Leadership, Rethink Happy

Working with a personality guru: What it’s really like

From the desk of my assistant…two_people_at_desk

I would never have guessed I would find my dream job on craigslist, but it happened. Three years ago, I answered an ad I saw, and I had already turned down a few less-than-authentic possibilities, so I was wary.

I got an email pretty quickly, directing me to take a brief survey. I thought it was a bit strange for a first step, but I had no idea just how crucial that seven minutes would be!

I took the survey, which turned out to be even easier and simpler than promised. Following the survey, we had a brief phone call, which got me excited. Then we met in person, and I had no idea my life was about to be forever changed.

Doug shared the results of my survey with me and then proceeded to tell me all about myself, without asking me a single question. After picking my jaw up from the table, I felt like maybe he’d talked to someone who knew me really well because there was no way a perfect stranger could know so much about me.

brainHowever, he quickly dispelled that idea when he told me some things about myself I’d never even admitted out loud or even in my own head! For example, yes, I’m a procrastinator. I am writing this with only a few hours until I have to post it to our site. Many people know I am a procrastinator, and also that I work better under a tight deadline. I already knew that about myself.

What he said next totally had my attention, and made me a forever believer in Culture Index (the company he was affiliated with). “Not only do you procrastinate, and work better under tight deadlines, but you will purposefully procrastinate, putting off things as long as possible because you know you will turn out better work that way.”

I was stunned. As I sat there speechless for a moment, I tried to decide whether to be insulted or not. I realized the truth of his words and accepted them, finally admitting to myself that it was okay that I was a procrastinator! I’d always beat myself up about it, but here was someone that didn’t even know me from Adam, and he was telling me he already knew I worked better under heavy pressure.

At that moment, I knew I wanted to work with him. If he was able to help me realize something so profound after just a few minutes, what could we do together to help other companies long-term? I didn’t know if he wanted me, but I certainly wanted to become his Executive Admin.

Saying yes to his offer was one of the smartest things I have ever done. Do you know what it’s like to work with/for someone who knows me better than I know myself? Let me just give you an example:

I’d been working with Doug for about 18 months when I made my first major mistake. I accidentally booked his flight for the wrong day, meaning he found out as he arrived at the airport that he wasn’t flying home until the next day. He had to pay for another night in a hotel, and he was away from his beautiful airplanefamily for another 24 hours.

I felt terrible. I immediately told him to take the hotel cost out of my next paycheck. His response was so shocking, it endeared me to him for life. “It’s okay, Adrienne, it’s all good. Don’t worry about it. I’ll get a lot of work done tonight at the hotel.”

I was floored. And guilty. The guilt prompted me to beg him to please take it out of my check because it was the only way I could make sure I would never make that mistake again.

He reconsidered, and although I knew it would put my own family in a bit of a pinch to lose that much from my next check, I was relieved. I felt like it made up for my mistake in part.

But his final response was that he knew me, and he knew that I would certainly beat myself up enough without having the added burden of a light paycheck to worry about. He knew I would punish myself with self-talk much more than anything he could do to me. (Short of firing me, which I was slightly worried about at first)

He was so right. To this day, I check, recheck and triple check the dates, times, etc., whenever I book his flights.

Any other boss I’ve ever had has not been able to see so deeply into my personality with just a simple glance at a graph of dots. It seems much too simple to be so good, but even in the writing of his book, he knew just how to “handle” me.

Doug Kisgen's back cover photoI helped polish it up, and while he could’ve broadcast it to everyone, he knew what would really make me feel appreciated: Put my name in the book in the Acknowledgements, which is exactly what he did. How did he know that would make me so happy? Back to that silly graph–not so silly after all. The past three years have been my favorite working years of my adult life. He’s the best boss I’ve ever had, and that’s not something I throw out lightly.

Doug knows personalities. He can effectively nail down the problems with his client’s employees within just a few minutes most times, using the Culture Index survey and his vast skills.

Why do I include this ramble in our weekly blog posts? Well, first of all, Doug was on a well-dRethink Happy covereserved family vacation. Secondly, I think his Culture Index skills along with his life experiences are what makes him so effective at showing people how to have authentic joy, and really, that is what this site is all about.

So I say all this to bring it down to one thing: Get his book. And I’m not just saying that because my name is in it!

Who is Doug? Doug Kisgen is an author, entrepreneur and personality expert. His primary work? Raising his five kids with his wife of 20+ years in the hill country of Texas. 

For ways to put these ideas into practice, check out Doug’s book, Rethink Happy: An Entrepreneur’s Journey Toward Authentic Joy, available now as an e-book or in paperback!

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