Apr 08, 2021 | 10
Minute Read

Leadership with Every DISC Style: Learn From the TTI SI Team


When thinking about leadership, a set personality type might come to your mind: a fast-paced, outspoken and outgoing individual ready to take on the world. The truth is that, while many leaders behave like that, leaders can come in all types of behavioral and communication styles.

At TTI SI, we’re lucky to have all kinds of leaders on our teams. Our leaders from different departments explained how their primary behavioral styles influence their leadership styles, as well as the strengths and opportunities these styles bring to them.



Direct Leadership (High D): Vanessa Boettcher,
Vice President of International Distribution

Vanessa Boettcher is our VP of TTI SI International. She works tirelessly to ensure our Master Distributors around the world have the tools and support they need to succeed and handles our international accounts while managing our International Team. When working with such high-stakes projects, she leverages her Direct score of 100 to get it all done.

Vanessa-BoettcherHow does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

My style allows me to see the big picture and define what risks are worth taking. I’m skilled at identifying new opportunities and taking challenges as they come without any concern.

Being Direct also helps me transmit opportunities and visions to the team, resulting in very effective workflows and new business because we all get to "land" the vision together.

What are your strengths as a leader?

I keep my team busy with new ideas, approaches, and opportunities. They get to share their opinion and challenge me but they enjoy being taken to new levels constantly. I always offer solutions to any situation they are facing and I will always support them all the way in their initiatives.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

I could slow down a bit to focus on more details and process more information to make better decisions. I understand that not everyone is as fast-paced as I am, so it serves me well to remember how to adjust to the needs of my team.

I should also make more time to connect with the team at a personal level. I love working quickly and can forget that not everyone is all business, all the team. Moreso, we don’t have to be! It’s good to slow down and get to know people and figure out how to help them succeed.



Reflective Leadership (Low D): Bobby Tyning,
Creative & Marketing Director

Bobby started at TTI SI in 2001 as the company’s sole graphic designer, and now manages a team of eight employees on the Marketing Communications team. His eye for detail combined with his laid-back approach to management lets his team run with creativity and imagination while still adhering to the larger business structure.

Bobby-Tyning_1x1How does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

My low D is seen as less "traditional" for a leadership role, but it brings a certain energy that informs my more collaborative leadership style.

I work more carefully but cooperatively, and while my sense of urgency isn't as high as others on my team, the extra time I take means that the work is more thought out with less chance of rework. When you just blaze ahead you risk having to fix things that may not have been considered had you just taken the time upfront.

What are your strengths as a leader?

I am a diplomat, with respect for expertise, authority, and organizational structure. I embrace the culture and the creative (not just on my team) people that are responsible for driving it. My mind stays open, I am adaptable, and have the flexibility to roll through unexpected changes with ease. Personally, I don't win unless the team wins.

I always try to provide what I myself see as the best environment for a warm and friendly discussion. I appreciate persistence and data to back up initiatives. Steadiness speaks to reliability. With consistency comes trust, and with trust comes the opportunity to create meaningful work.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

I tend to look for an agreed-upon compromise instead of a win/lose situation, which may not be the most auspicious outcome. I realize that not everyone sees the world as I do and that it may take some dedicated sharing of a perspective, to best sell a concept or idea.

While I prefer to be careful, time is arguably our most valuable resource, and it would be beneficial for me to become better at accepting the high sense of urgency that juggling multiple initiatives often requires.



Outgoing Leader (High I): Brittney Helt,
Director of Customer Success

Brittney Helt is powered by her interactions with others, which is a great fit for our Director of Customer Success. She manages her team with poise and positivity and works hard to create and strategize ways to help the TTI SI network reveal the potential of their clients.

Brittney-HeltHow does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

I am optimistic and full of energy. I’m usually the person laughing at my own jokes and trying to connect with my team on a personal level to find areas of connection to build trust, which allows me to go into difficult conversations or situations with an optimistic attitude as opposed to dwelling on the negativity in a situation.

My Outgoing personality gives me the courage and love for being with groups of people- we joke but, it’s hard for me to walk past a stage with a microphone and not want to take full advantage of that! I like to be the cheerleader for the team or organization in which I’m a part!

What are your strengths as a leader?

I know how to connect with people and make them feel cared for. This is because I genuinely do care! I’m also pretty persuasive— I can convince people to do what is needed in a way that makes everyone feel good about the final decision. I’m also a very optimistic person, so I know how to keep morale high on my team.

Decisions sometimes become emotional for me. This can be a great strength or weakness as I get attached. The relationships I develop with people are important to me, which means when a business decision is needed to be made that impacts those relationships, it can be challenging.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

As I said, I can let my emotions get the best of me if I don’t work to balance them. I have a hard time saying no because I like to please everyone. I also have what I call “shiny rock syndrome”-- I get distracted easily so I don’t always follow through as intended. Details? Not my thing. Enough said about that.
Sometimes when I’m presenting and sharing information with my team, if I’m not careful about how I share information, I don’t give the clarity others need. I work hard to slow down and choose my words carefully since my brain works so fast and in so many directions.



Reserved Leader (Low I): David Bonnstetter,

David Bonnstetter is the CEO of TTI SI and works to make sure the staff has the resources to do their jobs well. Helping them reach their potential translates to helping a lot more people reach theirs, and he uses his programming background and big picture thinking to lead the company.

David-BonnstetterHow does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

As a Reserved behavioral style, I like to think of myself as the glue behind the scenes. I always want to ensure that we take some time to reflect and make sure we’re making the right decision, not just reacting quickly. I prefer when others lead a conversation and I can launch in with the details.

What are your strengths as a leader?

I think the biggest strength of my behavioral style is in hearing all kinds of ideas and considering points of view. I like to learn from others around me, and I think it’s important for leaders to be able to take a step back and listen instead of always leading the charge.

We have a talented team, and their input is incredibly valuable to me. I know that I value concise communication, and I work to make sure the team is heard and supported while still getting things done.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

One of the areas I’m always considering is how to come out of my shell more. While working remotely, I’ve worked hard at publicly recognizing members of the team for their good work.

I have to remember that while I know they’re doing a good job, public and private recognition is very important. I have to be intentional about sharing that praise.



Steady Leader (High S): Suzanne Dmuchoski,
Director of Instructional Design

Suzanne has been working with TTI SI for the last five years as our Director of Instructional Design, creating training programs, materials, and content for our network that develops a journey that makes sense for users to complete certification and continue education.

Suzanne-Dmuchoski-1How does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

If this was the good old days, I would probably not be seen as your typical leader. Us Steady styles rise from the ranks quite slowly and methodically, then BOOM! We're in charge. I take my leadership role very seriously. When you have people rely on you, and you happen to be a much more internally-focused style, you have to adapt often.

There are also really good things about being a High S and a leader. I like to think that I have this knack for making others feel heard and encouraged, and as a supporter style, I get a lot of fulfillment from that.

What are your strengths as a leader?

I put a lot of effort and time into getting to know people, both on my team and on the staff in general. My Steady nature allows me opportunities to take a step out of the hustle and bustle every once in a while and just connect and understand others. Doing this then allows me to know who my go-to's are when I find myself in a pinch.

Who might have extra time right now to help with a project, or who is goofy enough to help me plan a fun activity? It's like a mental directory that I take time to form, which makes delegating much easier when I need to.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

Being involved in any conflict is very hard for me. Also, having to fight to have my voice heard over stronger, more aggressive styles can be a challenge, but I try to overcome both of those things by telling myself that my team needs me to be an advocate for them and be strong.

On a lighter note, some may say slow, but I like to say "thoughtful". I do have to set the expectation with my immediate team that my first answer is rarely what I really want to say, especially if that answer comes quickly. Knowing that this is a glitch in my system has resulted in some funny interactions with my team. Ultimately, they know that if they stick around long enough, I'll get to the right answer.



Dynamic Leader (Low S): Rick Bowers,
President of TTI SI

Rick Bowers is the President of TTI SI and has done a little bit of everything in the business. The main areas he contributes to our “why” is through product development, applying the tools, and building and educating our network.

Rick-BowersHow does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

With a Dynamic behavioral style, I like a lot of activity, since the S in DISC deals with pace and consistency. My fast pace lets me stay agile. It’s easy for me to jump onto different projects and keep them moving— I’m happiest when I’m in the thick of it with multiple projects and teams.

In my time at TTI SI, I’ve worn a lot of hats; the late Bill Bonnstetter used to call me our “jack of all trades”. This desire to be involved in lots of different areas still affects my leadership style, since my sense of urgency drives the way I lead my direct reports.

What are your strengths as a leader?

I believe my strength as a Dynamic leader is in my ability to adapt. TTI SI has had to be extremely adaptable, especially in 2020, and our capacity to do so means we can support our network, respond to industry changes, and keep up with what people need right now.

My Dynamic side also lets me be flexible. I firmly believe that the way we’ve always done it isn’t the way we need to keep doing it if we have information that supports a change. This fluidity lets me move on when an idea isn’t working and find the next solution.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

An opportunity area for Dynamic leaders, in general, comes back to consistency. When we’re not in the thick of things and projects slow down, that’s where we can struggle. There are times when Dynamic leaders, myself included, should remember that consistency is needed, especially for certain other behavioral styles.

I’m very different from a lot of my direct reports so I need to remember to adapt. I’m always working on slowing down when others need me to. If you’re Dynamic, remember that a slower, methodical approach is exactly what certain projects need! Your need for speed shouldn’t override that.



Precise Leader (High C): Candice Frazer,
Senior Vice President of Operations

Candice Frazer is our Senior VP of Operations, and knows that processes don’t run themselves; people do. In providing constraints, she enables people to discover and practice abilities they never knew they had before.

Candice_Frazer-1How does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

I like to consider myself an unemotional decision-maker — I analyze facts and data to make the best business choice. I live by the motto, “Attack the facts, not the person bringing data to the discussion.”
I approach business like a science experiment and use informed questions to pull out relevant information while keeping the bottom line in mind.

I also like to be organized, document as much as possible (making it black and white), and include a relevant amount of details, since I believe there is power in specificity. I think organization beats chaos every time.

What are your strengths as a leader?

I believe that the time I take to gather information and evaluate facts before making a case helps me make effective decisions while leading my team. I value accuracy over speed, and my team knows that I will always advocate for their time resources.

I think the most effective way to make a decision is to evaluate data — quantitatively and qualitatively while considering the overall impact.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

I still feel a "zing" when someone implies that I did something incorrectly (an unpleasant zing, that is). I've reigned in many gut reactions to this, but wish I felt the "zing" a little less.

Another opportunity for me as a leader is to continue to build relationships. As someone who scores highly in Compliance, focusing on facts and tasks comes naturally to me. Like building a muscle, years of training have made me more comfortable with focusing on people. And like a muscle, if I don't continue to practice being people-oriented, I may lose it. That's a no-go for someone who is leading other people.



Pioneering Leader (Low C): Dr. Ron Bonnstetter,
Senior Vice President of Research & Development

In addition to his research and academic work, Dr. Ron heads up a team of research scientists who all work to uncover the meaning behind our ever-growing human attribute database.

Dr.-Ron-BonnstetterHow does your behavioral style inform your leadership?

My entire professional life has been dominated by my awareness to meet the needs of others. Because of this, I am constantly aware of the need to adapt and modify my behavioral styles. For over 40 years, I taught Steady and Precise behavioral styles and daily thought about their needs regarding communication, feedback, and task assignments, so I know how to adjust my style to others.

What are your strengths as a leader?

I take an unstructured perspective when it comes to solving problems and finding solutions. Being able to think outside of the box in this way helps me find the best way to operate with my team, not just the way it’s always been done.

What are your opportunity areas as a leader?

I have trouble dealing with structure that is forced upon me. I like being random, and I even like being opinionated! This means that my point of view sometimes doesn’t match what others expect of me.
In the Research world, being dominated by a low C just doesn’t work. We must be precise, detailed, and calculated. In my career, I had to slow down, allow others to get on board, take the time to explain why and not just what and how.



All Kinds of Leaders, All Kinds of Styles

What’s your takeaway from learning about all of these different behavioral types? Besides learning a little bit more about the leadership team at TTI SI, think about the leaders in your own workplace.

Are you overlooking any potential leaders to develop your talent pipeline? How can you leverage your behavioral style to become a leader? If you want to answer these questions, we can help. Contact the TTI SI team here to get more information about how to uncover your behavioral style and become the leader you know you can be.

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Jaime Faulkner