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My life as a PI Strategist

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Hi there! My name is Ted and I’m a Strategist. I’m also the Director of Inside Sales at The Predictive Index. I’m responsible for sales from PI headquarters directly to businesses all over the U.S. I have the best job at PI because I get to help businesses solve their talent challenges in ways that inspire their people and allow them to flourish.

I lead a team of sales professionals who work extremely hard to help organizations with their business challenges. When it comes to personality styles, we are a tight group. This means that we’re all cut from the same cloth. We’re assertive, goal-driven, quick to connect with people, and willing to think outside the box. We can be loud and annoying sometimes, but that’s because we’re letting off a little steam or celebrating successes. My team is made up of other PI Reference Profiles: Mavericks, Captains, Persuaders, Promoters, and Strategists. Because I am a trained PI Practitioner, I can appreciate our similarities and differences and use it all to help everyone be their best and meet our goals.

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My behavioral pattern

The PI Behavioral Assessment essentially reveals where you fall on the spectrum of four workplace behavioral drives:

  1. Dominance: Dominance is the drive to exert one’s influence on people or events.
  2. Extraversion: Extraversion is the drive for social interaction with other people.
  3. Patience: Patience is the drive for consistency and stability.
  4. Formality: Formality is the drive to conform to rules and structure.

Here’s my pattern:

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My Reference Profile is a Strategist 

Strategists are results-oriented, innovative, and analytical with a drive for change. Although reserved and introspective in their communication with others, Strategists are authoritative while acting as the decisive voice of the bunch.

When I first learned about my Reference Profile, it resonated deeply with me. In fact, I was blown away! Questions I had about how and why I approach things a certain way suddenly melted away. As a Strategist, my highest drive is dominance. This can sound like a negative but it’s not a value judgment. In fact, it can be quite positive. It’s simply true that I prefer to drive change, create efficiencies, and hit goals. My lowest drive is patience. While this can manifest as impatience, it really points to my goal orientation and my sense of urgency in pretty much everything I do. In short, I thrive in fast-paced, goal-driven, people-centered, professional work environments, where we’re all focused on making things happen.

“I repeat a ‘people first’ mantra to myself daily, which helps me to balance my approach.”

Strategist coming through!

I’ve enjoyed sales for most of my career and I think my Reference Profile helps explain why I’m drawn to this type of work. I’ve always felt a great deal of passion and enthusiasm when helping people with a solution that will truly solve their problem. I’ve enjoyed significant individual success in sales and love to hone my craft. However, what I enjoy most is helping my peers to be their best and see them better able to help customers. My ability to drive change has allowed me to repeatedly find my way through challenging circumstances, despite the pressure. Also in line with my Reference Profile, I’m quite the multitasker, which means I love variety in my work. As the director of inside sales at PI, no day is the same and I love it that way.

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What’s intriguing about my particular profile is that my extraversion drive lands on the midpoint. What this means is that I am a situational extravert, or as some might say, I’m an ambivert. This means that I have the ability to pivot back and forth socially and analytically with relative ease. It just depends on the circumstance. Thanks to PI, I finally figured out why I could never answer for certain the age-old question, “Are you an introvert or an extravert?” Today, I can smile and say, “Both!” The same is true of my formality drive (the desire for rules and structure). This drive, too, is close to the midpoint. This means that when it comes to risk-taking, it depends on the situation. Sometimes I’ll go for it. Other times, I need to have all the facts.

As a Strategist, then, I am quite task- and goal-oriented, and with my particular Reference Profile, I can be deep in thought or quite talkative. And while I love data and facts, sometimes there’s just not enough intel and you have to jump in!

The dark side of being a Strategist

Like all Strategists, I face certain challenges in my work world. With my sense of urgency and drive, I can come off as intimidating, as my expectations are very high. I can also fail to appreciate the progress that’s been made and this can demotivate people. This self-awareness, while ugly, is extremely helpful, and allows me to stop, slow down, and reassess, remembering that I have an awesome team that kicks butt every day.

“Strategists would rather work on 10 things at once rather than on one thing 100% of the time.”

My profile also cautions me that I can be too assertive. That is, I can be so task-focused, I lose sight of important social matters. Knowing this, however, allows me to put practices in place. For example, I repeat a “people first” mantra to myself daily, which helps me to balance my approach.

How to work with (and manage) this profile

As a Strategist, I need my manager to provide me with both the big picture vision, as well as some framework for achieving the vision. Strategists don’t need a lot of hand-holding, as they are quite comfortable taking initiative and putting things in place. However, we do like a little structure upon which to build and a little encouragement from time to time to act on our ideas.

We thrive on variety, so bogging us down in mundane details for long periods will tax us. Strategists would rather work on 10 things at once rather than on one thing 100% of the time. Most important to me is that my manager and I have clear expectations and open communication. I like short, impactful check-ins, as there is a lot to do. I am so grateful that my manager is also a trained PI Practitioner. He gets me, accommodates to how I’m wired, and is the best manager I have ever worked with, hands down.

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When working alongside Strategists, remember, keep things moving. We have this intense drive to get things done quickly. And we are not the type to bend the rules; We follow direction and want things done the right way.

 “Now that I know my Reference Profile, I can celebrate the way I’m wired.”

I’ve always been fascinated by what makes people tick, and why they do what they do. I’ve studied leadership extensively. I even got a degree in comparative religion to understand what people believe and why. I’ve taken lots of personality tests, some better than others, but none provided practical information in my work world. So, while head knowledge and information is great, it wasn’t until I discovered PI and its incredibly accurate and actionable data, that I was able to see the real application and profound results.

Now that I know my Reference Profile, I can celebrate the way I’m wired. I can tap into my natural tendencies and bring my whole self to my work. I know what I thrive at. Furthermore, I’ve also learned to appreciate those who are different from me and how valuable they are to my team and work life. I can even laugh at myself when my natural tendencies go a little haywire, which allows me to quickly get back on track. I can also work better with others because I know where we will naturally agree and where we might butt heads.

Work is vital. Sounds simple, but without it, where’s the economy, fruitfulness, creativity, challenge—all the things that make life so awesome! I’m so glad to be leading a team that can help make work environments better, and in turn, can help make the world a little bit of a better place.

Man working on laptop

Ted is head of partner activation at PI. He homeschools his four kids, along with his amazing wife.

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