Case Story

Matching Up Values and the Flow Profile

In our work with clients in their recruitment processes, we use two powerful tools in support of our Leadership Landscape methodology – Demartini’s Value Determination and the Contribution Compass. The Value Determination unpacks what the person holds as personal values that drive their behaviour. The Contribution Compass indicates talent, flow and naturally aligned contribution to a team or business. So, what happens when these insight markers don’t line up? How do you resolve the discrepancy?

Contribution Compass

Listening for truth

In this case the recruitment project was for an engineering firm that was looking for a project manager. We undertook a Leadership Landscape assessment with Jack, who appeared on paper to be an excellent fit for the position. In the interview, as we do for all candidates, we listened very closely to his spoken language and observed Jack’s body language as we worked through our discussion.

In that focused listening process, we clearly heard the language of rational thinking, process, efficiency, planning and systematisation. This is the language of Refining Contribution Compass natural energy. Furthermore, he was drawn to doing feasibility studies and problem solving, an indication of Activating natural energy, and operational, execution responsibilities typical of Sustaining natural energy. His Value Determination highlighted his personal values of wealth creation through real estate (more Refining) and learning through self-development and enhancing specific mechanical engineering skills (more Activating). We were convinced that Jack was a ‘Conductor’ profile or perhaps even a ‘Cultivator’ profile. As this was the ideal profile for the role, we were delighted. Imagine our surprise when the opposite result came back – a ‘Coach’ profile, which is all about developing people and building meaningful relationships as a core path to contribution.

Delving deeply into the mismatch

In the debrief session with Jack, we put before him our challenge of the clear mismatch between who he said he was compared to what his life demonstrated. What emerged was a revelation for Jack and was fascinating for us to experience. What transpired was that Jack had some deeply held beliefs about what successful leadership looks like. Given the leadership focus in the role, he had unconsciously changed his responses on the Contribution Compass profiler to project what he felt a leader was expected to be – all about people, teams, and extroversion. And in doing so, he was discounting his own excellent leadership abilities through his own natural energy, which was indeed high Refining after all.

There are two takeaways here. Firstly, if your recruitment process is compassionate and thorough, you might just land a gem of a person you could have missed. You can also strike off your list those who are just not aligned with the natural energy required for their role and perhaps do not even bring greater balance to your team. Secondly, let’s do better to deepen our collective understanding of what great leadership is all about. Every natural energy type can be a leader, and every profile brings a special contribution and flavour. What we need to do is create a space where that diversity can thrive while seeking balance across the team.

If you need support in making the right recruitment decisions, let’s book a time to chat through your recruitment challenges and explore how our approach could accelerate value for you in this area.

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