Yesterday I took one of those personality type assessments that you frequently take at work, and for once I thought it told me something useful.
The assessment suggested our personalities are divided between four predominant focuses – clearing obstacles in the present, having a vision of the future state, caring about people and their skills, and collecting and analyzing data.
Some people were clearly one thing. I was sitting next to a warrior, who only cared about crossing things off his list, and across from a nurturer, who only cared about the people around her.
Unsurprisingly, I do not have a singular focus.
However, I was the only person in a room of two dozen who was primarily focused on the next steps. I’m a planner. I want to know how present actions will be reflected in the future.
I wasn’t only that. Right behind it was my path-clearing tendency – I consider what we can do now to get to those next steps, as well as my analysis-OCD – gathering information and data to get to those next steps.
You’ll notice a missing element: people. It turns out, in this particular rubric I’m supposedly not too concerned with others.
If there was any doubt in my mind about the validity of that assessment, you don’t have to look much farther than Arcati Crisis rehearsal. I’m always pushing to learn more songs so we can play longer sets, record video to add to our web content, add more harmony to make our songs more complex, or any number of other things that will transform us. I am fixated on the future state.
I want to get those things done, and I have my data to support why we’re doing them (in the form of song binders, spreadsheets, rehearsal videos, etc).
What I don’t do is ask, “Are you having fun?” It just doesn’t come into the equation for me. I’m having fun if the song sounded good. When the songs don’t sound good I’m not having fun. If that happened all the time I wouldn’t show up. I assume that about everyone else. And – whether they share my dogmatic future-focus or not – it’s true.
This week, the songs sounded great. I think we were all pretty happy.
It’s not that I don’t care about others. It’s that I assume that being on a team indicates interest, and the best thing I can do to keep you interested is to always be moving towards the next step in our evolution – which means doing great work in the present.
For being a band-leader, I think my personality fits me to a tee.