Accounting & Audit
How Personality Traits Influence the Most Powerful Women in Accounting
Why do people do what they do? This question has kept me curious about people ever since I first figured, years and years ago, that twins behave so differently. That puzzled me to no end. My keen interest in human behavior sciences was born from ...
Aug. 09, 2021
By Hitendra R. Patil.
Do their personalities make the Most Powerful Women in Accounting more powerful?
Why do people do what they do?
This question has kept me curious about people ever since I first figured, years and years ago, that twins behave so differently. That puzzled me to no end. My keen interest in human behavior sciences was born from that instance.
When I saw the announcement about the 2020-2021 Most Powerful Women in Accounting announced by AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor, I just could not resist to find out if there is something common in the personalities of these women. (The Most Powerful Women were reannounced and publicly honored at the AICPA Engage conference in July 2021.)
I decided to use a DiSC tool to analyze their personalities. DiSC is a personal assessment tool used by more than one million people every year to help improve teamwork, communication, and productivity in the workplace.
From the results I obtained, I worked out the commonest personality types. Here is how it turned out to be.
(Click for larger image.)
The top four types constitute represent about 76% of the women on this list. According to CrystalKnows.com, the key traits of the top four types of personalities are:
- The Captains:
People with the D (Captain) personality type tend to be assertive, intense, and ambitious. They are usually pragmatic, results-oriented executors who work quickly and make decisions with firmness and objectivity. Captains have a strong emphasis on shaping the environment and overcoming opposition to accomplish results.
- The Initiators:
People with the DI (Initiator) personality type tend to approach people and situations in an energetic, lively manner. They are likely to enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over with strong social skills and a knack for being persuasive.
- The Influencers:
People with the Id (Influencer) personality type tend to be energetic and adventurous, communicating with casual language, bold statements, and focusing on the big picture. They are likely to have an easy, relaxed, casual manner when speaking or interacting with others and enjoy the challenge of meeting new people.
- The Drivers:
People with the Di (Driver) personality type are typically assertive, capable of putting themselves forward boldly, and resistant to influence from others. Convincing others to work toward their goals, they may be seen as decisive, forceful, and persuasive when convincing others to work toward their goals.
Do their personalities make them more powerful?
Do their personalities make these 76% of women more powerful, or is it the work they do that shapes their personalities over the years?
New York Times best-selling author and corporate coach Chester Elton’s book “What Motivates Me?” sheds some light on this aspect. According to Chester’s research, individual “motivators” keep changing over time and can depend on several factors, especially life and work experiences.
What about other types of personalities?
Information about other personality types mentioned in the graph above can be found on crystalknows.com. I analyzed a bit more and tried to correlate with the work each of these women do. In my opinion, “power” to impact others and their outcomes/results does not necessarily come only from the relatively more dominant/influential types of personalities.
Apparently, in a more informal or non-hierarchical setup of the work sphere, it is possible for a person to be powerful to influence/catalyze better performance from those they interact with. E.g., in the education profession, having and sharing insights that others do not easily see can give you powerful, influential capabilities.
Hitendra R. Patil is an authority on accounting technology and the delivery of client accounting services.
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