It was a rainy evening and I had a few hours to work, so I settled myself in at a local restaurant with wifi. I love restaurants with wifi. There was this personality assessment I’d been wanting to take for a while, but I avoided taking it, sure that I could look at their graph and figure out where I fit. I had my Fascinate® archetype all-but-framed when I finally bit the bullet and shelled out the money to get the report. I sure hoped it would be worth it.
The assessment was surprisingly short, so I knocked out the 23 questions in a few minutes and then clicked, “submit.” In just a few seconds the report came back and I did a double take. It couldn’t be right!
How the World Sees You
Bare with me for a moment as I explain the Fascinate® concept (or skip this paragraph and watch the 1 min. video at the bottom of the page). It was developed by Sally Hogshead, an internationally award winning copywriter and hall of fame speaker. She’s really good at coming up with words for marketing. She wanted a way to make it easier for small businesses who can’t afford big ad agencies to identify the best words to use and tone to take when marketing their products and services, so she created a little quiz. Well, that quiz turned into a researched assessment that has now been taken by over 1,000,000 people and is used with huge companies and individuals, to help them identify the voice of their brand. (And if you haven’t heard me say it before, every person has a personal brand. It’s what people think of you when you aren’t around.)
There are 7 Advantages. The assessment pairs your top two Advantages to create your archetype, as displayed in this graph.
Well, before taking the assessment, I was sure of my spot on the matrix. I knew I had to be a Catalyst: #1 – Passion (the language of relationship) and #2 – Innovation (the language of creativity). But when I clicked “submit” and my assessment came back, Passion wasn’t my number 1 advantage. It was number 4! I was shocked and a little taken aback, because though Innovation was #1, my #2 came out as Power.
“Power?!” I thought. My stomach rolled a little. I shrank back and took note of my response. Power is the language of confidence. Power is something I’ve never wanted to convey. I’ve seen Power play out before, and it’s not always pretty. “Surely the assessment is wrong!” I demanded.
But then I read the name and description of my archetype, The Maverick Leader:
You lead with a bold and unconventional vision
You are unafraid to take the lead and happy to propose a new direction for a product or market strategy
You’re always full of new ideas, and almost a little restless. You definitely make sure there’s no dull moments in your meetings
If something starts to feel familiar, you’ll probably start experimenting to see whether higher goals can be achieved
“Oh. Well, maybe they’re onto something here. Because all of those bullet points fit me like a glove.”
Your Greatest Potential Lies BEYOND What You Already Know About Yourself
Upon further reflection, I had a huge revelation: “I’ve been calling my ‘Power’, ‘Passion’ and trying to hide it all my life!”
Let’s just take a moment and read that again.
“I’ve been calling my ‘Power’, ‘Passion’ and trying to hide it all my life!”
That’s right. All my life I heard things like, “you’re so passionate” or “you’re so deep.” But no one ever said to me, “you’re so powerful.” So I never associated power or confidence with my intensely passionate responses. When I read the full description of my archetype, I knew that the assessment was right and I’d been so afraid of displaying my intensity and confidence that I hid it. Why? Because I didn’t want to alienate myself from other people. I didn’t want to stand out. I didn’t want them to be annoyed with me or think I didn’t care about them when I shared my opinions or insights. I worked to develop my relational advantage so I could speak that language with people instead of just shooting off my opinions whenever they came up in me.
It sure seemed to me that “powerful” people got what they wanted sometimes, but if they achieved their objectives by using shame, judgment and sheer force, they didn’t get to people’s hearts and souls where change really happens. I knew. I’d found myself in that very position before – on both sides of the exertion of power. I didn’t want to be like that. I didn’t want to be compelling in an aggressive way. I wanted to be compelling in an invitational way.
But seeing power as an Advantage, I realized that maybe it wasn’t not all bad. Maybe power was just like any other trait or gift. It’s most helpful when fueled by love, and truly dangerous when fueled by fear and stress.
Since that rainy night in October, I’ve determined to step into my own “Power Advantage” and explore it. Maybe I was created this way for a reason. Maybe I’m supposed to be more bold.
And so I’m trying this power thing on for size. I’m leveling up my game and doing bold things like asking big-time entrepreneurs and leaders to be on my podcast. And they’re saying yes. The crazy thing is that I fully expect them to say yes when I ask.
I’m realizing more and more that all I’m doing is stepping into who I’ve been created to be. I’m not trying to become more “powerful” or “successful.” I’m trying to figure out how to best steward the gifts I’ve been given.
What about you? Do you wonder if there are untapped resources inside of you, just waiting to be explored and used for the good of others?
Subscribe to the Voice of Influence podcast in iTunes or Stitcher! Whatever you do, I encourage you to keep growing in self-awareness. Because the greatest potential for your voice lies beyond what you already know about it.
Oh – and if you would like to find out your own Fascinate Advantages®, [ CLICK HERE ]