The DISC Model for Business Systems

October 17, 2018

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The DISC Model for Business Systems

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Every business needs systems. And every business needs people.

Therein lies the conflict.

There are multiple tools and systems for everything from accounting to marketing to production. Thanks to technology, there are myriads of mind-boggling, deer-in-the-headlight options.

And, of course, every person has preferred methodologies for how they organize and do their work. This is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. In fact, what appears to be a disorganized system to one person may be quite organized for the one using it.

If you have ever had someone organize your office or desk, only to lament, “I can’t find anything now!” you may be one of those.

In an organization with access to unlimited systems and employing tens, hundreds, or thousands of people, how do you create a system where the work gets done – with speed, innovation, efficiency, and quality?

You apply the DISC model.

First, let’s look at how the four personality types do their work – their strengths and weaknesses. And then, for each, how they can find a solution that works as they work with others.



You are a take-charge leader. You see what needs to be done and immediately take action. If someone is in need, you are the first responder. Yours is a very direct and mechanical approach. You note the start date, the finish date (which is usually close to “immediately”), download a rapid-fire list of tasks, and assemble your proverbial army of talent to tackle that list.

It won’t be perfect or pretty, but you get the ball rolling faster than anyone.


Though you move fast, you could actually slow down the process by using mechanical means when technology would be faster, or by involving too many people in a project, which can result in duplicated effort, chances of error, and added costs. You may also miss critical details that create problems, which take added time to fix.


Do what you do best: Take action, determine the “what,” and delegate. Reach across the aisle. Partner with those who are S- and C-wired to address the details and create processes for keeping things moving. You communicate the “what” and let them amaze you with their propensity for figuring out the “how.” This keeps you from being bogged down in details.



Of all the personalities, I-wired individuals move the fastest. You see a new idea and are off in a new direction. You see a need, and your arm impulsively rises to volunteer your help. You keep things fresh and innovative, and when it comes to marketing, you tend to be the frontrunners for success. You have amazing abilities for connecting with people.


As a fire-ready-aim kind of personality, you may end up expending a mass of energy…in the wrong direction. Spreadsheets are your Kryptonite. And anything that demands compliance feels like a straightjacket, so you avoid it to your peril. You may create a trail of unfinished projects and chaos. Your first solution to any problem is to “get more people involved,” which may actually create more chaos and slow progress.


Your best options are related to your best strengths – interacting with people. But that may mean being more strategic in your connections, realizing that sometimes the way to move faster is to do less with focus and to engage with fewer people on each project.

You would do well to partner up with a D-wired person who can help you direct your energy and efforts toward a focused goal. Partnering up with S- and C-wired individuals will also help you channel the energy flow and ensure you address important factors like quality and compliance. The more innovative you are as a leader, the more you need a grounded team to support you.



Your movement is ironic. Though you appear to move slower than your extroverted counterparts, you move quite efficiently and can outpace them in the end. You are not likely to initiate an action, but you are usually the one the extroverts engage to ensure it actually gets completed. Your strengths of detail and efficient organization help keep things moving, all while saving time and cost. When it comes to initiating action, they shine; but when it comes to process, you are both fast and smooth in execution.


You may hesitate to push back or push forward where you see the need. If there is a problem, you may procrastinate on dealing with it. You may feel overpowered or overwhelmed by the D’s and I’s and attempt to go along with their methodologies, when in fact, they would prefer you guide them on process.


Be you. Extroverts come to you because you ensure their ideas and goals are implemented. They want you to take care of the details and keep the process running smoothly. Absorb their ideas and tasks, but apply your own methodologies to keep them moving. Understand their party, but don’t join it. They need you to be their complementary partner. Adjust your speed upward just a bit to keep pace, but maintain your harmony. Speak up and push forward where it is needed.



C-wired individuals are like still waters – they run deep. When you are presented with a problem or a project – unlike your D-wired counterpart whose first move is to take action – your first move is not to move at all.

First, you think.

You analyze.

You ask, logically and methodically, “Where are we now? Where do we need to go? And what are the three main things we need to do to get there?”

Of all the personalities, yours is the most direct – from Point A to Point B – with no detours along the way. If allowed to come up with a plan, it will come in on time, under budget, and with high quality.


Your initial thinking phase could feel like a stalwart to the faster movers on your team. To your I-wired team members, it could feel like you are shooting down or questioning every new idea they have. And your stillness can be exasperating to your action-oriented D-wired team members.

You also like to be your own authority on matters. While you have usually earned the right due to your expertise, it can come across as rigid and isolated.


Communication. Let your leaders and team members in on your thinking. The fact is, no one can see inside that genius mind of yours. Train yourself to communicate some of your thoughts before you normally would do so. This allows others to see progress and know that you are working on an effective solution.

The other side of the communication coin is to listen. While you do know your subject matter to a high degree, listening to the ideas and thoughts of others may add perspective. Incorporating their ideas with yours is a win-win.

Give yourself an analytical deadline. Thinking is a favorite pastime of yours. Because of this, you may spend more time thinking than you realize, and, in doing so, hold up progress. As a C-wired individual, your thoughts are definitely needed. If you would just offer them up sooner and strive for progress and not perfection, the work would get done and done well.

Since both D’s and C’s think in bullet points, share your thoughts and progress with your D-wired team members in this fashion. This is common ground.


Work together with your team to identify an adaptable toolbox that fits all needs – easy to use, direct, creative, connected, and thorough. Those possibilities are out there. Then use those agreed-upon tools in a way that fits your personality as an individual.

In matters of people, be your best you and allow others to be their best selves as well. The ideas above, if applied, will create a highly engaged team that gets things done – and done right.

To learn more about how you can create a team that gets things done – and done right – click here.

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.

When you have a strong team that collaborates well,
you have a competitive advantage.

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