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Are we born with a personality?

Are we born with a personality?

If we really are born with a personality, as many psychologists tell us, there is plenty of evidence to makes us think so, but also plenty to argue against it.

If I were a Badass Orange person, for example, you just might agree I was probably born with great physical abilities and an adventurous nature. I would tell you that, yes, I worked hard to get skillful, but that I honestly feel that I was gifted at birth with a terrific body type, a bottomless cauldron of endless energy, and a ridiculous comfort level with risky behavior. I’d say, yes, you are looking at a naturally born Badass. I am Orange, Orange, Orange.

On the other hand, we just might discover that our individual temperaments are nothing like our parents’. Our siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and our own children have core values in direct contrast to our own. How could our own DNA manifest itself so differently? How is it, then, that we are ‘born’ with this personality?

I challenge you to look back over your whole life for just a minute. How different are you, really, from the kid in grade school you remember? Was your main core value that much different from now? For example, if you were dependably responsible then, are you still that way now? I mean, is ‘dependable responsibility’ still more important than harmony seeking, than knowledge and competence, or than personal freedom? If that principal core value remains the same, there’s a case to be made that you came into the world with a strong DNA-based temperament. You always were and always will be Gold, a Loyalist, a logistical thinker.

Needless to say, you were a hostage of your parents until your teenage years, so you have to wonder how much of ‘who you are’ comes from a natural temperament and how much comes from the intense nurturing that your parents and community thrust upon you for over a dozen years. All those people influenced your thinking, your philosophy of life, your religion, even your politics and career choices. You have to ask yourself, “How many of my life choices came from the real me, from my innate temperament, and how many were influenced by the society around me?

Whose life?

So am I living my own life, or someone else’s idea of life?”

To paraphrase Rene Descartes, we can’t live until we reject everything we’ve been taught and then begin to design our own life. Descartes’ thinking must have come from the realization that a real, innate self needs to trump the weavings of the cultures swirling around us in order for us to truly fulfill our destiny. Ah, there’s the word: Destiny. And I don’t think the word ‘destiny’ here means ‘pre-destined fate’ that we really cannot control, but a pre-determined set of talents and intelligence that need to blossom under our own control, in the face of the cultures around us, to find the best possible path for a lifetime.

So do I think we were all born with a temperament? You betcha. Both nature and nurture contribute to who we are as whole persons, but I am certain our brains and bodies arrive with some kind of pre-installed hard drive (temperament) that develops into a whole character through configurations with the apps of life.

The trick, I think, is to discover the right path early in life rather than later. And if it’s clear our own path differs significantly from the paths of the gang that lives around us, our choice to follow our own right path will probably demand a ton of uncomfortable honesty and raw courage.

Arizona’s Personality

Arizona’s Personality


Do places like the State of Arizona have a unique personality like a person does? The best way to guess is to look for core values. What do you think the core values of Arizona are?

I’d say the core Blue value of human harmony may occur among subgroups like families and certain communities like Tucson, but the Arizona’s rep for Blue approachability, diplomacy, diversity, and idealism ranks low in the whole U.S.

Green values too might be average at best. All-important Green knowledge and competence should come from a strong educational system, multiple hi-tech industries, and spirited dialog among political groups. Arizona continues to struggle in those areas.

Gold and Orange predominate in the Grand Canyon State. Both Gold and Orange values reflect hands-on, concrete, can-do characteristics.

Gold is all about responsibility and logistics – doing the right thing and recognizing that there might be an appropriate place for everyone and everything. When you enter Arizona, you can’t help but notice that even mother nature seems overly organized, as if even the distance between cacti were preordained. The colors between sky and mountain and canyon and wash could only have been conceived by a god specializing in logistics. The cities are clean and spacious, the roads and signage designed for excellent flow, the walls relatively free of graffiti. Government at all levels seems more user-friendly than counterparts in places like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Part of Arizona’s Goldness is its political conservatism — a joy for those who relish tradition; a burden for progressives.

Orange screams all values associated with personal freedom. Arizona may have the fewest laws preventing folks from doing what they want and the fewest law enforcement officers nosing into folks’ personal affairs. If you crave personal independence and privacy, Arizona is for you. If you are a gunslinger or an outrageous artist, Arizona might be the haven for you.

Yes, places have their own personality. Come to Arizona and enjoy its spectrum of Gold, then Orange, then Green, then Blue.

Gold People Are Essential Players on Your Team

Gold People Are Essential Players on Your Team

All Colors Styles are “essential” on a team, but this article will focus on our Gold friends.

Boy, is it ever hard to imagine any company, or even a work team, that does not include Gold members. After all, one half of the world is Gold.

Sure, there a few very small groups of entrepreneurs who have no Golds whatsoever. For instance, I frequent a 60’s-style jewelry shop run by three people whose Colors are so clear that no formal personality assessment is necessary. The Blue owner can never say no to any request. Her Green husband hangs at home to play on his computer all day. The Orange brother has the customer service skills of Dr. House but can rival Tiffany’s in jewelry design.

How they’ve stayed in business for forty-plus years is something I never used to understand. They toss cash in a coffee can, write receipts by hand, and seem really sloppy about inventory.

But I learned recently they have secret. The secret is they hired a Gold accounting vendor outside the family whose job it is to sort the income, put the receipts and bills in order, create a Quicken spreadsheet, then deal directly with another Gold person who happens to be the tax guy. The only “Gold job” that the owners have is to toss all the paperwork into a shoebox for Ms. Gold to do her magic with.

So, yes, Golds are essential to any business – even when they must be outsourced.

How can we count the ways that Golds are essential? If you want the system you created to work, ask the Gold to run it. If policies and rules matter, let the Golds enforce them. If you don’t want your customers to die from the food you produce, have Gold people inspect it. When a steady income depends on steady hard work, hire Golds. If there’s a chance outside forces will hurt you, look for Gold safety people to protect you.

Returning to the free-wheeling jewelers, they would feel cramped and uncomfortable with Gold people actually working alongside them in the shop, but they were smart enough to pay for Gold skills when it mattered.

In my workshops, most participants agree that the world would turn to chaos without Gold thinking, Gold values, Gold principles, and Gold leadership. That is probably true, but what’s more important, I think, is knowing that the Gold people who work for you not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk of duty and responsibility. They believe in it. They care about it. They act on it.

What’s it like in your world? What do Gold folks contribute to your company? Or are you a company that lacks Gold behavior and would benefit from hiring more Golds? Please comment on this blog entry.