Archive for the 'Behavioral Styles' Category

Leadership Newsletter – December

We have prepared some very interesting articles for you this month, great articles on the importance of leadership and how to develop it; also understanding and working with various types of employees, developing positive productive habits, how not to demotivate employees, our monthly book recommendation and creating a much more rewarding relationship at home with your family. Scan through the newsletter and pick the articles you feel will be of most interest to you – and enjoy!


Monthly Leadership Newsletter – December, 2013!

(Click on all the photos for more information)


The boss drives people while the leader coaches them. The boss depends on authority while the leader depends on loyalty and good will. The boss instills fear while the leader inspires confidence and enthusiasm. The boss says “I” while the leader reinforces “WE”. The boss assigns the blame while the leader assumes responsibility. The boss says, “YOU BETTER GET GOING” while the leader says “LET’S WIN TOGETHER!”

                                                                                                Jim Abbondante

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We want to thank everyone for making this a great year for us here at the Leadership Institute. In addition to the work we have done this year with many of our existing clients, we have also enjoyed working with a number of new clients during 2013.

On the leadership development side, the predominant interest on the part of both new and existing clients this year has been on finding ways to equip their people with the ability to achieve more with less, and in less time, while increasing the degree of value they are able to deliver to their clients in the process. On the sales development side, the predominate interest has been on equipping their sales organizations with the ability to adapt to the new ways their customers and prospects are approaching making buying decisions, with an emphasis on lowering their expense-to-sales ratios and also increasing their average profit per sale. And in both cases (leadership and sales development), we are very excited about the results we have been seeing throughout the year. We’re honored to have been given an opportunity to make a positive impact on our client’s success.

With that in mind, we are looking forward to the opportunity to help you maximize the investment you’ll be making in your people during 2014 in the areas of leadership and management development, sales development, employee development and also personal and professional success coaching. You can click on the link below for an overview of the services we will be offering through the Leadership Institute in 2014.

Overview of Services


Newsletter Content

The December newsletter will be on the short side again this month as we have been on the run ‘non-stop’ but we certainly hope you will find it enjoyable and the information useful and helpful.

Positive Responses

December Session Content

Personal ‘On-Site’ Coaching

What are Behavioral Styles?

Sales-The Bottom Line

Complimentary Sales Workshop

Recommended Reading  (Book)

Necessary Leadership Qualities

Habits Working For or Against You?

You Are What You Repeatedly Do

How Management Demotivates Employees

Some More Office Humor

Demonstrating Leadership at Home

Holiday Wishes

Come Join Us!


Positive Responses

I would like to thank all of you for the very thoughtful email messages and the testimonial letters which you sent after our session on understanding inner motivations and working with different personality types. We also received some interesting feedback on how the strategies we covered in the problem solving segment were applied. I never cease to be amazed at how creative some of our participants can be. Your positive responses always mean a great deal to us and they are much appreciated.  It’s important to know that we are making a difference in the organizations that we are being given an opportunity to work with!


December Session Content

We are looking forward to seeing you in one of our leadership sessions around the country this month. Not only are we going to learn a lot but we are going to have a great time in the process!!

How to Work Productively with Various Behavioral Styles!

Our first segment will focus our attention on the fact that people do not all speak, hear and interpret information or approach relationships or their work in the same way. In November we considered the degree to which an individual’s self-confidence impacts their personality characteristics, their relationships and their performance. In the December session we are going to go to work on developing an understanding of basic behavioral styles and how they also impact working relationships and performance. Behavioral styles remain a constant no matter where an individual might be in terms of their personal growth. Recognizing and adapting to the behavioral styles of others creates opportunities to improve communication and to develop stronger and more productive working relationships. We’ll also be looking at the correlation between the personality type study we went through in the November session and what we will be learning about behavioral styles this month in December. You’re going to find it enjoyable and practical.

How to Build a Great Place to Work!

In our second segment this month, we are going to take a hard look at how to create what employees typically consider to be a great place to work. We will be referring to a comprehensive research project undertaken by the Gallup Organization that shows that building and maintaining a positive working environment is the single most important factor when it comes to achieving organizational success. What do employees really consider a great place to work? You may find it surprising. You’re going enjoy and benefit from both segments next month.

Please feel free to email or you can give us a call if you have need of any additional information or assistance between now and our next session. We’re here to insure that you receive the maximum benefit possible from your involvement in Leadership-The Bottom Line.

We are looking forward to seeing you in class this month!!!


Personal ‘On-Site’ Coaching

I want to remind you again that you are really missing out if you are not taking full advantage of the opportunity for individual ‘on-site’ coaching as you are progressing through the twelve month leadership development process with us. It’s included as part of the complete leadership training program.

We’re available to meet with you individually at your location (or by phone) on an as-needed basis between each one of the monthly sessions to assist you with the completion of your application projects or to assist you in any areas that might pertain to your responsibilities as a leader and/or manager in your organization.  All you need to do is contact us via email or by phone, or through our web-site, and we’ll be happy to schedule a convenient time to get together with you at your location.  Personal coaching always yields impressive results.

Remember . . .

Every aspect of the leadership development series has been designed to work together in such a way as to enable you to achieve the maximum benefit possible from your on-going participation in the twelve month process. Individual on-site coaching is available to both active participants and to all of our past leadership series participants.

And most importantly . . . it’s FREE!

What are Behavioral Styles?

Have you ever met someone who you liked instantly? Or, maybe just the opposite, a person who made you feel uncomfortable? Either way, these feelings are the result of something that is a very real part of who we are as people; our behavioral style. We all (quite unconsciously) seek out others who have a similar behavioral style to our own, and we can all tell (again unconsciously or intuitively) who has a behavioral style similar to ours and who doesn’t. It’s a psychological reality that people like to be around people they are like. The secret to success, then, particularly in a work environment, is to not only understand what your own personal behavioral style is, but to be flexible enough to understand, appreciate and then adapt to the behavioral styles of others.

When you consider basic behavioral styles, sometimes referred to as social styles, we’re not really referring to personality types as much as we are to the basic ways that people approach managing themselves, their environments and their interactions with others. Hippocrates got the ball rolling with his “four temperaments” study. Carl Jung later described the four temperaments as “Thinker, Feeler, Intuitor, and Sensor.” Today, management consultants and trainers (folks who do what I do) use a variety of different names for the same basic four categories. Wilson Learning Systems, for example, has for many years described these four “Behavioral or Social Styles” as “Analytical, Driver, Amiable, and Expressive.” Others refer to the four categories as “Thinkers, Directors, Relators, and Socializers.” We are going to take a slightly different approach in our session this month; an approach that I think you are going to find very interesting and practical in terms of your ability to apply the information in a way that will prove beneficial both to you and your organization.

Your ability to understand your own behavioral style tendencies and those of the people around you will significantly improve your relationships overall. When you understand behavioral styles, you will find that you are able to better understand yourself, your co-workers, your employees and also your clients. It will also help you build much more rewarding relationships with those people in your life who you consider to be most important to you such as your spouse and family.


The art of being yourself at your best is the art of developing your true personality and becoming the man or woman you really want to be and have the potential to be. Be fair with yourself, learn to love yourself and to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we ever have the right attitude toward others.                                 Jim Abbondante



Are you committed to really succeeding in 2014?

We would like to encourage you to consider the importance of professional sales development and its potential value to your organization as you prepare to move into the New Year.

As you know, we are living in changing times and it’s very important not just to stay up with all the changes that are rapidly taking place out there, but to stay ahead of the changes.  One of the changes we can expect to see is the way business is conducted in the marketplace. The way products and services are marketed, sold and serviced is going to become much more competitive and much more challenging as we move on into 2014.

You have heard the old saying, “When the going get tough, the tough get going.”  What’s that mean in terms of the effectiveness of your sales organization?  First of all, those organizations that are committed to winning in 2014 are going to have to quit relying on the old established ways of selling and servicing customers in the marketplace. The old models won’t work anymore. They’re going to have to out-plan, out-think and out-perform their competition if they’re going to win in 2014. It’s going to come down to ‘preparation’ and ‘execution’.

Those organizations who have the most well-prepared teams are going to be the ones who will enjoy the greatest degree of success in our rapidly changing marketplace; and that’s where our proven career development process for the professional sales executive – SALES-THE BOTTOM LINE – comes in.

It’s a very effective sales development approach that’s been designed to turn pretenders into contenders and top producers into true champions in the world of selling.  It will equip your sales people with the ability to write more business in less time and generate a greater degree of repeat and referral business for your organization. SALES-THE BOTTOM LINE will lower your expense to sales ratio and increase your overall profitability in the process.

When it comes to winning in the profession of selling, it’s all about “proper prior preparation preventing pitiful poor performance”  both on and off the field!

Give us a call if you are considering strengthening your sales organization during 2014 and we will be happy to provide you with all of the information you will need to make a smart decision on behalf of your sales organization,  your company and your clients.

We now have two versions of Sales-The Bottom Line; our complete twelve month career development process and our new two day Sales Acceleration Workshop.

You can click on the following links for more information:

Complete Career Development Process

Free Sales Development Workshop!

Be sure and ask about the opportunity to have us conduct a complimentary two hour sales development workshop at your location. It will not only provide your sales people with valuable information and tools that they will be able to put to work immediately, but it will give you an opportunity to learn more about SALES-THE BOTTOM LINE in the process.

One of our complimentary test drives will be of value to your sales organization whether or not you choose to get them involved in our complete sales development process.  Just email or you can give us a call and we will be happy to provide you with more information.


Recommended Reading . . .

I thought I would recommend a great read that I’m reading through again this month.

On Becoming a Leader

by Warren Bennis

There are many widely read books on leadership that most would consider classics such as Good to Great, In Search of Excellence and Built to Last. And while these are all great reads, they are for the most part about what makes a great company, not necessarily a great leader. Great leadership skills must be practiced, honed and developed. Warren Bennis, a leadership sage that genuinely deserves to be called one, looks ‘within’, exploring how it’s only through knowledge of oneself that good leadership can be developed. His classic work On Becoming a Leader has served as a source of insight for countless readers. In a world increasingly defined by turbulence and uncertainty, the call to leadership is now more urgent than ever; at home, in the marketplace and beyond. His approach to understanding and developing leadership in many ways reflects what is at the core of Leadership-The Bottom Line.

If you already have On Becoming a Leader in your own personal library, pull your copy of the shelf – blow the dust off – and give it a fresh read!

Let me know what you think . . .

Necessary Leadership Qualities

Managers don’t become leaders overnight. Even what some might refer to as “born leaders” don’t start out possessing all these necessary skills. Here are ten skills that should be considered fundamental to good leadership in any organization: (all of which are covered in our monthly leadership development sessions.)

. Have Vision.

Leaders have a clear sense of where they want to go and how they intend to get there. They see the big picture; they set realistic goals and they create strategic plans for achieving their goals.

2. Make Decisions.

Leaders aren’t afraid to make difficult or unpopular decisions because they have confidence in themselves and in their abilities. They know that indecision wastes resources and opportunities and it diminishes their credibility in the minds of their people.

3. Take Risks.

Leaders have the courage to act in situations where results aren’t necessarily assured. They’re willing to risk failure in order to succeed. By the way, don’t expect perfection. No one wins all the time. Leaders grow by making mistakes. Just don’t make the same ones twice!

4. Motivate Others.

Leaders effectively articulate their vision and ideas to others, convincing them of the value of their ideas. They inspire people to want to be a part of their vision and to work toward common goals, and to achieve things they never thought they could possibly do.

5. Build Teams.

Leaders create productive teams that bring the best out in people. They effectively coach teams in the areas of collaboration, consensus building, and how to win.

6. Possess Self-knowledge.

Leaders know their own strengths and weaknesses and are able to view their abilities and behavior objectively. They recognize their shortcomings, they open themselves up to constructive feedback, and they are willing to make valuable changes when necessary.

7. Display Integrity.

Leaders must be trustworthy before others will trust and follow them. Qualities that establish trust in others are confidence, competence, constancy, caring, candor, and congruity, all of which are perceived by others as being authenticity, reliability, and a feeling of being comfortable with oneself; all of which engenders loyalty in others.

8. Pursue Lifelong Learning.

Leaders have a desire to continually learn and grow and are open to new ideas. They look for practical ways to expand their knowledge. They look beyond their own colleagues and their own industry for ideas and inspiration. They read books and participate in on-going training programs to stay on top of new management theories and ideas.

9. Communicate Effectively.

Leaders can convey their ideas to diverse individuals and adjust their communication styles to meet the needs of the people they lead. They ask the right questions and listen well and read between the lines during conversations, especially when dealing with subordinates who may be reluctant to say what they really think.

10. Help Others Succeed.

Leaders empower others and go out of their way to help them achieve their full potential, thereby benefiting the employee and the organization. They understand that their success is dependent on the success of their people, individually and collectively.


Are Your Habits Working For You or Against You?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

One of the things we have learned working the people business is that success truly is a habit; and so is failure. If we were to slow down long enough to really consider the matter, we would come to the stark realization that it’s our habits (good or bad) that ultimately produce our quality of life. With that being the case, our goal then should be to establish as many good habits as we possibly can. The more good habits we have, the better our life will become.

The question then is how do you create ‘good’ habits in your life? Using willpower to force yourself to do something will only last for so long. Things like motivation, self-discipline and determination will get you started but they won’t get you across the finish line when it comes to you establishing the kinds of habits that really will change your life for the better.

So what’s the answer? The goal is to get yourself to do something long enough until it becomes a habit or until it simply becomes a part of who you are – without all the struggle. Once it becomes a habit, you won’t have to put much effort into it anymore. It’ll become automatic without you even giving it a thought.

To simplify the process, consider the following truth; As human beings, we move away from those things we believe will cause us discomfort and/or pain and we tend to move toward those things that we believe will produce pleasure in our life. The secret then to establishing good habits is to find ways to associate good feelings to the activity you want to develop as a habit. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

1. Focus on why establishing the new habit it so important to you.

You need to sell yourself on the new habit. Why do you want to create the habit in the first place? What is the downside of you not developing the new habit? What is the upside? Think about the feelings you would experience if your new habit was already developed and also how it will positively impact your life when it is.

2. Think about the very real consequences of NOT following through.

Create and associate pain to you not following through. Imagine where you’ll be months or even years down the road if you don’t create this new habit. What will the real cost-factors be? How will that feel? In what ways will those cost-factors negatively impact those you really love and care about the most in your life?

3. Think about the rewards associated with you consistently following through.

Imagine how great your life is going to be when this habit has become a part of you. In what ways will your life be enriched? How will you feel about yourself? In what ways will those you love and care for the most in your life benefit from your new habit?

4. Get started and reward yourself immediately after you’ve taken each action.

You want to give yourself something that will make you feel good, something that you normally wouldn’t do. The idea is for your mind to be able to begin associating pleasure with the new action you’ve just taken each time you take it.

5. Think about what feelings you’re looking for and find other things you can do that give you the same feeling and combine the two while you are working on establishing your new habit.

For example, if the habit you’re trying to create is to workout everyday and the feeling you get is a feeling of power and confidence and you happen to have a particular song that when you listen to it, it gives you that sensation, listen to it while you workout.

6. Consistency will be the key to your success.

Once you begin the development of your new habit, be sure to take the new step (practice your new habit) as often and as consistently as you can; daily or even hourly if possible. We are creatures of habit. We learn through repetition. How did you learn your multiplication tables?

Stay the course and you will be amazed at the changes you will begin to see occur in your life! It will feel great to begin to take back control of every part of your life – one new habit at a time!!


You are what you repeatedly do.

Sow a thought, reap an act.
Sow an act, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a lifestyle.
Sow a lifestyle, reap your destiny.

You really do reap what you sow in life!


How Management Sometimes Demotivates Employees

As was mentioned above, our second segment this month will focus our attention on how to create what is perceived by employees as being a truly great place to work. Why is that important?

In order for companies to experience the greatest return possible on what they are investing in their people, their people must place a high degree of value on being an important part of the organization. Employees need to feel good about themselves while they are on the job and they also need to feel good about the contribution they are making to the success of their team.

Unfortunately, management sometimes forgets that they are first and foremost in the people business and that there are several ways that they sometimes unwittingly have the opposite effect on their people. Without even realizing it, they demotivate their employees and diminish, if not outright destroy their enthusiasm.

Without meaning to, many companies treat employees as disposable. At the first sign of business difficulty, employees—who are usually routinely referred to as “our greatest asset”—become expendable.

Employees generally receive inadequate recognition and reward. About half of the workers in employee surveys report receiving little or no credit when deserved, and almost two-thirds say management is much more likely to criticize them for poor performance than praise them for good work.

Management inadvertently makes it difficult for employees to do their jobs on more occasions than they realize. Excessive levels of required approvals, endless paperwork, insufficient training, failure to communicate, infrequent delegation of authority, and a lack of a credible vision on the part of those in leadership capacities contribute to employees’ frustration.

One of the first steps to creating a great place to work for your employees is to recognize those blind spots; those things that may be seen as demotivators by your employees. Then your next steps will be to begin taking the positive steps we will look at together in our second segment this month.


Office Humor


Demonstrating Real Leadership at Home . . . First!

Let’s consider ‘forgiveness’ for the next few moments together.

Is forgiveness a conscious choice, a rational act involving the will, or is it a feeling, an emotional state of being? Leaders recognize how divisive and destructive unforgiveness can be in a marriage or in a family environment. Their first choice is always to forgive.

A genuine leader has the capacity to absorb the offenses and weaknesses of others, not just demand that they perform up to a set of unrealistic expectations. Love recognizes that people typically do the best they can with what they have to work with and they choose to make allowances for people when they make mistakes. Leaders choose to forgive. Their approach is always loving and growth-oriented.

Many people are afraid to forgive because they feel they half to reinforce the wrong or nothing will be learned from the experience. The opposite is true. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released so that we together can genuinely learn from the experience.

Forgiveness is a gift not a given. 

Asking for Forgiveness

1. Make an unconditional apology.

An unconditional apology focuses on our responsibility in the matter not our spouse’s.  It should sound something like this, “I was wrong for what I did and I am so sorry.”  Period  Don’t make excuses or point the finger at our mate.  An unconditional apology should not sound like this, “I am sorry, BUT IF YOU wouldn’t have . . .”  That is not an unconditional apology.

2. Humbly ask for the gift of forgiveness.

Again, since forgiveness is not a given, we must ask for it.  After our apology we need to sincerely ask our mate to forgive us. Care more for your mate than you do for yourself and empathize with how they must be feeling.

3. Follow up with action.

This is what gives substance to apologizing and asking for forgiveness.  We need to sincerely repent or turn away from our wrongs.  Whether it involves our attitudes or our actions, we need to show our spouse that we are changing.  And, we need to be open to their input as to what constitutes satisfactory change.  Remember, they are the one who has been hurt so they might require more from us than we think should be necessary.  But, we should be aware of their needs and be open to their suggestions. Our heartfelt desire should be to love them and to bring unity back to our relationship.

4. Give your spouse time.

Even if our spouse does accept our apology and grant forgiveness, we can’t expect things to be better right away.  Now sure, you might get over the small things more quickly but for bigger things, it can take our spouse time to get beyond their feelings and warm up to us again.  Be patient with them.  Time will show that you are changing and are sincere about not hurting them again.

Granting Forgiveness

1. Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling.

We may not feel like forgiving our mate but what does that have to do with anything.  We may want to harbor the anger and hurt and make them pay for what they have done; (how incredibly selfish and immature is that?)  But, once you decide you want to grant forgiveness, you can begin to work through those hurt feelings. Feeling bad is not wrong. It’s really all about how you choose to process those hurt feelings that will be the determining factor. Remember, forgiveness is a choice, a quality decision that you are making on their behalf and not your own; also on behalf of the quality of your marriage relationship. The true secret is choosing to die to self in favor of loving your mate unconditionally.

2. Share your hurt.

After your spouse has apologized and asked for your forgiveness, you may need to talk about the matter before you move on.  It might be uncomfortable, but you may need to share how you feel about what has happened.  Don’t point a finger at them; just share how you feel, so they understand the depth of your hurt. It’s important to speak the truth in love.  Make sure you feel heard, before you move on, and most importantly, remember to keep the person separate from their performance. Don’t attack the person, simply deal with what happened and its impact on you and potentially the relationship you share together.

3. Plan for change.

Decide together what your spouse’s change of heart will look like.  Be clear about what you expect and what you need – but not in a demanding or demeaning way.  The goal here is not to punish with requirements, but to set up guidelines or boundaries that you both can agree to.  That way, there will be fewer gray areas that can lead to the possibility of future disappointment.

4. Stop the video.

Do not replay your spouse’s infraction over and over again in your mind.  When your mind starts to wander and you begin to dwell on the incident and the hurt they inadvertently caused you, tell yourself to stop. Choose to quickly take control of your own thought process. It’s one thing to need to talk to someone like a pastor or a counselor about your pain so you can move past it, but it’s another thing entirely when you keep inflicting the same pain on yourself again and again by dwelling on the hurt.  Deciding to truly forgive your spouse is re-committing to your relationship.  Don’t sabotage that recommitment by focusing on the negative.

5. Give yourself time.

Just deciding to forgive will not strip away all of the pain of the incident, depending on the severity of the infraction of course.  You may need to give yourself time. Remember what the good book tells us . . . it says that love will cover a multitude of sins!

The Bottom Line on Forgiveness . . .

No one can make you forgive.  It is your choice.  But, if you decide not to forgive you will suffer the consequences of bitterness and frustration that harboring resentment always brings.  On the other hand, when you grant forgiveness you are taking the first step in ridding your heart of the pain you may now feel.  You are saying, “Yes, you hurt me and what you did was wrong.  But, I am giving up my right to punish you.  In so doing, I am rising above the pain you have caused you and me both and I am choosing instead to love you more than the pain hurts me.”

Remember that genuine leadership starts at home!


Holiday Wishes

Dear Lord . . .

Help us to rightly remember the birth of Jesus that we may share in the songs of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men and may Christmas morning make us truly happy to be your children.

We pray that God’s presence will be especially near and dear to you during this Holiday Season and may the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love. Christmas is a time of giving and sharing, loving and forgiving. Our hope and prayer is that we all will carry the Spirit of Christmas with us throughout this Holiday Season and on into and through all of 2014.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to Everyone!


Come Join Us

Once again, let me remind you that we are looking forward to seeing you in one of the leadership sessions around the country this month.  If you need anything at all, please feel free to email or you can give any of us a call as we’re all committed to your success.

We sincerely appreciate the privilege of working with you and your outstanding organization.  Oh, and by the way, remember to say your prayers.

“Lord, when I am wrong, make me willing to change;
and when I am right, make me easier to live with.
Strengthen me that the power of my example
will far exceed the authority of my rank.”


Leadership works best when people are equipped to manage themselves. When that happens, everyone on your team is working proactively. Everyone is participating in leadership. You create this type of environment through win-win agreements which stem from quality relationships built primarily on respect and trust instead of on authority alone.

Jim Abbondante


Contact Information


Jim Abbondante
President, Director of Training
Direct Line: (817) 304-2225


Leadership Institute
Main Number: (903) 960-5636

Student Services Number:    1-800-955-0109
(Personal and/or Executive Coaching, Misc. Needs, etc.)




Leadership Session Follow-up – December!

This month’s leadership session follow-up will provide you with a quick overview of the content we covered in our leadership sessions around the country during the month of December, 2011.  The two primary areas of focus this month were understanding and working effectively with various behavioral styles – and – influencing loyalty by creating a great place to work for your employees. You can scan this follow-up for a review of some of the main points we covered during the session and also the specifics regarding the application projects for the month of December. In addition, we have also included some additional resource material that will provide you with some very practical steps you can take to further increase your effectiveness in these two very important areas.


Four Behavioral Styles
Building a Great Place to Work!!


The former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, emphasized in his book ‘Leadership’ that the role of effective leadership in times of crises was about inspiring and motivating people, fostering and recognizing teamwork, and remaining visibly present and optimistic even during the toughest of times. Subordinates, colleagues and peers all look to their leaders for confidence, direction and motivation. This means that senior executives, department heads and front line managers all carry a tremendous responsibility for the level of morale in their organization, not only when times are going great, but especially during tough times. Moods and behaviors of leaders carry a lot of weight, and they communicate powerful non-verbal messages; genuine optimism, trust and personal integrity are much more important than simply charisma or the power of command, especially when an organization encounters rough sledding. Peter Drucker once observed that Harry Truman did not have one ounce of charisma, yet he was among the most effective chief executives in US history. Employees will go to the mat every time for a leader they respect, admire and that they can place their complete and total confidence in. While it’s great to see that conditions are improving and that brighter days are just over the horizon, it’s still important that we keep this in mind as we continue to work to successfully lead our organizations through the challenging times we are moving through in our nation.

Jim Abbondante


December 22, 2011

We have completed our last monthly session, not only for the month of December, but now also for the year 2011, and what a great year this has been for all of us here at the Leadership Institute. We’ve been honored to have been able to work this year with some very outstanding organizations and we have developed some wonderful new friendships along the way. With that in mind, we want to express our sincere appreciation to each of our client companies for the confidence they placed in us this past year and also for the opportunity they gave us to make a difference in the lives of many of their participants and in their organizations; and we would also like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a very prosperous 2012!

December Leadership Session

With regard to the December leadership session, if you were in one of the sessions with us this month, you know first hand that our focus in December was on 1) understanding and adapting to the behavioral styles of others, and on 2) the primary factors that need to come together in just the right way in order for our employees to be able to perceive their work environment as being a truly great place to work. Let’s do a quick review of what we covered in each of our two segments – from an ‘application’ perspective. (Page 12-1)

First Segment: Social Styles

“How to Work Productively with Various Social Styles!”

In our first segment this month, we reaffirmed the fact that as leaders, when it comes to achieving measurable results through our people, we have two primary objectives in everything we do: 1) to accomplish the goals and the objectives we have been assigned in our area of responsibility, while 2) finding ways to inspire, and even accelerate, the genuine growth we are able to achieve in our people in the process. Why? Not only do we want to be able to ‘exceed’ our projected outcomes in terms of the accomplishment of our goals and objectives, but we want to be able to end up with a much stronger team, a much more mature and more capable team in the process.

As was discussed in previous sessions, the foundation upon which we will be able to achieve this level of success will be our personal credibility and influence, the growth-oriented nature of the relationships we develop with our people, our ‘leadership’ style of management and finally the quality of the environment we create for our people.

The quality of the relationships we develop with each member of our team, and our ability to communicate and work effectively with them, will play a big part in our ability to achieve the success we desire, both in and through them, so the more we understand about human nature, and about each one of our people in particular, the more effective we will become. It was with that in mind that we set aside the month of December to study behavioral styles (or social styles as they are sometimes referred to by some instructors).

Scientific research shows us that people typically  think, communicate and behave predictably different, and it’s because of these unique differences that we agreed in our sessions that we need to learn to understand and adapt to other people’s behavior styles. As we develop our strengths and abilities in this area, we will greatly increase our ability to communicate effectively and thus build more compatible and productive relationships with the people we lead and work with.

The December segment was designed to equip us to become more comfortable leading and working with people whose ‘behavioral styles’ might differ from our own. In addition to learning how to identify our own personal behavioral style, we also learned how to recognize and adapt to the behavioral styles of the people we work with on a daily basis. As we begin to consciously practice what we learned in the session, it will significantly increase our effectiveness and our ability to achieve our goals, and greatly enhance our ability to really succeed in the people business.

The Four Styles

We learned that the concept of behavioral styles, the grouping of human behavior into four separate categories, has been around for literally hundreds of years. The four groupings have been referred to by a number of different names such as:

Earth, Wind, Water & Fire

Melancholy, Sanguine, Phlegmatic & Choleric

Feeler, Intuitor, Thinker & Sensor

Dominant, Interactive, Compliant & Steady

Valuing, Visioning, Relating & Directing

Analytical, Driving, Amiable & Expressive

Relater, Socializer, Thinker & Director

(By the way, one of my favorites when it comes to teaching the concept of behavioral styles is Dr. Tony Alessandra. He has produced a wealth of information of the subject and he is an extremely effective presenter.)

So, what do all of these terms (or perspectives) have in common?

Even though the names have been changed, the basic concept remains the same. Our objective in the December session was to consider all of the different perspectives taken in each of the different studies, consider all of the commonalities involved, and then distill it all down into an approach that would make the concept easy to understand, easy to apply and thus easy to benefit from.

To further the accomplishment of that goal, we used various types of ‘birds’ to identify the four basic behavioral types or styles; (Page 12-6)

What comes to mind when you consider each of these four types of birds? What do they typically represent? The dove typically represents peace; the peacock flash and excitement; the owl detail and the eagle power.

Identifying Behavior Styles

On page 12-8, we discussed the various perspectives that you will want to take under consideration when you want to determine which behavioral style best represents a particular person, be it a co-worker, team member, or even a member of your own family. They included each of the following behaviors:


When it comes to their interaction with others, to what degree do they appear to be people-oriented, open in their communication style and supportive of others? Do they tend to be more relationship-oriented than task-oriented? If so, they would probably be considered more ‘supporting’ than controlling.


On the other hand, do they seem to be more reserved, non-communicative and self-controlled when it comes to their style of communicating and relating to others? Do they appear to be more task-oriented than people-oriented? If so, they would probably be considered more ‘controlling’ than supporting.


When it comes to how they typically approach their work or specific tasks, to what degree do they appear to be methodical or process-oriented? Do they prefer to maybe move a little slower and even exercise caution until they are able to gather and carefully consider all of the facts involved? If it would appear sometimes as though the facts, the process and taking all of the necessary steps are equally, if not more important than the results, then they would probably be considered more ‘indirect’ than direct.


On the other hand, do they have a tendency to be much more strait-forward and results-oriented, with a lesser degree of concern for the process and all of the specific facts involved? Would you say they prefer to take a more ‘direct’ approach to achieving the goal or completing the task?  If so, they would probably be considered more ‘direct’ than indirect.

We covered each of these four very important perspectives in great detail on pages 12-9 through 12-12. We also considered the specific people we work with on a daily basis from all four of these perspectives in order to be able to begin identifying their individual behavioral styles.

By the way, which are you?

Combining Perspectives


(Supporting & Indirect) (Relationship-oriented)

On page 12-13, we began putting it all together. For example, if an individual is perceived as being an open, people-oriented communicator who prefers to focus on the process and its impact on relationships as opposed to just the results, he or she is probably going to fit more comfortably in the ‘dove’ category.


(Controlling & Indirect) (Detail-oriented)

If an individual is perceived as not being very open or very people-oriented, a person who would much prefer to focus on evaluating the facts and is somewhat preoccupied with making sure that each one of the steps are methodically taken in order to complete the task, he or she is probably going to fit more comfortably in the ‘owl’ category.


(Supporting & Direct) (Socially-oriented)

If an individual is perceived as being open, enthusiastic and very people-oriented, a person who instead of being burdened with all the specific facts would much prefer to enthusiastically focus on pulling a team together to accomplish the goal, he or she is probably going to fit more comfortably in the ‘peacock’ category.


(Controlling & Direct) (Results-oriented)

If an individual is perceived as not being very open or very people-oriented, a person who, instead of being burdened with all the facts or slowed down by the process, would much prefer to focus on achieving the goal, to the degree that they are more than willing to take control of the situation in order to get it done, he or she is probably going to fit more comfortably in the ‘eagle’ category.

Identifying Co-workers

On pages 12-14 through 12-18, we discussed in great detail the primary characteristics of each of the four behavioral styles and how to quickly identify them, and we also began using those insights to identify the behavioral styles of some of those who we work with on a daily basis.

Identifying our own Behavioral Style

On pages 12-19 through 12-21, we had some fun taking an introspective look at our own behavioral tendencies as we went to work on determining our own personal behavioral style using the personal evaluation found on page 12-19. By the way, if you have any additional questions about your personal evaluation or how to benefit from what you discovered about your own personal style, please feel free to get in touch with us. We’re glad to help.

Adapting to other Behavioral Styles

Once we developed an understanding of the concept of behavioral styles, how to identify our own style and the styles of others, our next task was to begin focusing on how best to become flexible and adapt to the styles of others in order to improve our communication skills, build more productive relationships and to be able to achieve more with and through our people. This included detailed discussions on how to accomplish each of the following:

Steps to Increase our own Behavioral Flexibility!

On page 12-24, we discussed the fact that being able to successfully adapt to the behavioral styles of others begins with our ability to become flexible where our own personal behavioral characteristics are concerned. We may need to be a little less of ‘this’ and a little more of ‘that’ based upon the behavioral style of the person we are interacting with. You can find the behavioral areas that each ‘bird’ will need to be prepared to be flexible in listed on this page.

Steps to Better Relationships with each Behavioral Style!

On page 12-25, we discussed the specific steps that we can take to begin building better long-term relationships with each of the other ‘birds’ that we typically work with on a daily basis – understanding of course, that it begins with our own willingness and ability to be flexible in the areas listed on page 12-24.

Steps to Achieving Greater Success with each Behavioral Style!

This page provides a very practical and efficient overview of what it means to truly adapt to any of the four behavioral styles. On page 12-26, we discussed how to actually customize your interaction with anyone (based on their particular behavioral style) in order to be able to achieve a greater degree of success with that person. The chart is laid out in such a way that you can very quickly develop a strategy for achieving success with just about anyone you may find yourself working with.

Steps to Effectively Managing each Behavioral Style!

This page was created to be a very practical tool for busy managers who don’t want to settle for just shooting from the hip when it comes to dealing with important management issues with team members. On page 12-27, we discussed the fact that each behavioral style really needs to be managed differently based upon which ‘bird’ they are (as well as a number of other factors we covered in several of our other monthly sessions). On this page (12-27), we discussed how to motivate, compliment, counsel, correct and delegate to each individual behavioral style. The page is again designed to be a quick and practical resource for busy managers who are committed to excellence when it comes to dealing effectively with their people.


We ended each of our first segment by discussing specific relationships that we (as leaders) could potentially improve by adjusting our approaches and our behaviors in specific ways when interacting with those particular individuals. The discussions yielded some very practical observations and commitments on the part of everyone who participated in the sessions and I am looking forward to hearing about some of the successes that will be achieved as the result of everyone’s follow-through.

The Bottom Line

Your ability to adapt to the needs of those around you will prove to be one of the primary keys to your success. Adaptability is your willingness and your ability to adjust your approach or strategy based on the particular needs of the situation or relationship that may exist at any given time. It’s something applied more to yourself (to your patterns, attitudes and habits) than to others. Adaptability has everything to do with the way you manage your own behaviors; and it’s a reflection of how much you really care about succeeding with the other person.

You practice adaptability each time you slow down for an Owl or a Dove; or when you move a bit faster for the Eagle or the Peacock Styles. It occurs when the Eagle or the Owl Styles take the time to build better relationships with a Dove or a Peacock Style; or when the Peacock or Dove styles focus on facts or get right to the point with the Eagle or the Owl styles. It means adjusting your own behavior to make other people feel more at ease with you and the situation you both find yourselves in. Choose to Adapt and Win!

Segment Two: Building Loyalty

“How to Develop Loyalty and Keep Winners!”

In our second segment we began by discussing the fact that one of the fastest ways to minimize turnover in any organization is to hire right, provide quality training and then demonstrate the kind of leadership that inspires true loyalty on the part of every member of team. We agreed that every successful company that we could think of was made up of good people with great attitudes who were loyal and genuinely committed to the success of their company. So, the question was “what does it take to develop this kind of loyalty on the part of each one of our people?”

In order to be able to answer that question, we took a look at the results of a recent Gallup Poll that showed that successful companies can trace their success to three very important elements; 1) they have a growing number of customers, 2) they provide a great place to work, and 3) they have a positive cash flow.

On page 12-32, we began to discuss each of these three very important factors and agreed that they should be placed in the following logical order of importance:

Three Characteristics of a Successful Growing Company!

1. They provide a Great Place to Work!

2. They have a Growing Number of Good Customers!

3. (and) They Maintain a Positive Cash Flow!

Confident, competent people with great attitudes who really care about their company, and who genuinely care about their customers, have to come together and perform as a genuine team in order to be able to consistently provide the kinds of quality products and services that make it possible for them to enjoy a growing number of good customers. When that happens, they begin to enjoy a steady flow of repeat and referral business which then leads to a positive cash flow.

On page 12-33, we went on to discuss the fact that a great place to work is not found in a specific setting, but it’s found wherever employees are able to experience six important realities in their workplace which you can see listed on page 12-34, in your student manual;

A Great Place to Work!

1. Having the opportunity to do what I do best.

2. Having the sense that management cares about me.

3. Knowing specifically what’s expected of me.

4. Getting individual recognition for what I do.

5. Having the opportunity to learn and grow.

6. A feeling of being productive and making a meaningful contribution.

We agreed that when employees are able to experience these important realities in their daily work life, they then begin to perceive their company as being a great place to work; and when employees are provided a great place to work, attitudes improve, people have a tendency to feel good about themselves and about their contribution to the success of the organization, there is a greater degree of pride taken in the quality of the work they produce and there’s also a greater degree of loyalty demonstrated toward their manager and to the accomplishment of company goals and objectives.

In addition to discussing the importance of each of the six important realities, on page 12-35, we also took some time to consider the twelve monthly leadership sessions included in Leadership-The Bottom Line and we identified many of the specific sessions that actually addressed the six realities that were included in the Gallop Poll research project.


So what really makes for a great place to work? When you really think about it – any company has the potential be a great place to work – a place that employees actually look forward to showing up at every day!

When you get right down to it – at its core – a great place to work is a place where employees have a genuine respect for those they work with and for – they’re able to place their confidence and trust in the people that are in positions of influence; they take pride in what they do, they enjoy the people they work with and they enjoy the relationships that exist at all levels in the organization. They like who they are when they are there, they feel that they are making an important contribution and they are optimistic about their future. Now that’s a great place to work!


It’s important that you remember that you set the pace,
the tone and the mood – you’re the leader!”


Servant Leadership

We had a participant in one of our ‘on-site’ leadership sessions forward this photo of Albert Einstein to us this past week. The quote at the bottom of the picture got me really thinking about the essence of what we teach in Leadership-The Bottom Line. While we focus each month on different leadership principles and various management processes, our underlying message is one of servant leadership.

Servant Leadership is essentially all about you and I choosing to be the best we can be in order to be able to set a good example and be the inspiration that we really need to be in the lives of our people. It’s about positioning ourselves to be able to influence others in a positive way while working with them in ways that will ultimately prove to be in their best interest.

Servant Leadership is a philosophy and practice of leadership, coined and defined by Robert Greenleaf (which is supported by many leadership and management authors and trainers such as James Autry, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Peter Block, Peter Senge, Max DePree, Larry Spears, Margaret Wheatley, Jim Hunter, Kent Keith and Ken Jennings, just to name a few), that’s geared toward demonstrating a genuine commitment to meeting the needs of others.

Servant-leaders achieve results for their organizations by placing a high degree of priority on meeting the needs of those they serve, which includes their colleagues, their employees and their clients and/or customers. Servant-leaders typically demonstrate a nobility and a humility that is often admired by those they work with, and they are known to be exceptional stewards of their organization’s resources (human, financial and physical).

What are some of the main characteristics of the servant leader?

1) They devote themselves to serving the needs of their organization and its members.

2) They focus on meeting the needs of those they lead individually and corporately.

3) Their commitment is to the development of their employees and to bringing out the best in each of them. They expect the best ‘from’ them and also ‘for’ them.

4) Their focus is primarily on mentoring and coaching as opposed to simply managing, although they are typically considered to be extraordinary managers.

5) Their ultimate commitment is to ‘growth’ – their own, their people, their organization and all who may directly or indirectly find themselves impacted in some way by their leadership.

6) They are great listeners. They listen with their heart; they care and are open to considering the views of others.

7) Their approach is to build a sense of community. And finally, they demonstrate wisdom, reason and responsibility when it comes to making decisions.

Servant leaders are felt to be effective by so many because they demonstrate a level of confidence and the kind of commitment to excellence that commands the respect of those they serve and a genuine desire on the part of those they lead to want to live up to their expectations. It’s that kind of leadership (that quality of leadership) that really does impact the ‘bottom line’ in a very positive way!

Leadership-The Bottom Line


“Leadership is not wielding authority, it’s leading
and empowering your people to succeed!”


Application Projects!

“How to Work Productively with Various Social Styles!”

Turn in your manual to pages 12-29 & 12-29A

One of the characteristics of the outstanding leader is that they not only understand human nature, but they have developed the unique ability to apply, in a very practical way, what they have learned in order to increase their influence when it comes to helping others succeed.

Consider two individuals that you’re committed to influencing in a positive way as you move forward into the new year. Following the steps that are outlined for you on pages 12-29 and 12-29A, develop a relationship strategy for each that when followed will make it possible for you to significantly improve the relationship you have with them and thus your ability to influence them in a positive way.

Be prepared to provide us with feedback regarding the design and implementation of your relationship strategies, including some insight into how your relationships with them have improved at the beginning of our session next month. If you will not be joining us for the session in January, you can scan and email, or fax your completed project to us directly at the Leadership Institute. The contact information you will need is listed below.  And as usual, please feel free to contact us for personal assistance if we can help you in any way with the completion of your application project.

“How to Develop Loyalty and Keep Winners!”

Turn in your manual to page 12-43.

The new year that is now just over the horizon presents to each of us as leaders a clean slate – a fresh opportunity. With respect to the ‘people side’ of your business, what is your vision for 2011?

As you begin to prepare to move into the new year, what steps do you plan to take to make sure that each of your team members are able to genuinely experience each of the six important elements that we covered in our second segment this month?

Your challenge now is to find ways to apply the 7P’s where each one of those elements are concerned in order to make sure you really do provide your team with a great place to work in 2011!

Complete the simple exercise on Page 12-43, and then be prepared to provide us with a copy of your completed project as you check in at the beginning of our session next month in January. If you will not be joining us for the session in January, you can then scan and email, or fax your completed project directly to us at the Leadership Institute.

Student Services Fax Number: (903) 960-5636


Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Pitiful Poor Performance!


Application Projects . . .

When it comes to any of our application projects, the idea is to see them as the first formal step in terms of getting the content out of the classroom and out there into the real world where it belongs and where it will do you and your people some good. Your goal is to take the information we covered, the material we discussed in our session together, and find as many opportunities as possible to apply it out there in your real world. Remember, adults learn by doing and they grow as the result of being given the opportunity to succeed on a repetitive basis. That’s the meaning behind our madness with regard to all of our application projects.

Their design is always simple; just read the directions at the top of the pages, follow the prompts, answer the questions, fill in the blanks, take the appropriate steps, then be prepared to share your results with us at the beginning of the next month’s session. You’ll do great!! You always do!!!

Call us if you need any assistance with any of your application projects.

We want to make sure you receive the maximum benefit possible from not only the application projects referenced above but from everything you’re learning as you progress through the complete leadership development process with us!!


Great Idea!!

Why don’t you go ahead and follow through and get started on your application projects now while the content and all the concepts are still fresh in your mind?

As a matter of fact, once you get started, you’ll really enjoy thinking through the processes and succeeding! Your people will enjoy you applying the processes too!


Please feel free to email or you can give us a call if you would like any personal assistance and/or coaching when it comes to completing your application projects this month.

You can call or email – or reach us through our website!  (See Below!)



Let me remind you once again to plan to take full advantage of your opportunity for individual ‘on-site’ coaching in any of the areas that pertain to the application of the concepts, principles and processes we cover in our monthly sessions.  In addition, we are always happy to assist you in any areas pertaining to everyday ‘people’ issues.

We can assist you by phone or at your location. Just email or give us a call and we will go to work on scheduling a convenient time for us to get together.


Office Humor!


One Last Thing . . .

Would you take a minute to provide us with some feedback regarding what you experienced in the December session by leaving a comment for us at the end of this follow-up article. You can just click on ‘leave a comment’ above or below or you can send an email. We always appreciate and enjoy hearing back from you.

Have a great month and remember . . . .

“The will to win is worth nothing . . .
. . . unless you have the will to prepare.”




Leadership works best when people are equipped to manage themselves. When that happens, everyone on your team is working proactively. Everyone is participating in leadership. You create this type of environment through win-win agreements which stem from quality relationships built primarily on respect and trust instead of on authority alone.

Jim Abbondante


Contact Information . . .


Jim Abbondante
President, Director of Training
Direct Line: (817) 304-2225


Leadership Institute
Main Number: (903) 960-5636

Student Services Number:    1-800-955-0109
(Personal and/or Executive Coaching, Misc. Needs, etc.)