I had a good discussion yesterday that reminded me of the many ways that individuals approach their life’s problems and challenges. I was asked how Decision Driven® Life compared with the various personality assessment or profiling tools on the market. More on that later …
I have to confess that my exposure to these assessment models has been generally negative, in the form of over-zealous individuals who want to play amateur psychologist after they took the class, read the book or did the survey themselves. I’ve been pigeon-holed, sliced-and-diced, diagnosed-on-the-spot and written-off as “John’s is just a XYZQ” or some other bowl of alphabet soup.
Models are just models. In the hands of a competent professional, they can provide very useful explanation of behaviors or prediction of outcomes. It’s a fact that I’m an individual with tendencies, quirks and a natural bent toward certain behaviors and responses; understanding these can have some value. However, it’s 100 times more important that I am a thinking individual with a free will that can decide, then act on my decisions, regardless of my genetic wiring and predispositions. An ape or rat may be ruled by instinct; a human being can learn, grow and change dramatically.
For example, I’m an introvert that shuns the spotlight in any group setting. However, I’m also skilled at reducing complex ideas to simple forms that can be passed on to others. If I had accepted my natural wiring, I would have become like the >30% of individuals who have never spoken in public. However, because I believe that passing on truths, ideas, concepts and skills to others is exceedingly important, I’ve made repeated decisions to put myself on stage or upfront, teaching hundreds of classes to groups over the past 25 years. When I really believe in the message, I get lost in the challenges of helping others “get it”, helping learners to learn. I’m even working on my standup comedy routines (NOT!).
So a Decision Driven® Life is just that; decisions are the controls. I can decide, then act regardless of what some assessment tells me. My natural inclinations are constraints; they may limit my ability to do certain things easily and exceptionally well, but they don’t prevent from doing anything that doesn’t violate the laws of physics.
Assessment tools look inward and backward (to explain past actions); your decisions look forward and create your future. So use assessments to understand your own current limitations, but don’t let them stop you from doing what you really believe is important. And please keep them to yourself.