WEBINAR: Leaders Are People, Too (*GULP*)

Untitled-1*Hogan Senior Strategist, Michael Sanger, facilitated a webinar hosted by Workforce on Tuesday, September 18. This post offers you a summary of the talk and the presentation in its entirety. 

Personality determines the way we lead. The way we lead determines our teams’ performance. And a successful organization is a collection of high performing teams that act in concert. Seems simple enough. So what’s the problem? In a word…humans.

Effective leaders, just like other working adults, are a bunch of grown-up children, only one or two DNA percentage points apart from Chimpanzees. So what differentiates these hominids from the rest of the pack? How are they able to navigate our complex matrices more adeptly than the rest, whilst consistently delivering results? Believe it or not, the prerequisites for advancement in a hierarchy haven’t changed all that much over the last million years (give or take a couple of hundred thousand).

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Relevant Management Consulting Partners with ICF Germany for Inaugural German Prism Award

Untitled-1Hogan distributor, RELEVANT Management Consulting, has partnered with the International Coach Federation Germany chapter to present the inaugural German Prism Award, awarded to companies making a difference in the coaching community through professionalism, quality, and data.

The selection process and criteria were modeled after ICF’s International Prism Award, which has been granted annually since 2005 to companies that stand out through the establishment of a coaching culture with extraordinary results in difficult change processes. Past winners of this prestigious award include Coca Cola, SAP, Airbus, and several other prominent companies.

“Partnering with the ICF to present the first German Prism Award was a perfect opportunity for us,” says RELEVANT owner, Dr. René Kusch. “At RELEVANT, we are fully committed to advancing the coaching profession, and this award is symbolic of that commitment.”

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Hogan Personality Inventory Receives Stellar Review from The British Psychological Society

BPS logoThis press release was originally published on Business Wire on Monday, September 17.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) has completed a test review of the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Assessments’ flagship assessment that describes normal personality. The 15-month process concluded with the HPI receiving perfect four-star ratings in the Documentation, Reports and User Experience categories.

“The Hogan Personality Inventory is a well-established personality measure, being one of the most well-known personality assessments globally,” according to the official report issued by the BPS. “There is a large amount of information provided by the developer/publisher, which is comprehensive and identifies the majority of the necessary information needed for a test user to evaluate the utility of the inventory.”

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The Value of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

RTMBTIThe Personality Brokers, Merve Emre’s interesting new book, is a kind of feminist treatise focusing on the lives and work of the two amazing women, Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers, who developed and promoted the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is the best known and most widely used personality “instrument” in the world. I never met the authors, but I knew pretty much everyone responsible for the development of the MBTI in the 1960s—both the critics and the proponents. It might be informative to reflect briefly on the pros and cons of this remarkably successful assessment product. In my view, there are five aspects of the MBTI that are positive and worth remembering.

First, the original goal of the MBTI is both worthy and honorable: It was intended to be used to improve the lives of working people by providing a rational basis for aligning people with jobs. It was designed to be used as a placement tool, a convenient and easy-to-use method for sorting employees in ways that maximized their happiness and the productivity of organizations. Who would not be in favor of maximizing individual happiness and corporate productivity?

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Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness: The Case of Florida Atlantic University Football


Sports are an excellent laboratory for understanding how leadership impacts organizational effectiveness. The criteria for success are clear and easily quantified (i.e., winning vs. losing). Moreover, frequent changes in personnel and leadership provide quasi-experimental evidence of how these factors play a role in success. In this essay, I consider the case of the Florida Atlantic University football program.

In the fall of 2011 there was a great deal of excitement in Boca Raton as it was the opening season for a brand new football stadium. The $70 million stadium seats around 30,000 people and is located in the heart of the campus. The season, however, was disappointing for FAU fans. The team finished 1-11 (1 win, 11 losses), dead last in the conference, and had an average attendance of 17,565 (ranking 103rd among its FBS competitors). The legendary Howard Schnellenberger, who had announced his intention to retire prior to the beginning of the season, stepped down as head coach.

The team did not fare much better over the next five seasons. Carl Pelini was hired to begin the 2012 season, but subsequently resigned midway through the 2013 season for alleged illegal drug use. Charlie Partridge took over for the 2014 season and recorded three consecutive 3-9 records before being fired in November of the 2016 season. One month later, FAU hired Lane Kiffin as the head coach of the 2017 season.

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How to Flunk Uber

Uber_logoDelia Ephron, a best-selling American author, screenwriter, and playwright, published an essay in the New York Times entitled “Ouch, My Personality, Reviewed” that is a superb example of what Freud called “the psychopathology of everyday life.” She starts the essay by noting that she recently used Uber, and the driver told her that if she received one more bad review, “…no driver will pick you up.” She reports that this feedback triggered some “obsessive” soul searching: she wondered how she could have created such a bad score as an Uber passenger when she had only used the service six times. She then reviewed her trips, noting that, although she had often behaved badly (“I do get short tempered when I am anxious”), in each case extenuating circumstances caused her behavior. She even got a bad review after a trip during which she said very little: “Perhaps I simply am not a nice person and an Uber driver sensed it.”

The essay is interesting because it is prototypical of people who can’t learn from experience. For example, when Ms. Ephron reviewed the situations in which she mistreated Uber drivers, she spun each incident to show that her behavior should be understood in terms of the circumstances—the driver’s poor performance—and not in terms of her personality. Perhaps situational explanations are the last refuge of both neurotics and social psychologists?

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Humility: The Antidote for Bad Leadership

leadership-styles-1024×682Popular wisdom will have you believe that a leader is someone who exudes confidence and charisma because they appear smart, interesting, and engaging. However, more often than not, these types of leaders wreak havoc on the workplace. A growing body of research suggests that humility is a far more important quality in a leader than charisma.

Organizations tend to favor people who “seem” leader-like. Individuals who are self-promoting, interesting, and politically savvy tend to get earmarked for promotion. These leaders know what it takes to get ahead and get noticed, and they strategically cater to audiences who can offer them power, influence, status, or access to resources.

Charisma is the elusive quality of being charming, captivating, and pleasant to be around. We are naturally drawn to charismatic people because we feel good in their presence. However, charismatic people also tend to have inflated views of themselves and their skills. They also tend to be more self-promoting than others. Too much charisma can make for ineffective leaders as their tendency to be narcissistic can alienate those working under them.

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Don’t Miss Your Chance to Get Hogan Certified in 2018

CertWith four and a half months left in the year, you still have time to get Hogan Certified in the US in 2018. Hogan’s certification and learning programs will equip you to leverage Hogan’s powerful assessment tools to solve critical business problems. Whether you want to select high performers, develop your high potentials, coach executives, or build stronger teams, the first step is to become Hogan Certified.

Hogan offers both Level 1 and Level 2 Workshops.

The 2-day Level 1 Workshop provides and in-depth understanding of how to use and interpret the Hogan Assessment Suite, offering a comprehensive tutorial of three Hogan inventories – Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI); Hogan Development Survey (HDS); and the Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI). Participants attending both days and successfully completing the Level 1 curriculum will be certified to use and interpret the Hogan inventories.

The 1-day Level 2 Workshop prepares the learner to apply more advanced feedback models, properly set the frame for a Hogan feedback session, create developmental action plans, and understand best practices for presenting Hogan data.

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Engagement — Who Is Responsible?

rawpixel-653764-unsplash*This is a guest post authored by Rob Field, Learning and Development Director at Advanced People Strategies.

Every business I know is working to measure engagement. After all, the difference between good and great lies in discretionary effort. Drive higher engagement and get better results. What could be simpler?

How to make it happen and where the responsibility lies is an interesting question. Often measured, evaluated, and benchmarked each year by HR through surveys – real ownership belongs to the line manager who can create a working climate where people enjoy contributing and feel valued. You can put anything you like on the walls about the corporate culture and ‘how we work around here’, however, it only becomes a reality through interactions managers have with their teams and how individual team members treat each other. That sets the culture, which determines the level of engagement.

We become engaged by what is important to us. Our values and motives, the things that drive us to act in particular ways. All of this can be measured, accurately. Supporting managers to understand their motives and values as part of their ongoing development is critical to their effectiveness as leaders.

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Does a Computer Know Your Personality Better Than Your Friends?


A few years ago, as I was standing in the bookstore, I heard someone on the radio talk about a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showing that a computer algorithm, relying only on the things you “like” on Facebook, makes more accurate judgments of your personality than your friends. If you heard about this study, it might have made you feel a bit squeamish. Maybe it even made you want to delete your Facebook account. In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, it is certainly reasonable to wonder just how much big data companies (like Facebook, Google, Verizon, or Visa) know about you. Having personally reviewed this study before it was published, I was not quite so concerned. Let me explain.

The study itself showed that aggregated Facebook likes (i.e., the things that you like on Facebook) can be used to predict self-reports on a personality test. Further, when the total number of likes is large enough, the aggregated likes show a stronger relationship with self-reported personality than reports from your friends, family, spouse, or colleagues. This was widely reported to indicate that computers make better personality judgments than humans. I have three problems with this conclusion.

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