Beware the Ides of March

You may not have realized, but March happens to be a very eventful month. Some noteworthy festivities this month include Mardi Gras (8th), St. Patrick’s Day (17th), Spring Break, Easter (some years), and the vernal equinox or first day of Spring (20th). Some lesser known, albeit random, contenders for March dates are: If Pets Had Thumbs Day (3rd), Multiple Personality Day (5th), Ear Muff Day (13th), Extraterrestrial Abduction Day (20th), and finally a holiday that seems to capture the theme of this blog, National Make up your own Holiday Day (26th).


Today March 15th, or the Ides of March, denotes the first day of the Roman New Year and first day of spring (also Roman). Historically, the Ides of March is also associated with the stabbing and subsequent overthrow of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.E. If you remember back to your high school English course, or visit Wikipedia, you may recall that Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate in a coup d’tat led by Brutus.

It is not a far stretch to correlate this story to a modern corporate organization. While there may not be physical acts of violence in the boardroom, the rules and players remain the same; specifically, Chairman is to Caesar as the C-Suite is to the Senate. Corporate culture in many Fortune 500 companies mirror this ruthless style and are defined by such mentality as “kill or be killed”; therefore, it is no surprise that organizational failure is driven at the top by self-interested leaders.

As a manager, or leader at any level in the business world, it is crucial to understand how specific individuals in your organization will compete in the corporate game. To this end, Hogan assessments can describe an individual’s day-to-day behavior (HPI), stress-induced derailers (HDS), and core motivators (MVPI). This comprehensive profile of an individual’s personality characteristics relate to business potential, organizational effectiveness, and the ultimate ability to predict job performance.

So the next time you are curious when an employee stumbles in the office late on March 9th or 18th, you can look to their Hogan assessment results to determine, with a high degree of certainty, whether or not they celebrated excessively (i.e. Hedonism, Mischievous, Tradition, Sociability). Unfortunately, for characters like Julius Caesar, there is no specific scale that captures propensity to overthrow as would have proven beneficial 2,054 years ago today. However, there are numerous scales that indicate if and how a person will make it to the top and that information can be just as invaluable.