Welcome back to our series on the eight most common personality types found in the Hogan suite of assessments. Over the past seven weeks, we took an in-depth look at Rebels, Marketers, Proletarians, Congenials, Overachievers, Networkers, and Misfits. In our eighth and final week, we take a deep dive into the Preppers personality profile.
Preppers are rare, only making up approximately 6% of the working population. Their Hogan profile is highlighted by very low scores on Affiliation, Recognition, and Power with above average scores on Tradition and Security on the MVPI; low scores across most of the HPI scales with the exception of an average score on Prudence; and high scores on Excitable, Skeptical, Cautious, Reserved, Leisurely, and Dutiful on the HDS, with an exceptionally high score on Cautious. See Figure 1 below for the full profile.
Figure 1:Preppers personality profile
The Reputation of Preppers
We had eight Hogan consultants with a combined 82 years of experience provide independent, written interpretations of the Preppers profile shown above. Some of the words our experts most frequently used to describe Preppers were “self-critical,” “emotional,” “follow,” “careful,” “risk,” “stability,” and “predictable.” Additionally, we examined the workplace reputation of Preppers by drawing on Hogan 360° data gathered with Hogan distributor Peter Berry Consultancy.
Colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates said Preppers build trust and loyalty with other, are polite and considerate, avoid double-standards, and produce high-quality, error-free work. At the same time, Preppers’ work colleagues also said that they are not very competitive and driven, lack passion, energy, and assertiveness, and do not think long term about new opportunities. In other words, Preppers are dependable employees who have a strong desire for predictability and stability but are not seen as hard drivers pushing others for results.
Our job performance archive also provides insight regarding how Preppers are perceived by their supervisors: bosses give high marks to Preppers for focusing on quality, working hard, and being dependable. At the same time, they give Preppers low marks for managing conflict, inspiring others, attracting talent, and building teams. To summarize, Preppers are defensively pessimistic, motivated by fear, and seek out environments that are stable and predictable. They are introverted, but effective employees when they can keep their emotions under control.
Common Careers for Preppers
Preppers prefer careers where they can find stability and work with limited social interaction. Like Misfits, they prefer jobs with limited oversight where they can complete their tasks unmonitored and they tend to be most successful in jobs with clear instructions for performance. Preppers also do well in roles where the goal is to detect potential threats, pitfalls, and safety issues. Our data show Preppers are overrepresented in the military as well as in admin/clerical and technician jobs.
Preppers are underrepresented among executive job roles, likely because they fear the risks associated with high-profile roles. We also find that Preppers are over-represented among samples of remote computer workers, which is a good fit for their interpersonal style and their preference for predictability. In popular media, characters such as the Nick Fury (Marvel), Craig Middlebrooks (Parks and Recreation), and Rex (Disney’s Toy Story) are prototypical Preppers — dependable, organized, and prepared for the worst.
Advice for Preppers
If you are Prepper, you should recognize that many people are less cautious and more comfortable taking risks than you are. You tend to proceed with a safety-first attitude and like to be prepared for every possible scenario. Your colleagues may see you as overly worried about bad outcomes and as someone who delays projects unnecessarily. As a result, you may prefer jobs where you can work at your own pace with few deadline pressures.
In leadership roles, you will want to carefully review all reports and the details of all possible decisions. Your staff may see you as prone to slow decision-making and as a logjam slowing down processes for the entire organization. You will have to work hard on your delegation skills, and it will be critical for you to hire employees who you can trust and empower to make decisions without you. On the bright side, your business unit will be well-prepared for disaster scenarios.
How to Deal with Preppers
If your boss is a Prepper, you should realize that he or she will have a hard time coming to decisions quickly. You will want to be sure to cover every possible scenario and detail in your reports because your Prepper boss will be ready to ask about them. The only way you will get your plans through will be by out-preparing him or her. Pressuring your boss to move decisions along will likely only make things worse, resulting in your boss locking him or herself away to “deliberate.” However, if you frame your arguments in terms of improving safety or future security, your boss will be more inclined to act quickly.
If any of your employees are Preppers, recognize that these people will have a strong preference for predictability, stability, and clear work assignments. They will prefer work where they can operate at their own pace and that emphasizes quality and getting the details exactly right. While Preppers are hard-working and dedicated, they also tend to second-guess themselves and will be slow to commit to any course of action. Your most challenging task as the supervisor of a Prepper will be keeping his or her fear of failure in check and not letting delays bog down the larger team.