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A Deeper Look: Achiever & Command

achiever command kryptonite Feb 28, 2019

This month, we will look at two talents that are on polar opposite ends of the talent tier in terms of their frequency found in people’s top 5. At number one in our database is from the Energize quadrant: Achiever showing up in the top 5 a whopping 34% or just over 1/3 of the time. On the other side, we see Command from the Mobilize quadrant, coming in at just over 4% of the time. That is only one out of 25 people. Both have a great push toward productivity with some Kryptonite complications. Not surprisingly, I have both of these in my top 5.

Those of us with the Command talent have no problem stepping into a situation and giving direction & order to confusion & chaos. That presence and clarity can be inspiring and motivating when it is on point. There are other times that it can leave a wake of intimidation or just be emotionally overwhelming. Unfortunately, not many people with Command have understood this talent as a gift that needs to be developed. It can come across as the “my way or the highway” voice of unreason. I know this well as it is my number 4 talent.

A tip to add skills and knowledge to this talent is to learn how to lead with questions. Asking people the right questions engage them, giving them a voice, and results in buy in. It is easier and more natural for me to just bark out the solution, instructions, or direction. When I learn to ask questions and listen before leading, I build more trust with my teammates. When it comes to leading with questions, I start with a question I ask myself: “Do I want to come across Cocky and Controlling or do I want to Inspire and Align?”

Achievers are driven to Get Stuff Done (or any other “S” word you choose to use) and have a constant drive to bring things to completion. This intrinsic self-motivation, once engaged, typically loves to accomplish several things in a short amount of time. It is often so energized when crossing to-do’s off, that when it brings a list to completion, it is ready to do even more. That is why it often jumps right into the next list of tasks, if it hasn’t started it already—this is what makes the Kryptonite of this talent so subtle. An Achiever can get so fixated on finishing that it loses track of time, tasks, and priorities.

I remember more than once closing in on the “home stretch” of cleaning the garage on a sunny Saturday afternoon. My wife would ask for a good time to start a nice family dinner and I would give her an estimated time of completion. When she checked back in to see if I was near enough to done, I would adjust my new finish time that would push starting time for dinner back. After repeating this (sometimes several times), I would finally just say go ahead and start and I will join you. My obsession to not quit until the job was finished would always result with me going into the kitchen after 9 pm or later to microwave a wonderfully prepared meal to eat by myself. I had allowed my talent to keep driving me to the point of losing track of time and the priority of connecting for quality family time.

A fellow Achiever pointed out that sometimes his talent is run by filling out a schedule. “I will often get requests for meetings or deadlines imposed upon that fill up my schedule and I let that run my work flow. The problem is that I am run by fulfilling a schedule rather than accomplishing critical goals. I end up at the end of a ‘busy’ week not achieving the important or priority things. I have had to intentionally block out time in my week to focus on the priority things first - then fill in the other meetings and deadlines.”

A simple but great tactic to keep your Achiever achieving at its best!


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