As a Leader, Do You Comprehend the Power of Personality?

Artists, painters, clothing designers, web designers, and many other professions need to understand the color pallet to be terrific at what they produce. Carolyn Bendall (be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn), editor in chief of Your True Colours Fashion Magazine, is a total image consultant who teaches an understanding of your complexion and what color and style of clothes look the best on you. This helps you avoid purchasing something you really like but is not one of the best colors or styles for you to wear.

I didn’t follow her instruction and purchased a blouse I loved but it was not one of my best colors and every time I put it on, I take it off because it doesn’t look right. I should have taken Carolyn’s advice.

Just as an understanding of color helps you look your best in the clothing you choose, knowledge of your personality color helps you be the best in all life situations. Knowledge of your personality color helps you play to your strengths and information about the personality of those you manage, work with, or live with helps you increase your influence and impact their behaviors.

This knowledge adds a magical edge to your personality and gives you additional behavior options as you interface with people every hour of the day. An understanding of personality strengths and limitations is critical information for leaders and managers at all levels of the company in order to provide a stimulus for positive behaviors, increase morale, and move employees forward, meeting objectives and deadlines.

There are four basic personality types, each with a color that reflects their main characteristics: Dominant Red, Planner Blue, Charismatic Yellow, and Stable Green. All can be exceptional leaders if they work from their strengths. Study some of their characteristics in the graphic below.

Most humans, however, are a blend of the colors as shown in the ring of puzzle pieces, but even though they are a mix, it is normal for individuals to have onedominant color. Keep in mind there is no superior color. Each color has incredible gifts and plays an important place in our world and in your company.

In this article, I’m going to describe each color and use humor to emphasize some of their characteristics. At the end of the article, I’ll give you a link so you can download a sheet of each color’s strengths, limitations and behavioral cautions. As I describe each color, take notes and decide which color or mix of colors define you the best.

Introduction to the 4 Personality Types

High D, RED – The Intensity of the Burning Fire

Red individuals are the power brokers of the world. They have dominant personalities and every day they burn brightly like a fire with the drive to succeed, to be the best.

If you are a Red, you are a natural leader, can take responsibility, and have the ability to push others to meet common goals. You have a vision for the future and know exactly where you want to be in one year’s time. You love and live an action-oriented life like James Bond, Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan, or Ethan Hunt.

When you were two years old, you were peering through the crib bars thinking, “When do I take over?” At 14 you were ready to leave home and when you got to college you said, “Don’t worry about the education, I’ve got that covered. Just give me the diploma and let me outta here.”

You often eat at the sink and your bumper sticker might say “Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life here on earth.”

When you enter any competitive situation, be it tennis, basketball or a sales competition you might not say it, but you think to yourself, “There can only be one winner. Do you still want to play?”

Conversations that get to the point are your preferred type of communication and you quickly get bored with artificial small talk. You prefer discussions that move projects forward to successful conclusions and you have a plethora of techniques to move people to the heart of the matter so you can make a decision and move on to the next item calling for your attention.

The Red personality is a strong leader. They are have solid skills for setting a target and moving people into action with visible results. Serial entrepreneurs frequently have Red personalities.

High I, YELLOW – The Brilliance of the Sun

If great verbal skills, good old fashioned charisma, and a love of social events describe you, you have a Yellow personality. As the sun warms the world, you warm others with your cheerfulness and optimism. One word of caution: Other colors may find you annoying in the morning when you are overly alert and vivacious. Your happy attitude can irritate them.

Funny lines and telling humorous experiences are your forte. You forget how long you’ve been on the phone and superficial chitchat is no problem for you.

Details, however, are a problem for you – they are like putting your mind in Spanix shape wear. People should never give you the original of anything (you might misplace it) and if your check book is out of balance, you will change banks.

You love life except for work — when you get to Heaven, you are going to ask God why he invented work. One yellow teenager noticed the garbage was picked up only once a week. He told his mom, “I decided what I want to be when I start work: a garbage man – they only work one day a week.”

All kidding aside, if your main color is Yellow, you will probably look for jobs like life guard, zoo keeper, retail clerk, entertainer, beauty councilor, sales or motivational speaker – jobs that are active with freedom of movement and tons of interaction with people. Some advice? Never take a job that requires you to stay in one place for long periods of time such as working in the computer room. You will have a hard time staying there because you crave interaction with people, not your computer.

And funerals? You will talk about and plan yours. One Yellow friend told me this about her funeral: “I want a glorious obituary lightly spiced with irreverent anecdotes about my life. I want laughter along with the tears. I want everyone to know that I had a whale of a great time walking about God’s green earth.”

Your bumper stickers probably say, “Surf Naked,” “Party Animal,” “Don’t worry be Happy” or “Gone crazy, be back soon.”

You believe as the song-writer and guitarist Roger Miller sang “You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you’ve a mind to.”

When Yellow individuals lead, they do it from a warm, friendly and motivational position of strength. People follow them because they like them and enjoy working for them. They are good at surrounding themselves with the other colors and building a strong leadership team.

Sometimes the Yellow is combined with the Red and this combination makes a charismatic and goal-directed leader.

High S, GREEN – The Strength of the Mighty Oak Tree

The Green individual is stable and collaborative with a quiet confidence. They are calm amidst turmoil and silently strong and powerful, like a giant oak tree.

If your main qualities are Green, you are a person of few words and need to be asked for your opinion but when you speak, people listen. You are kind, patient, relaxed and non-judgmental. You observe what is happening around you and can give valuable insight to any discussion.

I learned the Green perspective of being non-judgmental from my son when he was about 10 years old. He and his friends wanted to go into business fixing and selling bicycles. They gathered broken bicycles from all the neighbors and soon my carport looked like bicycle graveyard.

I said, “Mark, you’ve got to clean this up. People will drive by or come to see us and they will think we are junky people.” To which he replied, “I don’t think you should judge people by what they look like.” This is a core belief of the Green person and their motto is: “People should live life in no particular way but their own.”

You are fine working alone in a computer room or the back office, you are a methodical thinker and you enjoy the calm of nature. Your bumper sticker might say, “The worst day fishing is better than the best day at work!”

If your dominant color is Green, you have a gentle touch about you, much like Clint Eastwood developed as a movie director. John Balzar in the Los AngelesTimes reports that Eastwood doesn’t yell, “ACTION” when he is ready to start a scene. Instead he says a casual, “Okay.” Eastwood explains he learned when filming Rawhide that when you yell “ACTION,” it sends adrenaline not only through the actors, but through the horses who end up jumping out of the shot, making you start over again.

Green individuals are collaborative leaders. Their Green is often combined with Red which makes them a strong person who can push through difficulties regardless of the obstacles. Once their mind is made up, they stand firm in their position.

High C, BLUE – The Persistent, Always Running Living Water

Blue individuals have a productive, planning orientation to life. If you are a Blue individual, you are part of the detail brigade and just like life-giving water that is always running and filling the crevices around the river bank, you are constantly moving to make sure all the pieces are in place and nothing is overlooked for projects, assignments and events.

Persistence is part of your toolkit. Success comes to you because of your perseverance and you claim success over the long haul just as over time water breaks down massive rock formations and forms natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon.

Because of your detail orientation, you have a place for everything. Your shoes are in neat rows in your closet and your pictures from every vacation for the last 20 years are meticulously placed in carefully named folders on a backup drive or in an online storage program. You love making to-do lists. volunteering and working for perfection in whatever you decide to do.

Some of your mottos are “Zero Defects” and “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”

You are the moral conscience of all humanity much like five-year-old Timmy shopping with his mother for groceries. He wanted some red grapes. However, his mother had purchased sour grapes before so she tasted one and gave one to Timmy. Finding the grapes were delicious, she put two big clumps in their shopping cart.

They reached the checkout counter and after the mother had paid for the groceries, little Timmy tugged on her jacket and in anything but a timid voice said, “But Mommy, you didn’t pay for the two grapes we ate.” The mother looked at him for a second, rummaged through her purse, found two pennies, laid them on the counter and said, “That is for the two grapes we ate.”

The Blue personality often plays the role of librarian or curator in a company. They keep track of everything, storing valuable information and documents in well-organized folders on an external hard drive or in their filing cabinets, or in in cloud-based storage facilities.

When they lead, they do it with a project management mindset. Often a leader is a combination of Blue and Red. This makes a very focused and organized person capable of leading any company.

Your Color

Were you able to decipher your true color or your mix of colors? Probably so. I
find the study of personalities fascinating. The knowledge helps me every day as I interface with my family, friends, co-workers and employees.

Every personality contributes in valuable ways to the success of your company and you can access their incredible gifts as you learn how to flex and motivate them in ways that speak to their personality color. To learn more, I have prepared a worksheet for you on the strengths and limitations of each color. Be sure to download it below.

Best wishes for your future success in your field of endeavor as you learn to work with all personality blends. 

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About Karla

Karla Brandau is the CEO of Workplace Power Institute and is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA), and a Certified Professional Motivators Analyst (CPMA). Through Workplace Power Institute, a variety of purposeful assessments can be evaluated and after a discussion with Karla, you can choose the most appropriate assessments for your company. She is available for keynotes and workshops on improving leadership and communication processes by focusing on the development of personality. Learn more about personality factors by going to her web site at While there, check out her book, “How to Earn the Gift of Discretionary Effort”.

To become certified to teach personalities and behaviors in your company, call Karla at 770-923-0883.

Download the free “Strengths & Cautions Overview” that illustrates why and how personality type identification can benefit your team!


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