Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Command

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min



Command is the least likely theme to show up in one’s Top Five. As such, Command tends to be one of the least understood themes of talent, and there is a lot that is misunderstood about Command. Because of this, the basement side – or hindrances – of Command tend to get the most attention, and people want to know how to better manage their Command if it is a dominant theme. People high in Command instinctively take charge, express their opinion, calm the chaos, and give direction. They can inspire and they can intimidate – and both are of those can be positive attributes. As a leader, you want and need to inspire your team to do things they never thought they could; and there are also times you need to intimidate those who would threaten your team. There is a very protective nature to Command; those high in Command will rise up to defend and protect the ones they lead and the ones they love. Command is not afraid to take risks, and not afraid to confront – bringing emotional clarity to and resolving thorny issues.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the differences and similarities between Command and Woo, Belief, and Self-Assurance.


Command and Woo

Both Command and Woo (Winning Others Over) are influencing themes, and both seek to sway others’ opinions to their way of thinking and acting.  Woo wants to be liked; Command wants to be followed. But Command can look like Woo in that can be a certain charm or charisma element to Command as a way of garnering followership. Woo finds energy in meeting new people, whereas Command finds energy in leading people.  People high in Woo sometimes smooth over conflict in order to grow their network; people high in Command sometimes accelerate conflict in order to move the team or relationship forward.  Woo seeks to inspire trust through personal connection; Command seeks to inspire trust through accomplishing a difficult goal.

Command and Belief

I had a mentor who once said that Belief, when challenged, can look a lot like Command.  There is truth to that statement. Have you ever known someone who doesn’t say much, gets along with others, but when there is a value or standard or ethical position at stake they become very passionate and animated—and challenge any who are threatening or violation that value? It may be likely they have Belief as a dominant theme—and their Belief is showing up like Command.  There is a confidence that is common to both Command and Belief: Belief tends to display confidence around core values, while Command tends to display confidence about the ability to lead a team to achieve a goal. There is also a clarity about both Belief and Command: Belief has clarity is about values, Command brings and values emotional clarity.

Command and Self-Assurance


Like Woo, Command and Self-Assurance are both influencing themes. But how each theme influences is quite different, yet can look very similar.  Both Command and Self-Assurance have an innate confidence about them. Those with strong Command are confident in their ability to set direction and lead others in that direction.  Those with strong Self-Assurance are confident in their ability to lead their own lives without much, if any, advice from anyone else. Command needs others to lead; Self-Assurance is fine going alone—but welcomes any who want to come along.  Self-Assurance has a strong inner compass that guides one’s life; Command has a strong sense of direction about where the team should go.  Command needs and likes push-back – it’s the way to come to clarity. Self-Assurance has clarity already and doesn’t need or seek push-back.


Be sure to catch up on Season One and Season Two of Theme Thursday-Command to learn more!


Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al brings deep expertise in employee and customer engagement, executive leadership and organizational dynamics to his consulting work with Gallup’s clients. He consults with senior leaders, executives and front-line managers to improve employee and customer engagement and to implement strategic initiatives that drive business growth.

Al's top 5 strengths are: Ideation | Futuristic | Maximizer | Strategic | Command

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