S’s in Business

August 18, 2015

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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This is third in a series on how your personality can work for you – or against you – in business. The series is based on the DISC profile assessment, which defines us in some combination of D (Direct), I (Social), S (Systematic), and C (Detailed). DISC profiles are a valuable tool, and I urge you to click here to learn more about how it can help you and your team get the best results possible in your business.


In the business world, the ratio of “S’s” to “D’s” is often about 7:1. There is a reason for this. While “D’s” are those who initiate the goals, it is the “S’s” of the world who carry out the process. It takes less time to give a directive than to create a plan and implement it step-by-step, so this ratio is necessary for productivity.

You’ll often find “S’s” in areas of technology, project management, and support. “S-wired” individuals are those who work quietly behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. Often leaders do not realize how much they do until they are gone because they make the “doing” look easy.

These are the strengths.

Now the downside to being an “S” is that you may come across as being laid back or “too nice to be effective”. So while you may be one of the most productive on your team, others may not realize it because you are quiet in your work. It’s a bit like the tortoise and the hare. You are a steady plodder in comparison to the quick dashing “D’s” and “I’s”, but you can often beat them to the finish line because you are also highly efficient. For the sake of not being overtaken by the extroverts, learn to walk a little faster and be a little more assertive. And be sure to keep your “D-wired” manager informed of progress at regular intervals.

If you are an “S-D”, you have polar opposite strengths. In a sense, this creates a good balance. As such, you can be the kind of leader who is easy-going and well-liked, and who keeps things moving. You also have just enough push to get things done at a good pace as well, and your team most often readily complies. One note of caution: be sure your “S” does not override your “D” in dealing with difficult employee situations.

If you are an “S-I”, you work best in a team environment. You are all about people and process, and many look to you as a trusted advisor. Be sure to set deadlines to keep things moving forward and engage a “D-wired” accountability partner to keep you motivated to finish. You will need to limit ideas to a quantifiable level so that processing does not go into overdrive.

If you are an “S-C”, your complementary strengths will serve you well. You have the ability to create and complete a quality project with great efficiency. You simply need to guard against two things: (1) procrastination at the start and (2) getting lost in the details before completion. You can do this by setting specific deadlines and having accountability to a system and those you serve.

To learn more about using your strengths to create a path to success for you and your team, click here or contact me. Helping you succeed in your strengths is my absolute passion!