The Power of Understanding Yourself: The Key to Self-Discovery, Personal Development, and Being the Best You - Dave Mitchell 2019
Warriors: It’s About the Pace and the Point for Me
Beer is made by men, wine by God.
— Martin Luther
There is something just a little mischievous about the placement of the D Column. The D column measures your logical sensitivity. Logic relates to efficiency. If your lowest score is in the D column—or if you score below 30—you have a clear desire to get to the result. “Done” is the most desired word in your vocabulary. So, the fact that I made you wait until I had already explained the other three columns is a bit malicious. Of course, it is just as likely that you skipped the previous three chapters and came directly here after you saw your results. That wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
I refer to the low D’s as the Warriors. A Warrior’s mind operates with a time/value ratio evaluator that is constantly utilized to determine one’s approach to life events. It is important for the Warrior to minimize time and maximize value. As a result, they put pressure on people and situations to get to the point as quickly as possible. Investing less time takes pressure off the value. Maximizing the value justifies the expenditure of more time. Here are some common attributes associated with Warriors:
· Direct, to-the-point communicator
· Comfortable with conflict
· Rules are good for others, but not always necessary for them
· Do not suffer fools gladly
· Actions and conversations have purpose
· Fair, but not necessarily equal
· Reward by providing independence
Meeting the Warrior
If your score is below 30 in the Warrior column, and particularly if your D column is the lowest scoring column, this style informs your perspective. My score is 20 and it is tied for my lowest score. We Warriors are often a bit unsettled by processes that remain in progress for extended periods of time. We push toward closure. The simple joy of checking off an item on our to-do list — and rest assured that all Warriors have some form of a to-do list — is one of life’s great pleasures.
I have found that the real value of cognitive assessments is not that they reinforce what you already know about yourself, but rather when they uncover an explanation for something that you were less familiar with. For example, I have never been surprised when a psychological test tells me that I am emotionally sensitive. But, so many times, I have wondered about another part of me that isn’t explained to my satisfaction. As I mentioned before, I love the MBTI, but my score of INFJ (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judgment) never seemed to fit snugly. That was part of why I developed my own approach.
Discovering that I prefer logic just as much as emotion was a revelation. It helped explain my compulsion for productivity, the frustration I would experience with situations that were not progressing, and my desire to engage in conflict resolution (effective or not) rather than just ignore it. My own internal conflict can, in large part, be explained by the tug of emotion against logic.
Although it is natural to concentrate on big, life-altering insights when engaged in metacognition, sometimes it is fun to identify the root cause of your behavior in the most mundane of circumstances. Recently, Lori and I were with some friends at a local winery that was featuring karaoke. We were enjoying the enthusiasm, and occasional talent, of our comrades displaying their fondness for all kinds of genres. However, I noted a troubling lack of some real headbangers. Most of the song choices were love ballads or country pop songs. I felt like a good old classic rocker, say “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC, would inject some more energy into the room. The Romantic (and my stage performer) inside me was itching to grab the microphone. But, the Warrior inside me reminded me that my skills as a singer had been well established in college — a story I will share later. Let’s just say, if I were to launch a music career, my band should be named Tone Deaf. Doing something poorly is particularly unattractive to Warriors. Despite the best efforts of my inner Romantic, my Warrior style kept me on the sidelines.
For Warriors, nothing is as important as the scoreboard. In that regard, sports become a wonderful reflection of the Warrior mind. There is a winner and a loser, and both are measured by specific metrics that will be publicly displayed until the game is over. That is just beautiful to Warriors. It is not how well a team plays (Experts), not how creative the game plan (Masterminds), or the sportsmanship (Romantics) that determine success. One does not win championships based on those considerations. It is the scoreboard, baby. To the victors go the spoils.
Warriors view life through the lens of efficiency. They want to know what the the most direct path to the desired result is. That is the path they wish to remain on and move quickly along. Anything that slows them or forces them off that path becomes irritating. They aren’t ones for small talk, unnecessary meetings, phone calls, silly paperwork, or even unnecessary management. Their intrinsic need is independence. As leaders, they will often tell you that, “No news is good news,” as it relates to receiving feedback from them. And if you lead a Warrior, frequently managing their contributions would be the quickest way to ensure they quit. “Do you like my work? Yes? Then leave me alone.”
No Room for Interesting Details
While evaluating my own life “inputs,” it should not have been a surprise that the Warrior style would be so dominate in my cognition. My father was clearly a Warrior, a fact that was confirmed when he completed the assessment several years ago. Given my mother’s challenges, he was left to be my primary caregiver. That was a role he was distinctly unqualified for. Apparently, fighting in World War II, surviving the Great Depression, and succeeding against all odds to create a successful small business did not provide the appropriate experience for being a nurturing parent. I admired my father. He had many fantastic qualities. Warmth was not among them.
I have one specific memory of my father’s, ahem, counseling skills. I was 17 years old. By that time, I had been working summers and vacations for nearly five years at my father’s appliance store. My dad recognized quickly that keeping me busy and off the streets was a good strategy for my positive development. Anyway, I was out on a service call one afternoon to fix a customer’s washing machine. Some members of the high school yearbook staff came into the store to get a picture of me for a story they were doing on how the senior class spent summer vacation. Dad directed them to the customer’s home (it’s a small-town thing). So, much to my surprise, two of the prettiest girls in the senior class — in which there were only about 90 kids total — showed up to take my picture.
It makes me smile to remember it now, but at the time I was so self-conscious. At 17, the presence of pretty girls made me incredibly nervous. Add to that, I was dirty, unkempt, and completely unprepared for this unannounced visit. Making it all the worse was the utilitarian way the two classmates handled the task. They briefly announced the purpose of their visit, snapped two photos, and left with no more than three sentences of interaction. It’s not like they didn’t know me. In the 11 preceding years of school, only a handful of classmates had moved into or out of town. So, these two girls had shared many classes and school events with me over the years. The manner in which they showed up, executed their chore, and exited all in the span of five minutes with nary a pleasantry was bruising to a teenage boy’s ego.
After completing the service call, I returned to the store. It was clear, even to my emotionally restricted father, that I was bummed.
“What happened to you?” He attempted to engage in some form of venting process.
Reluctantly, I shared. “Well, these two girls from my class came over while I was doing the service call and took my picture for a yearbook story. They are very popular. They barely even talked to me.”
“Cheer up, it gets worse.” And with that, Dad returned to the task at hand. I remember thinking, “Really! ’Cheer up, it gets worse?’ That has got to be the worst motivational speech I have ever heard in my life.”
Years later, as Dad softened with age and the awareness of his own mortality, his Warrior side softened. I reminded him of that conversation. He offered more nuance. First, he said, the phrase is true. Life is hard, but no matter how difficult today is, there will be a worse one ahead. There are two ways to look at that absolute truth. You can look ahead with fear or you can celebrate the best parts of today. “Cheer up, it gets worse,” is not negative, he said. It is a reminder not to wallow in your troubles today because there will be a day in the future you will want to trade for today. Truly, an amazing piece of advice.
The other revelation was even more Warrior like. “Besides, when those two gals came into the store looking for you, I told them where you were. I said, ’don’t linger long; he’s working and the faster he gets done, the more it benefits everyone. Besides, the customer probably doesn’t want a bunch of unexpected folks showing up at their house. I know I wouldn’t.’” My dad probably put the fear of God into them. The reason they didn’t spend more than five minutes with me was simple: they were following my father’s instructions.
“Why didn’t you tell me that back then?” I asked. He just shrugged, but I now know why. As a Warrior, it would have served no point. The desired outcomes were all achieved. Service call completed, yearbook photos taken. Check and check. The rest was just superfluous and unnecessary noise. There is no spot on a scoreboard for “other interesting details.”
A Warrior Is a Wine’s Tannin
Since Warriors value winning, displaying their status as winners is something they are quite comfortable with. They like the trophy. Arguably, the two biggest “trophy” wines are Napa and Bordeaux red wines. In both regions, Cabernet Sauvignon plays a vital role. One of the distinguishing characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon is tannins, the astringent taste contributed by the grape skin, seeds, and stems. That’s why tannins are more associated with red wines than white wines. Tannins give the wine more color, more dryness, and more aging ability. More is a good word for a Warrior.
My wine personality pairing for a Warrior is always Cabernet Sauvignon. The obvious choice would be a Napa cult Cabernet Sauvignon or a first growth, left bank red Bordeaux — which will have more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than the other grapes from the region. But that’s too easy. Warriors like the best, for sure, but they also like to consider value. Anyone can buy an expensive bottle of trophy wine. But is that really winning? No; the better choice for the Warrior is to find an amazing bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for an affordable price. That is winning. For the Warrior, it is not just about getting the right result; but doing so faster or cheaper than the competition.
As you did with the other assessment results, take some time to consider the influence of the Warrior style on your Me. If your score is below 30, the need to reach a result is part of your orientation and will influence how you approach situations and people. If your score is above 30, the influence of logic is less powerful. What does that mean? How has a relative lower preference for pushing toward a result manifested in your approach to life?
Spend a little time reflecting on what your Warrior column score might mean relative to your core ideology.
Up until now, we have evaluated your core ideology in the vacuum of the individual interactive styles. The mind, however, doesn’t work that way. Just as every bottle of fine wine must achieve an effective balance of acidity, sweetness, fruit, and tannins, so must we. Our true self possesses a complexity that extends well beyond the singular focus on one style. Next, we will endeavor to examine the totality of our style preferences in our continuing odyssey to extract Me. Although our primary interactive style preference is the most informing of our overall style, the identification of the secondary preference and how it interplays with your primary preference adds this complexity. After all, human beings are not varietal wines. We are blends.
There is a large value to reading about each of the style combinations and not just your own. You will discover more nuance by doing so which will make your own interpretation of your scores even more effective. If you choose to skip to your own style, be sure to read Chapter 15, “Punching Down Your Own Style.” This will provide you with a guided process for making the most of your exercise in metacognition.