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Does your personality hold the key to your success? Individuals can guarantee their own success through leveraging their strengths and mitigating their blind spots.

The transition from military to civilian life includes many decisions, not the least of which is the sometimes overwhelming question, "What do I do now?" Many see a natural fit for veterans in the franchise world, and the Franchisee Type Profile, a personality assessment tool in the International Franchise Association's VetFran Toolkit, located at, will help veterans clarify what their personality indicates they might be best suited for.

The toolkit offers resources to help veterans enter the franchise industry, including Franchising 101, financial education, a VetFran video library and mentorship network. Now, the Franchisee Type Profile is available to all veterans at no cost to help with the first step to embark on a career in franchising: the actual career decision. The profile helps veterans identify aspects of their personality that will be relevant to their decision, including potential strengths and blind spots and success strategies based on their personality. In addition, the profile identifies the types of opportunities that might match their natural abilities and interests.

How can personality hold the key to success? What people are drawn to (and repelled by) is mostly the result of their temperament--the essence of their inborn, hardwired personalities. This is why the same task that one person can't wait to dive into can reduce another to tears. Veterans may experience unique challenges after military service, and this tool can help redefine or rediscover their true passion.

Throughout this journey, it is important to understand how much influence temperament can have; it informs our core values, key drives, vocational and recreational interests, and can even play a huge part in whether we succeed or fail.

Each temperament has its own natural strengths and blind spots. Why is this important to know? Because our greatest success comes when we capitalize on our strengths and mitigate our weaknesses. For example, someone may not excel in math, but have to manage a budget. Or someone may not be a naturally organized person. In both cases, understanding this blind spot enables them to do something about it, such as take a course in finance or time management. Temperament is recognized as a powerful and practical tool, used daily by hundreds of leading organizations, including the military.

Which Temperament do You Possess?

This is a good time to try and identify your temperament. As you read the thumbnail sketches below, one should fit better than the others (although there will be some elements of each that are true for you).

Traditionalists. As their name implies, these are people who take a practical, realistic and down-to-earth approach to life. Their core values include: responsible, hard-working, productive, following the rules and service to others. Usually very good with details, they like to master and use skills efficiently, and follow the rules and protocols that will ensure success.

There are a lot of traditionalists--about 46 percent of the population. Because they are so responsible, they are the bedrock of organization--businesses, religious institutions, hospitals, military, schools and others--places where following established protocols is important for the operation to be successful.

Experiencers. These are people who feel most alive when they are engaged in and enjoying the present moment. Their core values are enjoying life to the fullest, being free and active. Experiencers also like to learn a skill and use it repeatedly. However, they can feel restrained by having to follow too many rules or strict protocols. Most experiencers love to act spontaneously, a quality which makes them unusually effective in a crisis.

About 27 percent of us are experiencers. Many enjoy the parts of the job that involve variety, dealing with unpredictable situations and being physical: moving around and interacting with people, rather than being cloistered in an office crunching numbers.

Conceptualizers represent only about 10 percent, yet they are very over-represented in leadership positions. Their core values include being competent, continuing to learn and master new skills, being independent and meeting new challenges. Often visionary, many conceptualizers see the bigger picture and future implications. Good at objective analysis, they excel at finding creative solutions to problems.

Conceptualizers often set high standards, for themselves and others, and have the ability to analyze issues logically. This same quality enables them to make the tough decisions when necessary. Conceptualizers often make inspiring leaders who people follow enthusiastically.

Idealists are "people" people. Among their core values are being authentic, having meaningful relationships, helping others and making a difference in the world. Their decisions are most influenced by their strong, personal value system and how others will be affected. Perceptive and empathetic, they are especially in tune with others' needs, good at seeing others' potential and motivated to find ways to help them realize it.

Representing about 17 percent of the population, idealists often gravitate to "helping professions" or roles that make use of their gift for understanding and communicating with others. Examples of skills that come naturally to them are teaching, mentoring and coaching.

How to Capitalize on Temperament to be Most Successful

It's important to recognize that people of all four temperaments can be equally successful in the franchise world. No temperament is predisposed for greatness or failure. Fortunately, franchising offers an enormous variety of diverse opportunities. For example, a traditionalist may find one type of franchise much more appealing than an idealist. Regardless of the specific operation, all franchisors and franchisees can become even more successful and satisfied by learning to capitalize on their natural strengths and mitigate their natural blind spots.

When veterans are evaluating franchise opportunities, looking ahead at the potential implications of those strengths, blind spots and what will satisfy them in a career is a key issue. For example, a Traditionalist may prefer a stable, predictable work environment and having a high level of control. A different type of opportunity might appeal to an Experiences who prefers a casual work setting without too many rules and more physical engagement.

If a veteran's temperament is Idealist, he may look for an opportunity that is personally meaningful, and doing work that helps others. The priority for a Conceptualizes however, is that the work continually challenges him and he can continue to learn and develop new competencies.

The Franchisee Type Profile provides examples of franchise categories that might appeal to each temperament, giving the veteran an excellent place to start their exploration.

Does your personality hold the key to your success? The answer is "yes." It can have a great deal to do with it. All temperaments can be equally successful, but individuals can guarantee their own success through leveraging their strengths and mitigating their blind spots. The military-to-civilian transition can present veterans with a daunting number of career options. Staying true to one's understanding of his personality will help guide him to make the best choice.

Paul D. Tieger is CEO of SpeedReading People LLC, an internationally recognized personality type expert and author. Find him at
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Title Annotation:VETFRAN TOOLKIT
Comment:Does your personality hold the key to your success?
Author:Tieger, Paul D.
Publication:Franchising World
Date:Mar 1, 2014
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