Business leaders like to think about expansion – more products, programs, events, facilities, operations, people, and ideas. It is often about more, more, more.
This is especially true after a downturn. There is a natural tendency to overcompensate.
But if all you and your team do is expand, it could have disastrous consequences, including team burnout, list burn, and customer perception of your sales desperation. If you are seeing increased opt-outs from your mailing list, this could be a sign that your customers are picking up on the overcompensation factor.
This is why every business needs both expanders and contractors.
In terms of DISC wiring (D’s are driven, I’s are ideators, S’s are systematic, and C’s are creators of efficiency), all are needed.
D’s will start with a result they want to accomplish.
Then they immediately will dive into tasks, because D’s are task oriented. “Now do this. Now do that.” “Now” is one of a D-wired person’s favorite words.
C’s will start with the end goal, much like the D-wired person.
But then…they will think.
Now, a D-wired person may see this as inaction. It can be frustrating because D’s are all about action. But if a D-wired leader will work with the C-wired thinker (with an agreed-upon timeline to prevent over-analysis), the C-wired person will emerge with a line of code or a process that will take the D-wired person from start to finish in exponentially less time and with all the details addressed.
D’s are the expanders in this case. They have great foresight as to what needs to be done.
And C’s are the contractors – the ones who create a highly efficient means to that same end result.
I’s are high energy leaders who are idea generators.
I-wired leaders could think of enough ideas in one hour to keep a whole team busy for a year. And once those ideas are shared, they are on to new ideas.
I’s also expect immediacy because they move fast and essentially, “spoken” equals “done.”
These are all wonderful traits for a business leader, and especially an entrepreneur. But if not governed by contractors, these traits can create havoc in business and lead to team frustration and burnout.
I-leaders need the balance of S- and C-wired individuals on their team, and the advisement of a D-wired mentor. The S’s will support their ideas and address the details needed to carry them out, and the C’s will create efficiencies of time and cost. The D-wired mentor will have the ability to pull the I-wired leader back into agreed-upon boundaries as they go out of the range of focus.
Which do you tend to be: an expander or a contractor?
It is important to know your tendency and to honor that strength. It is also important to bring in your opposite – or a group of opposites – on the team.
- If you are an expander, surround yourself with those who can channel your ideas and energy to a focused goal.
- If you are a contractor, add expanders to your team for new ideas and to drive your well-considered initiatives forward.
Business expansion and contraction. Like breathing, you need both in order to thrive.
For more resources on learning, working, and communicating in your strengths zone and through crisis, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communications Impact Report.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.