Self-Knowledge is Power

(for our Clients)

Let’s continue our discussion about the people who seek out the Barrett Group’s help in clarifying their career objectives and navigating the career change process. Knowledge is power!

As I’ve reported, our career change process begins, logically, with Targeting, and while title, compensation, geography and industry might suffice for some actors in this industry, we want to really understand our clients as people. Our Clarity Program© helps us do this by exploring personality, short term priorities, and long term strategic plans at the very outset of the career change process. More than 90% of our clients rate this Clarity experience as “Excellent,” so we must be doing something right.

So what kinds of people come to us and benefit from our services? Geographically, 95% are from the US, though the incidence of non-US nationals is increasing. We work all across industries and geographies, so there is little meaningful differentiation on these dimensions, but what about the psychography of our clients?

DISC Profile TBG Clients vs. the General Public

In a study of several hundred clients over the past year, we found some interesting perspectives. You probably have heard of the DISC profile (Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness, and Compliance). This is the instrument we use to help our clients understand the role of personality in career change.

People who exhibit more than 50% in their DISC scores are considered as “high” ratings, so a “High D,” for example, is a person whose dominance score is higher than 50%.

By a margin of 15% points, our clients do tend to be relatively High D versus the population at large. They are also relatively Low S (Steadiness). This makes good sense, because our clients are typically executives who are in a hurry to get results.

That’s why, for example, they see the advantage of the six-person team we assign each executive—we shorten their career change curve and allow them to focus on the truly value-adding aspects of their search.

DISC Profiles per DISC Style

High S by contrast are typically slow to change and therefore probably tend to stay in the same job longer than they should due to their personalities. This is conjecture, of course, but it seems reasonable and our data supports it.

People are not only High D or High S, of course, because everyone has secondary or even tertiary styles as well. High D and High I tend to be more extroverted, and we see a fairly strong correspondence in our client data that the High D’s have a tendency to also be High I and vice versa.

The High S and High C clients, however, do not show as much of a cross-correlation, though there is also a pocket of High C / High D clients, as well— people who are both detail-oriented and demanding.
We do not have the time or space here to go into the complete results of the study, but perhaps we should take a quick look at the relative short term priorities of our clients to see if these correlate in any way to personality.

Short Term Priorities per DISC Style

In the second stage of our Clarity Program© we look at four dimensions (Business Success, Financial Independence, Fitness & Health, and Family & Relationships) and ask each client to rate where they are and where they would like to be on each of those dimensions.

The chart at left shows firstly, that none of our clients rated Family & Relationships as the most important dimension. That is perhaps less surprising than you might think because our sample is heavily biased toward people focused on their careers.

Business Success is therefore logically the focus of all of our clients, followed by Fitness & Health, while Financial Independence rates a rather distant third on average. Interestingly it is exactly the detail-oriented and perhaps introverted High C (Compliance) type of client who places the highest priority on improving their Business Success.

And that is really not surprising because that is, in a nut shell, why people come to us in the first place.

If you are struggling to find that sweet spot where your life is balanced, prosperous, and exhilarating, maybe it’s time we talked about your career.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

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