Hi all,

I've recently joined a UK tech company in a senior role, working for a CEO who has quite an unusual behavioural profile.

This person is a high 'I' (very good at sales/glad handing, and town hall meetings), and a high 'S' (openly exhibits great care for individual employees), yet also they display a couple of problem behaviours:

1) Vengeful 

The CEO gets quite bitter/very negative about staff who they feel are not doing their job or failing to deliver.  They have a very black and white view of performance.  From my perspective the organization is failing to brief senior staff properly on the role/mission and also failing to mentor staff on areas where they need guidance.  Worse than this, there is some evidence to suggest that 'failure' is caused by the managers having been brow beaten into doing things in certain way by the CEO. Later when stuff arrives and the CEO doesn't like it, the CEO has lost all memory of the fact that they were the main instigator of that outcome.

2).  Direct but superficial problem solving 

I've noticed a tendency for this CEO to be very direct in his problem solving skills but the outcomes to most of their interventions are very short term.  They have a tendency to brush over problems, fixing the issue for today but never really tackling the underlying concern.


3). Comparison to the old days

When complaining about manager/staff performance this CEO's conversations are peppered about comparisons with how they did things so much better in the old days when they were in the trenches.

My own relationship with the CEO is very good,  but given their tendencies I would be interested in gaining insight from other members about how best to work with such an individual.

By the way, some of the senior execs in this business have been candid with me about how they feel this CEO isn't the right person for the job.








mattpalmer's picture

Some of those behaviours (particularly the "Direct but superficial problem solving") sound more like high D behaviours to me (and I say that as a 7114...)  As far as relating, I'd go back to basics -- "mirror" his communication style a little; if he uses big gestures, stick some in of your own; if he wants to dominate the conversation, stick with him; if his e-mails are full of smilies, stick a couple in yourself (if it doesn't make you feel "dirty").

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

Agree with Matt that a lot of those behaviours sound very D.   Are you confusing his high I tendencies with some high S ones?  Both profiles are people focussed so there's overlap, but the S would be very reserved.

Also, Don't overlook the fact that a person can learn other behaviours in order to be effective - some behaviours may not be "natural settings" for the person.   For example, I had a CEO once who was a C/D introvert, but had learned how to do all the "High I" stuff in order to get the results he needed.     (Kinda like when you talk to a great public speaker who confides to you that they're afraid of public speaking - Toastmasters is full of those people, but they've learned to do what they need to do!)