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Personality Testing Case Study

Business owner turns to personality testing to reduce turnover Following your gut can get you in to trouble. That’s the lesson Mark Shelton, co­-owner of Strategic Print Solutions of Hiawatha, a managed print services company, learned recently when it comes to hiring. Tired of the hire-train-turnover cycle, Shelton wanted change. “It’s expensive, it really is,” he said of the constant turnover. “I knew that if we wanted to morph our organization to one headed for greatness, we needed to bring more science into the art of the hiring process, ”Shelton said. That’s when he called business consultant Rena Striegel with Empowered Business Strate­gies of Cedar Rapids, who suggested personal­ity testing to determine whether a candidate is the right fit for the position and the company’s culture. “They had a real need for a specific level of sales person in an industry where there is a lot of turnover ,”Striegel said. “I challenged them to find sales people who would fit in to the culture of their organization. You can hire the greatest salesperson, but if they don’t fit into the company, you’ll find they won’t stay.” First, Striegel tested Strategic Print Solu­tions’ management team using the Winslow Assessment. The personality test—created by the Winslow Research Institute (www.winslowresearch.com)—tests24traits, such as coachability, self-confidence and assertive­ness. Next, Striegel developed profiles of other positions, including salesperson, by having all 21 of its employees take the test. While the company’s management team eas­ily agreed to take the test, it took some persuad­ing for other employees. “We told them it would help us understand how they are wired and how they could best grow and prosper in their career paths and it would help us make sure we have them in the right position,” Shelton said. Turns out some people weren’t in positions that best suited them and some adjustments were made, he said. “We feel we have the right people in the right seats and the bus is heading in the right direction,” Shelton said. The result? “Our turnover is way down,” Shelton said. But trusting the science wasn’t as easy as Shelton thought. After spending time and effort to test and develop a personality profile of the sales person position, he was tempted to hire someone after a good interview without having the person take the test. Striegel urged him to wait and make sure that what they saw is what they would get. Turns out the person Shelton wanted to hire didn’t score well and didn’t take rejection well, which didn’t fit what they were looking for at all. “It was a great exercise on hiring on the likability factor,” Striegel said. “People want to hire people who they like, but people who sell are pretty good at selling themselves. They come across as likable and so you assume they can do the job.” Shelton said he’s a believer now. “The profile was a lot more insightful than the interview process,” he said. “We’ve avoided a number of hiring decisions that would have been costly and could have been disastrous.” Striegel said the likability factor still plays a role in the hiring process, but it shouldn’t be the main consideration. “You still get to hire who you like, but you want to make sure that the people you do hire can do the job so you can continuing liking them for a really long time,” she said. Striegel offering the following tips when hiring: Striegel said that people try to influence the computerized test, butt he test detects incon­sistent answers and will invalidate the results and require the candidate to take the test again. About a third of people who take the test an­swer inaccurately, she said. Striegel said the profiling she did for Strategic Print Solutions benefitted job candidates because she sat down with candidates and went over the personality profiles of the management team so the candidate would know who they would be working for. “It allows you not to guess what kind of an organization you are walking into so candidates can make good decisions, too,” Striegel said Shelton said the cost was worth it because it saves him money in the long run. “To hire the wrong person and put them through the training program and then put them out in the market and find out it’s not the right fit is not productive. By the time you catch it and stop the bleeding in our industry, the wasted cost could be as much as $30,000 to$40,000,” he said. He said “hiring Striegel to conduct the personality testing and review the results was a small fraction” of that. It’s been a very powerful tool, Shelton

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How to Build the Perfect Batter

Originally published in GQ Magazine, September 2006 EVERY SPRING, 500 or so amateur players receive an e-mail from the Winslow Research Institute of Discovery Bay, California. “They’re told that the Major League Scouting Bureau has requested we contactthem,” says William Winslow, the company’s president, “because several baseball teams have expressed interest in them, and the teams will not consider drafting a player unless they have a report on his personality and attitude.” For thirty-eight years, WRI has produced and analyzed that report— called the Athletic Success Profile—and some 70,000 amateur players have completed it. Since the beginning of baseball, scouts and managers have regarded the hunt for great sluggers as an almost mystical search. But it’s just dawning on the game that the future Ruths and Bondses and Pujolses will be discovered by rational scientists—and soon even steroids will seem quaint. On a sweltering summer afternoon in 1921, Babe Ruth belted a home run deep into the bleachers at the Polo Grounds, then took a car down Broadway to a laboratory at Columbia University, where two grad students in the department of psychology prodded and poked at him for three hours in an attempt to figure out why he could hit so many more home runs than any other person on the planet. The researchers’ equipment was state-of-the-art, circa 1921: a Hipp chronoscope, which they attached to the Babe’s bat to calculate its speed; a kymograph, which they connected to tubing strung on his torso in order to record the rate of his breathing; and a tachistoscope (a sort of slide projector with a shutter like a camera’s), with which they measured how fast his eyes reacted to stimuli. In all, they ran the Babe through eight tests on six different scientific apparatuses, and the results, published in Popular Science, were “a revelation” that showed Ruth’s “coordination of eye, brain, nerve system, and muscle [to be] practically perfect.” Even The New York Times got in on the excitement, touting the Ruth experiments on its front page of September 11, 1921: RUTH SUPERNORMAL, so he hits homers. Today the Popular Science account reads as a slightly laughable mixture of hero worship, hype, and sham science. But the magazine did make one suggestion that, eighty-five years later, is more relevant than ever. “If baseball-club owners…submit candidates to the comprehensive tests undergone by Ruth,” the author wrote, “…

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Winslow Reports Predict Employee Success

The most valuable asset of most organizations is their employees. Losing top employees can literally sink a company — particularly a small business where every employee is critical. The Winslow Research Institute (WRI) has a professional opportunity for qualified people to market and administer behavioral assessments designed to help management: Winslow Reports have been around for more than 40 years. Most WRI clients are small and medium-sized businesses, but many (such as Oracle and BART) have thousands of employees. Winslow Reports are also used by most major coaching companies for programs by Zig Ziglar, Steven Covey, Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki and others. WRI’s Athletic Success Institute division has used similar Profiles to assess potential draft picks for Major League Baseball for 35 years, the National Hockey League for 15 years and both the National Basketball Association and National Football League for scattered teams over the last 39 years. WRI founder William J. Winslow knows the value of assessments personally, having used them in two companies — as founder and CEO of Qualitron Corp. and as VP and general manager of Litton Industries Advanced Circuitry Division. Litton was in trouble because the former general manager left, formed a competitive company, and took key personnel and customers with him. “I took over a sick division,” Winslow said. “The first thing I did was perform an assessment of everyone under the roof and use testing to rebuild the corporation. “I give the lion’s share of credit for the turnaround to the effective use of personality tests.” WRI Consultants offer three personality Profiles and Reports to their organizational clients: This business opportunity is 100 percent Internet-based and clients are able to administer assessments, download results, and perform many other functions in their own offices. Since Profiles can be used for all sizes and levels of employment, Winslow said, the market potential is unlimited. WRI consultants have clients ranging from a few employees to those with thousands of employees. The Reports also practically sell themselves. Consultants utilize a unique marketing concept in which they provide “live” one-hour demonstrations using the Internet, telephone, and Web-conference systems. At the end of the demo, Consultants offer their prospects two complimentary Winslow Reports on employees of their choice. Clients are usually so impressed with the accuracy of the Reports they sign right up. Closings are in excess of 50 percent and typical orders are in the range of 50-200 Reports. WRI provides its consultants with all the training they need to be successful, including a three-day live training event, three one-hour Webnet conferences and a comprehensive training and reference video library. Each Consultant is also assigned to an Elite Consultant who is responsible for initial training and continued mentoring, training, and support. Elite licenses are available by invitation only and are gleaned from the best of the existing Consultants. There are two consultancy levels — outside of Elite Consultants — in which a person can become involved. Director Consultants market the Winslow Reports to end-user organizations. Executive Consultants market to end-users and are also authorized to build a Network of Director Consultants to market the Reports. Since starting the consultancy distribution program 10 years ago, WRI has recruited 100 Consultants in the U.S. and 14 abroad. Currently, hundreds-of-thousands of Winslow Reports are sold annually. Successful Winslow Consultants were formerly business executives, managers, management consultants, retired military officers and salespersons with educations ranging from high school to the Ph.D. level. Many are counselors or coaches who use the assessments as an “add on” to their other services. Consultant licenses cost $14,900, with no monthly or annual fees with a gross profit margin or at least 50 percent. Note: any pricing is stating the price as it was in 2007 – please contact us for current pricing

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Building A Great Team

Dave Anderson announces: TWO Great NEW Services to help BUILD your TEAM! SERVICE #1: The Anderson Automotive Profiles For years, I’ve written and spoken about the importance of predictive testing to evaluate employees and determine whether they are wired for the work you need them to perform on the job. The costs of hiring the wrong person are devastating! Training, motivating, and coaching someone without a talent for the job at hand is a colossal waste of resources. In fact, in my hundreds of consulting and training presentations over the years, the biggest mistake I see dealers and managers make is investing in people who shouldn’t be on the payroll to begin with, or are in a role they are not wired to perform. Thus, I’m excited to announce that I have collaborated with the Winslow Research Institute to create The Anderson Automotive Profiles. The Winslow is the highest regarded and most complete profile on the market today. They have tested for talent the past 35 years. Currently, the highly regarded Winslow services: Working together with the Winslow Research Institute, we have customized the profiles by changing a full one-third of the traits used to best fit the needs of our industry. This highly specialized partnership has resulted in the Anderson Automotive Profiles. Let me introduce our three assessments that address every job at your dealership: Added Value: Eric Samuelson, President of Management Development Institute, and who heads our partnership with Winslow, also has an extensive background in the automotive industry, speaks our language and under­stands the demands of each job in your dealership firsthand. Thus, I am proud to be able to offer you not only the best profile on the market, but the most relevant analysis and coaching advice to fit your business. If you are currently using an employment assessment system, I strongly urge you to review the criteria tested for and make certain it is 100 percent relevant to the job at hand. One size does not fit all, which is why we offer three classifications of profiles specifically for the automotive industry. Special Note: One very popular profile used widely in the automotive industry is actually illegal as a hiring tool since it measures candidates in the abstract rather than against specific traits of their job. The Anderson Automotive Profiles exceed E.E.O.C. requirements in all facets. A few more thoughts to consider: SERVICE #2: The Anderson Coaching Network THE CHALLENGE: The gap between what an employee does and is capable of doing is devastating to your bottom line and can make the difference between surviving and thriving in this economy. It can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars and months of valuable time to replace an employee and get a new one up to speed. Wouldn’t it make sense to spend a fraction of that to develop or save those you already have? THE SOLUTION: After months of planning, training, and organizing, we are proud to introduce The Anderson Coaching Network, which is designed to both develop your high potential employees and salvage those who are struggling. The Anderson Coaching Network offers highly trained and certified coaches that can customize a follow-up program to work with your employees after they are profiled and interviewed with The Anderson Automotive Profiles and develop their strengths while managing their liabilities. Everyone, regardless of income or position, can benefit from the objectivity, counseling, and accountability of a coach. These highly trained and certified coaches know the right questions to ask, have the objectivity to give unfiltered feedback, and the credibility to earn the confidence of your employees. I have held out for an extremely high standard of professional coach to represent our philosophy, our name and serve our valuable clients. Your employee will be enrolled with one of our professional coaches for a series of telephone coaching sessions that provide direction, feedback, inspiration and accountability. This professional will be your employee’s personal coach throughout duration of the coaching sessions. 7 or 10 session packages available. We look forward to partnering with you in the development of your precious human capital. Don’t delay! Make the call and start your team on the road to greater results today! After all, the improvement of your bottom line is tied directly to the improvement of your people.

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Sharpening the Saw

Like most people who endeavor to improve their skill sets, knowledge, and overall performance, I was confident that I was sharpening the correct tools needed for advancement. Further, in working with my sales team, I felt I had a well-honed view of where they were as individuals, and a firm handle on our sales team as a whole. This was until I met with Mark Lillis, one of the Certified Consultants of the Winslow Research and Development Institute. In layman’s terms, the Winslow Assessment is a 200 question diagnostic tool that quantifies and qualifies an individual’s personality and work related traits. Individual traits are scored, and then like traits are grouped into four quadrants. These scores and an overall single score can then be “overlaid” and measured against the “backdrop” of different qualities needed in different positions. For example, in the sales profession scores would be compared to the different traits needed for success in different sales positions such as inside sales, outside sales, sales management, sales director, etc… Individual scores can be compared to many other professional “backdrops” as well. Individual strengths, and more importantly individual weaknesses can be assessed, and processes to strengthen individual weaknesses can be implemented. All of this is provided in color charts and graphs via email, and then individually briefed and debriefed either in person, or via conference call, by an expert at Winslow. What is even more compelling is that the individual scores of a sales team can then be grouped, creating a group score, and from this combined data many interrelated group management issues can be seen, forecasted, and improved upon. Again, the application steps of how the group functions, and steps to improve group functionality can be formed. Again, the group dynamic can then be charted and graphed, and briefed by a Winslow expert. WOW! I must admit that as an individual, prior to Winslow I was working to improve my strengths not my weaknesses. And while I am proud to say that I was partially correct in my group assessment prior to Winslow, as a team leader, I am now much more effective in working with my team. Now we each, as individuals, understand because I understand more clearly how my weakness affect them. While I am sure there are many personality and group work related testing vehicles out there, and this is NOT a paid commercial for Winslow Reports… sometimes an outside view is needed to create clarity. Why waste time sharpening an already sharp knife, when it is your saw that needs sharpening?

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Effective Leadership Development: The Choice Is Yours

With increasing competition, advances in technology and science, and more challenges in the marketplace, leadership has become unquestionably vital to the success of any organization. Change is now our constant companion at an ever increasing rate of speed. In response, a growing number of organizations are investing more time and dollars to educate, train and develop their leaders. As Jack Welch stated during his tenure with GE, “The day we screw up the people thing, this company is over.” So what does it take to be an effective leader? Are you one of them…can you become one? In the nature vs. nurture debate over whether leaders are born or whether leadership can be learned and developed, an overwhelming amount of research now supports the latter. As Peter Drucker states, “Leaders grow, they are not made…Leadership is…the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” By understanding the personality traits of a successful leader and knowing where you are on those traits, you are in a good position to manage your behavior in a way that enables you to provide the right kind of leadership for any situation. Let’s look at the leadership challenges facing the following three individuals and see how they might overcome their normal limitations. Jim has always been extremely achievement-oriented and has excelled at most of his endeavors. This allowed him to rise quickly through the corporate ranks, and he is currently in a very enviable position with a bright future. So what is the problem? Well, Jim feels “tight” inside on a daily basis. He micromanages his staff and snaps at his wife and kids. He continually has to “rise to the occasion” when he is called into spur-of-the-moment meetings and when he is required to make presentations with very little forewarning. Because of his good organizational skills and keen product knowledge, things usually turn out okay. However, he is churning inside. And no amount of exercise, vacations, or martinis seems to quiet this feeling of fear. Why does he feel so insecure? Why can’t he be content? Could he handle another promotion if he got one? On one hand, Jim probably has low Self-confidence, low Composure, high Control, and low Contentment traits, which contribute to his pessimism. On the other hand, he also has high achievement-orientation, high Sociability, and high organizational traits, which enable him to frequently land on his feet. Over time, however, his continuing feelings of restlessness, insecurity, and angst will more than likely contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, depression — or just lousy relationships and constant fear of failure. Is this what life is all about? Celeste has extensive education and experience in technology. She has excellent programming skills and knowledge. Her background has allowed her to provide impressive results under extremely tight deadlines. All this hard work, time away from her family and friends, and excruciating stress is finally paying off: Celeste gets promoted to Team Leader for a special new development project. Deadlines are tight — but that is nothing new! Six months into the project, Celeste is feeling exhausted, frustrated, insecure, and angry. She is short-tempered with her team members and even more so at home with her family. Her days seem crowded with an endless string of meetings, and yet nothing seems to get accomplished. There are meetings to discuss how to start, meetings to clarify expectations, meetings to resolve conflict, and more meetings to schedule meetings. Dealing with team members is increasingly difficult — some need too much direct supervision, and others are completely uncooperative. Celeste is working more, enjoying it less, and wondering if this promotion was all it was cracked up to be. She longs for the “good old days”. You see, the same personality traits that helped Celeste excel in the technology arena — her organizational skills, attention to detail, independence, and the ability to work well with “things” rather than “people” — enhanced her ability to succeed as a programmer. She was promoted because of her excellent ability at that job – but not this one. Now in order to excel as a Team Leader, she needs to utilize or develop the traits that are required for this new career role. These traits probably relate more to interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, assertiveness, optimism, and self-confidence. Dave is outgoing and enthusiastic. He breaks most sales records, and his clients love him. He is constantly meeting new people and always quick to mention the benefits of the products he sells. He is an absolute “selling sensation,” and in no time at all, he is promoted to Sales Manager. WOW — less travel, more time with his family, more golf — plus more time to catch up in the office. This is great! However, three months into this new role, Dave’s behavior is driving his co-workers, family, and friends NUTS! His incessant talking and his constant presence feel like micromanagement to his sales team. They can’t get their calls made because he is always hovering and “coaching” them with specifics on how he would handle each particular situation to ensure that the deal would get closed. Dave starts to feel corralled. He doesn’t feel the same sense of satisfaction from his new role. His success seems more dependent on the success of those he is managing, and he isn’t sure he likes that. They aren’t selling as well as he could. What is he going to do? Well, Dave is probably high in traits relating to Sociability, Boldness, Exhibition, Self-confidence, optimism, Endurance, and Nurturance. All of these traits might be vital to sales success but may not be as helpful in everyday environments where you are overwhelming your co-workers and smothering your family and friends. Dave’s inability to work alone causes him to call more and more meetings just to have social interaction, and sales quotas are suffering as a result— even though the low quotas are what they are meeting about! It seems that the Sales Manager is disrupting his team’s time

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Window On Winslow

The Barbados Light & Power Company Developed in 1968 by William J. Winslow of the Winslow Research Institute, the Winslow Profile has been used extensively throughout the United States. On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Winslow Development Programme (Winslow) in the Customer Services Department, we reflect on its use and impact on the lives of eight employees who have undergone the process. The Company is looking into opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the training it provides for its employees. The effects and behavioural changes resulting from some of the various training programmes are short-term and staff’s commitment to the requisite change is limited. In addition, training requirements are not clearly identified and certain programmes do not target the specific areas of need. In order for the Company to meet the future challenges it is likely to face, it will have to develop a cadre of self-managed employees who are able to respond to the growing needs of its customers, sometimes independent of their supervisor. The Winslow Assessment and Development Profile is seen as a programme which is likely to address some of the concerns in the areas of individual/group development, training and profiling. Profiling is a method of determining whether prospective recruits possess the kind of personality which is consistent with the overall requirements of the job for which they are being hired and the culture of the organization. The Winslow Profile is expected to provide an opportunity to develop employees to be more effective in their current positions. Among other things, it would be expected to prepare them for future promotional opportunities, identify persons who are potential team players and project leaders, and be an effective tool to assist with the recruitment of the best candidate for a particular job. It has been suggested that an individual’s attitudes, feelings and behaviours are governed by his/her personality, which is often difficult to change. However, change is possible if individuals commit themselves to it. Consequently, the Winslow process measures these traits rather than behavioural patterns, which can be altered temporarily as circumstances demand. The process of re-profiling, also offered by Winslow, seeks to measure the extent to which the individual has actually changed to cope better with his/her responsibilities and attempts to identify further opportunities for improvement. To date, 109 persons have been exposed to the programme, with twenty-three employees having volunteered to be trained as coaches. In addition, twelve special projects dealing with peak customer traffic, delivery of bills, surge suppressor education, service standards and the improvement of computer service to employees via the “Help Desk” have been introduced as part of the program. Nigel Harris: “The Winslow experience has strengthened my faith in my ability to achieve – to free myself from the shackles of limitations. My philosophy is: what someone thinks about me does not define who I am.” Arlette Sisnett: “The Winslow Programme helped me to improve my assertiveness and gave me greater self-confidence.” Margaret Griffith: “The Winslow Programme has been a tremendous benefit to me, both personally and on the job. It has helped me to develop a more positive attitude to life in general. As a Coach in the Winslow Programme, I have been able to benefit more as I interact with my protege I would recommend Winslow to anyone who is willing to work towards a goal.” Rodney Doffin: “The Winslow Programme helped me to identify those traits that are most likely to restrain me from reaching my goals and those that are most likely to help me achieve them. It provided a mechanism for me to recognize opportunities for im provement and guided me through the stages of personal change and development. I have grown as a result of the Winslow Assessment Profile and the coaching sessions. That growth is reflected in my personal and work relationships, (so my friends and colleagues tell me). I feel a sense of achievement as I reflect on the progress I have made. My goal is to be ‘Unconsciously Competent’ (permanent personality change – high performance by reflex).” Hal Hunte: “As a Winslow participant I have learned about the personality traits which I have that can assist me in working to my personal potential in my job. I have also learned about those that could hold me back from achieving my goals. As a coach I have learned How to communicate more effectively and have acquired those skills which could assist me in motivating my proteges to set and achieve realistic goals for themselves.” Pamela Blackman: “Winslow is an objective assessment tool, and through the Personality Trait Groups, I have come to understand how these traits relate to each other, and to realize that one has the ability to change the weaker characteristics. It has highlighted those areas where I am both strong and weak. This provided the opportunity for me to conduct a self-examination and build my determination to develop those weaker areas.” Curtis Smith: “Winslow has helped me to identify my weaknesses and to work continuously on improving them. As a result, I am better equipped to speak about myself with greater confidence. As a coach, I have the opportunity and tools to assist others in developing and improving upon their weaker traits and also, the opportunity to get to know people better.” Peter Williams: “It is very difficult to look at yourself objectively and see your own faults. Seeing faults in others is by far the easier task, Through Winslow I have been able to look at myself with an objective eye. I admit that I was a little anxious about what it would say. I am working on those aspects of my personality which need improving and, while I still have my faults, I have changed and will continue to change and be able to contribute more to my family, my friends and to this Company.”

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