What is Your Fingerprint to Success? | CDR-U Leadership Energy Subscales

No two people are exactly alike when it comes to their talent and passions. While many share a good deal of similarities, each person has their own distinctive layers of their unique inherent strengths, gaps, risks, and motivational needs.

While the bigger pattern of similarities can help to generate a directional path in general terms, it is those individual differentiators that tell the true story of someone’s inherent capabilities.

For example, in the CDR Character Assessment, Leadership Energy is one of the seven primary personality scales modeled after the Five Factor Model. Let’s say that two individuals score “60%” overall on Leadership Energy. While we can describe, in general, that these individuals will have a propensity for leadership roles, we must dig deeper to learn how this shows up for each person.

Leadership Energy Subscales

Under Leadership Energy, there are six “subscales” which delineate individual distinctions on how each person scores. The subscales include:

  • Competitive
  • Self-Confidence (in leader role)
  • Expects Success
  • Takes Charge (Decisiveness)
  • Career Focus
  • Presentation Confidence

In order to be successful in a typical leadership role, it is helpful to have strong decision-making skills. However, if a person scores low on “Takes Charge,” making decisions will likely be too tough for them. With low scores on that subscale, these individuals prefer to influence or build consensus rather than to make decisions. Part of what leaders do, like it or not, is to make certain decisions within the scope of their authority.

Low “Expects Success” is a very interesting and impactful subscale as well. Most technical and engineering types have low scores in this particular subscale. This means that when a goal or objective is set, people who score low typically expect things to go wrong along the way. They then anticipate possible problems in advance to do contingency planning, just in case. For engineers, this makes sense. If they are building a bridge, we want them to think through all of the dangerous “what if” scenarios in terms of materials, weather, wind, weight, and so forth to keep drivers safe. For those with high scores on Expects Success, these individuals tend to think that all will go according to plan and they don’t look back. Sometimes, these people can face negative surprises that undermine their plans because they expected everything to fall into place. So, depending on the type of job, this subscale may be important.

Another subscale under Leadership Energy to think about is “Presentation Confidence.” If someone is in a leadership role, it is normally expected that they would frequently give presentations to a group. If the individual has really low Presentation Confidence, they experience significant anxiety speaking in front of others, so they tend to hold back when they should be asserting their views. If they must present something, they usually spend too much time agonizing and over-preparing. The not speaking up can hurt their ability and visibility as a leader. If moving up the leadership ladder is a clear (and accurate) goal for the individual, this is an area for attention and development.

Now, despite working on this subscale trait, people cannot merely train this speaker anxiety away. I was providing coaching feedback for a woman who was the president of a state-wide organization.  She had a very low score in this and I was surprised because I have watched her give quite a few presentations. She told me she has been this way since high school and that she is, at last, getting better. This is good news since she is now in her 60s. As I reviewed her presentations in my mind after that, I did recall a bit of slight nervousness… though she was able to work past it and do well!

Sociability Subscales

Now, taking this presentations theme a bit further, under the scale “Sociability,” the CDR Character Assessment also measures 6 subscales. Two of these are particularly important when understanding one’s Presentation Confidence – “Exhibitionist” and “Entertaining.” If a person is low on these two and is also low under “Presentation Confidence” (under Leadership Energy) as mentioned above, a job role requiring this individual do a number of presentations regularly is not advisable. It would be emotionally painful and the individual would struggle. That is how strong the subscales can be – they help people determine the best-fit roles for themselves. 

Understanding Your Fingerprint

So, when we think about our own fingerprint, do you know yours? We measure seven primary scales and 42 subscales, and that is just on the CDR Character Assessment. 

Then, weave in the 11 personality-based risk factors that can undermine even the most promising career that are measured in the CDR Risk Assessment.

Last, we identify one’s intrinsic motivators, what we call Drivers & Reward needs. We measure 10 facets that have 5 sub-facets that are revealed when a Driver is primary need for an individual.

As you can see, that is quite a bit of individual differentiation and nuances that make each person have a unique fingerprint to success and fulfillment. When we started CDR more than two decades ago, one of our tag lines was “We Can’t Teach Fish to Fly” and this remains true. Why would we? Your fingerprint to success looks different than someone else’s… and that’s okay!

We created CDR-U Coach with that very motto in mind. Our avatar coaches are programmed to collect deep insights from every participant. These insights are then looked at in conjunction with one another, using our proprietary method of configural scoring. This allows us to get a clear picture of every individual’s unique fingerprint… with no two users being exactly alike.  

Do you know your fingerprint for success? We do… let us help you find it.

Nancy Parsons

President, CDR-U