to require a higher D. What books have you read or inspiration have you found to increase your D?
I think this is a fascinating subject because I saw a similar change in myself as I evolved from Executive Assistant to a Chief Operations Officer.
It’s helpful to know that a CS or SC personality will often act like a D when she becomes familiar and comfortable with her job and environment. Once she takes ownership of her role and is empowered by the leader, she often develops D tendencies naturally.
You must also realize that change has to come from within. You have to want to become something you are not currently not.
When I first began my career in real estate, my results were a high C, a high S, an I right on the 50 line, and a super low D.
Nearly 13 years later, my graph looks like this with a natural style of 99 C and 81 D:
How is it that my natural D went from very low to currently sitting at 81?
The D characteristic is defined as being driven, assertive, and strong-willed. My D is pretty much defined as being result-oriented, enjoying challenging assignments (not challenging people; there’s a difference!) and being decisive.
First, I simply quit caring what people thought about me. Their opinions of me are none of my business. What matters is results. And I’m not talking about results at any cost. I’m talking about win-win results. The kind of results you get from giving a high level of customer service to clients and to the team. What good is it if everyone on the team is comfortable and content, but there are no results to show for it? That’s when I learned that I can have high expectations for people and it didn’t matter if they grumbled and complained a bit. They got great results and made great money.
Second, once I figured out my place on the team, and I got the fundamentals mastered, it was natural for me to seek out more challenging assignments. I like being comfortable (which is my S), but I don’t like being bored. That has prompted me to continue learning, growing, and challenging myself to bigger things. And that’s why I’m eager for our team to grow in our member count. Every new team member is an opportunity for me leverage something I’ve mastered and take on something new and exciting. For example, I’m still processing incoming listings. Since we’ve hired a listing agent, it’s no longer my job to communicate with the sellers until they are ready for their house to come on the market. Once we hire a listing manager, I’ll give up the job completely, and perhaps take over something like the bookkeeping side of the business.
And finally, the true change came when I hired a transaction manager and gave her all the contract-to-close duties. I believe that of all the admin positions on the team, this is the one that is the most reactive and it’s the part of an executive assistant’s job that is at the whim of everyone else’s needs. In leveraging those duties, my role became way more proactive. Time blocking finally made sense for me because I didn’t have nearly the amount of interruptions I had before. That also meant I had more time on my hands to think things through and make decisions. It doesn’t take me long to make a decision anymore. I can quickly gather facts, make an assessment of what needs to be done, and pull the trigger without remorse or second-guessing. This skill only came when I had the space to think by leveraging away the transaction duties.
I read a lot of personal development books as my method for becoming results-oriented, desiring challenging assignments, and becoming decisive. I highly recommend starting with The One Thing. The key to this book is to work at it until you’ve internalized it. That means you’re going to have to read from it on a regular basis. Weekly or daily in fact. The message is simple: get fiercely protective of the time you decide to dedicate to accomplishing your highest priority. Notice I said fiercely. That’s D language. You must learn what it takes to drive yourself toward results. Live this book and I promise your D will rise.
In conjunction with The One Thing, you can start accomplishing more than you think is possible by changing your mindset from annual thinking to 12 week thinking by reading and implementing the concepts in The 12 Week Year. Every October, real estate teams everywhere are talking about what they want to accomplish in the follow year. Stop it. This book teaches you how to condense what you would normally do in 12 months and instead gets you to do it in 12 weeks. It’s a game changer. What I’ve learned is that to increase my D, I had to have a sense of urgency; a do-it-now attitude. When you only have 12 weeks to accomplish a big goal, you don’t have time to be indecisive and confused. You take a week to map it out and you spend 12 weeks working on it. Done and done.
My last book recommendation for improving yourself and increasing your D is The Success Principles. The subtitle is How to Get from Where You Are to Where you Want to Be. You can’t get anymore obvious than that! It really is a handbook for how to succeed no matter what you are trying to succeed at. This books offers stellar advice and if you pick one chapter at a time and mastered the concept, you will definitely become the type of person who is results-oriented. There are 67 principles in the book, and if you mastered one a month, it would take you five years and seven months to master them all. I’ve been an admin in real estate for nearly 13 years and even if you discover that you’d rather work in another industry, these principles are well worth the time investment.
I suggest you get the hard copies of these books rather than the e-book versions. When you have a hard copy, you can highlight the sections that are most meaningful to you and you can write notes about how the concepts apply to you in the margins. Then you can flag the pages and go back to those sections to remind yourself what was important to you.