The Motivations of a Dominant Leader


There’s a principle I love in the classic book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

It’s so simple.

I believe the world would be a much different place if more of us took this principle to heart.

Want to know what the principle is?

It’s this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

I’ll say that again.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

I could probably do an entire training event on how powerful that one principle is, but today I want to take it and apply it in a way that will bring clarity to you and your leadership.

You see, I believe we can’t hit our full potential as leaders unless we understand the people we’re leading.

To the best of our ability, we’ve got to know what makes our peers, teammates and partners tick.

We’ve got to know what drives them, what frustrates them, what pushes them beyond their limits, and what they dream about accomplishing.

Why do I think we need to know those things?

Well, two reasons.

First, because one of the most important principles of life and leadership is: “It’s not about you.”

Leadership in the service of others is the best and most beneficial type of service.

Second, because we should always be looking for ways to help our friends win.

And we can’t help people win unless we know what their goals and dreams are.

So those are two reasons why it’s important to make understanding other people a higher priority than getting other people to understand you.

I could add more to the list, but I want to move on and add some specific application for those of you who work with dominant leaders.

Do any of you work with dominant leaders?

I’ll bet there are a few of you who do.

First, let me say that not all leaders have dominant personalities.

It would seem that way, but it’s not the case.

The dominant personality is a particular set of traits that about 10% of leaders have.

Dominant leaders are very direct.

They like to get down to business.

They’re focused on results.

If you work with a dominant personality, I want to share a few of their motivations.

If you know what motivates a dominant personality, you can “speak their language”…

…you’ll know why they act the way they act…

you’ll know why they say the things they say…

…and by knowing those things, you can put yourself in a position to have a winning relationship with them.

So what motivates a dominant leader?

The Motivations of a Dominant Leader

The dominant leader is motivated by challenge.

The dominant leader isn’t bothered by adversity or friction. Rather, it’s expected.

The dominant leader wants choices.

This leader wants to make selections from multiple options. He or she doesn’t like feeling backed against a wall.

The dominant leader wants control.

This leader wants to be the one calling the shots.

In short, the perfect summary for the dominant leader is someone who would say: “I like to be my own boss.”

Truth be told, I’m a dominant leader.

When I learned these motivations, I kept saying, “Yep, that’s me!”

I’ve really had my eyes opened.

I’ve learned that to achieve the best results in my business, I’ve got to be tuned in to my own personality style…

…and I also have to do a killer job of understanding my partners and clients.

Want to hear something great?

The clients who have walked through these concepts in my The WOW Factor: Learning the Language of Others course are sending me great feedback.

Would your work day be less stressful if you knew exactly how to navigate the personalities of your co-workers, supervisors and clients?

I can teach you how it’s done.

Send me an email HERE and we’ll set up a time to talk.

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