Core Drivers FAQ

Understanding Core Drivers
  • The Candid & Considerate Core Drivers

    The Candid core driver reflects the low pole of Agreeableness. Individuals who have Candid as a core driver can be described as being upfront, straight talking and tend not to be swayed by others opinions or feelings. They are socially flexible, competitive, and know when to bend the rules to get ahead.

    As a strength, Candid individuals tend to be direct and to the point when dealing with others. They prefer to not beat around the bush and are unlikely to be easily swayed by displays of emotion or worry about others’ feelings. The limitations of being Candid is that although they can cope with tough situations, they usually come across as uncaring and too blunt. Candid individuals tend to be socially clumsy, causing offense to others, and missing important social cues.

    When leading or working in a team, Candid individuals typically play the role of a “Truth Teller”. That is, they are willing to have the hard conversations and keep people accountable. When leading others, Candid individuals aren't affected by other people's feelings. This helps cut through a lot of noise and distractions and get to the heart of issues. Candid individuals  can make tough calls on people and rarely get too tangled in emotions. The downside to this is that their colleagues and direct reports may find them too straightforward and cold, as they “say it how it is”. While addressing conflict in a transparent and open way is helpful to address underlying issues quickly, although practiced poorly it can lead to a toxic culture.


    The Considerate core driver reflects the high pole of Agreeableness.

    Individuals who have Considerate as a core driver can be described as being caring and compassionate. They are sensitive to others’ feelings, humble and altruistic, and likely to be concerned with others desires more than their own.

    As a strength, Considerate individuals are emotionally aware, caring, and sensitive to the needs of others. They are a good listener and tactful, earning the trust from others. They are particularly skilled at maintaining relationships and helping others get along. The limitations of being Considerate is their sensitive nature, as they may shy away from dealing with tough situations. Rather than being direct, they are likely to beat around the bush and not communicate difficult information or feedback. They could be described as conflict avoidant.

    When leading or working in a team, Considerate individuals are likely to play the role of a “Empathizer”. That is, their style is oriented towards building harmony and reducing conflict. Preferring to cooperate than dominate, they work hard to ensure the team sticks together and there is group cohesion. Considerate leaders are warm, caring and interested in the needs and feelings of others. As a result, they will be trusted by their team, who appreciate their concern for the wellbeing of the group. The downside to this is that they may prefer to ignore the group dynamics and be afraid to call out tension or challenging relationships. Considerate individuals may struggle to work in environments that have a high degree of conflict.

  • The Flexible & Disciplined Core Drivers

    The Flexible core driver reflects the low pole of Conscientiousness.

    Individuals who have Flexible as a core driver can be described as being quick to act, spontaneous, and unconcerned with the details. They are likely to improvise and can be quick to adapt to change.

    As a strength, Flexible individuals are fast to act and are reactive in the way they do things. They tend to not worry too much about rules or established guidelines. They are comfortable changing direction and not too concerned with processes and procedures. Some limitations of being Flexible are that they may let others down by not being organized or careful enough. Similarly, they tend to forget deadlines, or rush through tasks in a sloppy manner just to get it done. They work quickly, but not always efficiently.

    When leading or working in a team, Flexible individuals typically play the role of being a “Path Clearer”. When working in group contexts, they help the team achieve its goals by being quick and able to navigate around obstacles. Unlike others, who may see dead ends, Flexible individuals will clear organizational bottlenecks to help their team get the job done. As a limitation, Flexible individuals may struggle to work with teammates or in environments that are rule bound. They need to work hard to balance planning and processes with their more adaptive approach to problem solving. Further, their expedient nature may frustrate others as they can leave loose ends and seem unreliable.


    The Disciplined core driver reflects the high pole of Conscientiousness.

    Disciplined individuals are described as being dependable, organized and reliable. They pay close attention to the details, perfectionistic, organized, and diligent. They are able to stay focused and are not easily distracted.

    As a strength, Disciplined individuals are likely to be careful, planned and thorough when going about their work. They play within the rules, like to do a good job, and make sure they are on time. Others will see them as dependable, with high standards and concerned to get the details right. These strengths are at a cost to being flexible and quick to act as others. At times they might come across as a perfectionist or too rule-bound. They like to take their time to get things right causing others to see them as conventional and too slow.

    When leading or working in a team, Disciplined individuals who usually play the role of the “Project Manager”. That is, they keep the group organized, set long-term goals, plan ahead, keep others on task. They set high standards and ensure even the smallest details are managed and are not forgotten about. They understand process and rules, believe in fulfilling the team’s commitments, and in doing what is right. When things get confusing or busy, others will seek out their guidance. Nonetheless, they may lose sight of the big picture or annoy colleagues by being a perfectionist. They may slow things down by insisting that there is only one right way to get things done, or by being rigid about the rules. They may struggle to accept that perfection does not equate to performance.

  • The Laid Back & Driven Core Drivers
    Laid Back

    The Laid Back core driver reflects the low pole of Extraversion’s Proactivity subfacet.

    Laid Back individuals can be described as fairly easy going and happy to see where life takes them. They prefer to get along with others rather than always compete and win. They are not particularly goal-orientated and instead are relaxed about life and their ambitions.

    As a strength, Laid Back individuals are are comfortable with others taking the lead. This means they are good team players. They are willing to do the work as it comes and probably think there is a lot more to life than work. Laid Back individuals are not too concerned about being in charge or getting to the top of the pile. That said, Laid Back individuals are not very ambitious and they are less likely to be noticed for promotion or advancement at work. They tend to be unclear about their goals or direction in life. As a consequence of this, others may see them as lacking ambition or unconfident. They may frequently need to be reminded that in life it helps to set goals and track progress towards them.

    When leading or working in a team, Laid Back individuals are likely to play the role of a “Supporter” — easy-going and not concerned with social status. They seek out roles where they are attempting to support, not control or dominate, their teammates. Their relaxed and easy going nature will be well received by teammates. All this said, such dispositions can get in the way of the team’s goals as they may not fully appreciate the importance of deadlines or be willing to “dig deep” when faced with daunting challenges. They will need to recognize when they have to invest effort to match that of their teammates. Similarly, their tendency to be uninterested in competition and achieving stretch goes should be occasionally counterbalanced with explicit attempts to demonstrate their value to the team.


    The Driven core driver reflects the high pole of Extraversion’s Proactivity subfacet.

    Driven individuals can be described as competitive and ambitious. They like to take charge and will get frustrated when other people go too slow. They have bold goals and will work hard to achieve them. Others may describe them as competitive, dominant and energetic.

    As a strength, Driven individuals are people who like to take charge, lead others, and are very ambitious. They are not interested in just taking part, they play to win. They usually find themselves in positions that allow for responsibility, and enjoy the chance to move upwards in their career or work. Despite these strengths, being Driven is not without its limitations. While being driven and competitive is good, championing their own ideas or dominating others may get in the way of them forming relationships that would otherwise help them achieve their goals. Similarly, people may perceive Driven individuals as too focused on their own goals or competing with people on their own team. They should take the time to listen to other people's ideas, share credit and be open to critical feedback.

    When leading others or working in a team, Driven individuals will play the role of the  “Navigator”. This role involves them setting the direction and goals for the group. Their colleagues will likely experience them as motivated, focused and driven. They bring energy and direction to the team and will always be wanting to do more. They will likely find themselves filling a leadership role, providing direction and purpose to others. This is an important element of every team. Their motivation and drive can cause challenges as they do not appreciate that not everyone moves at the same pace, nor do they always want to deliver stretch goals. Teammates may find that Driven individuals overreach, become bossy or set unrealistic goals. They need to remember that not everyone can sustain such focus and determination.

  • The Reserved & Outgoing Core Drivers

    The Reserved core driver reflects the low pole of Extraverion’s Gregariousness subfacet.

    Reserved individuals can be described as independent, introverted and someone who is comfortable with their own company.

    Reserved individuals are naturally quiet, thoughtful and aware of their presence when interacting with others. They will appear as a good listener and as someone who doesn’t waste time on small talk and meaningless chat. They can be trusted to work alone. In fact, this is when they will do their best work. Their introverted nature may restrict their ability to form the kinds of relationships and connections that will help them develop professionally. Further, their tendency to be independent, may be perceived as being socially aloof or uninterested in others. This can be potentially lead to feelings of awkwardness or frustration as others struggle to get to know them.

    When leading or working in a team, Reserved individuals will typically play the role of “The Thinker”. That is, someone who holds back from the common view and help the team by practicing careful reflection.  As they keep their own counsel and aren't easily swayed by popular opinion, others will value their perspective. While other members of the team might easily go along with the popular opinion, and fall prey to peer pressure or groupthink, Reserved individuals will be the one to carefully reflect on the evidence at hand and form an independent opinion. All that said, being less sociable than most, Reserved individuals can seem distant or hard to understand. This can result in the individual remaining on the periphery and will need to make an effort to connect and network with the team. Further, in times of stress and adversity their independent nature may mean they hold back, which can get in the way of the team achieving its goals. Reserved individuals need to be reminded that while it may not feel comfortable at first, collaboration is an effective way to solve difficult problems.


    The Outgoing core driver reflects the high pole of Extraversion’s Gregariousness subfacet.

    Outgoing individuals can be described as extraverted, sociable and someone who enjoys being around new people.

    People are likely to find Outgoing individuals as stimulating company due to their social energy and ability to form relationships quickly. They are good meeting new individuals and building new connections. Confident, they are good at being the center of attention. That said, this can become overwhelming and leave others feeling exhausted. Outgoing individuals need to ensure that they remain alert to social cues, and practice listening and taking turns in conversations to ensure that relationships can deepen and not feel one sided.

    When leading or working in a team, Outgoing individuals tend to play the role of the “Connector”. That is, they bring people together, build team relationships, grow its network and foster a culture of collaboration. In a team, they use their natural ability to connect with others to help teammates get to know one another. They also skilled at drawing out quieter members of the team. Together, these actions help different perspectives be shared and heard. Nonetheless, their chatty and social may overwhelm the team, and not leaving enough room for others to contribute. Further, they may confuse talking with doing. Rather than focusing on getting the work done, they may first reach for meetings, conversations and talking. It is important that they consider that too much collaboration is problematic and remember to give people their own space.

  • The Pragmatic & Curious Core Drivers

    The Pragmatic core driver reflects the low pole of Openness to Experience.

    Pragmatic individuals can be described as practical, hands-on and grounded. They tend to think in a conventional and linear way, preferring what is tried and tested, rather than something experimental or abstract. They prefer traditions to change, and solve problems in a clear and coherent way.

    Pragmatic individuals are good at realistic, hands-on thinking. People value their tendency to focus on getting things done, and ability to enjoy tasks that are routine and repetitive. Their approach to problem-solving and viewing the world will help others stay grounded. All of this is at a cost to being a creative thinker, or valuing creativity in others. Rather than spending the time to explore new solutions, they focus on the short-term and often rush to a solution. Related, they may struggle to see the big picture, and rather than push boundaries and lead change, they will stick to what is familiar and predictable.

    When leading or working on a team, Pragmatic individuals usually play the role of the “Problem Solver”. Their ability to value facts and evidence above all else, alongside their pragmatic approach to working through challenges, ensures that the team stays realistic. They are generally skeptical about strategies and blue-sky thinking, and when voiced, helps the team avoid pursuing plans that are unfeasible or untested. While others may find this a little annoying as it can zap morale, it serves an important role in refining and improving ideas. Pragmatic individuals need to make sure that their realism and ability to point out flaws, does not get in the way of brainstorming and slow the flow of ideas. They need to appreciate that sometimes the most obvious solution is not always the best, and that to achieve the most challenging goals, teams need to experiment and test different ideas.


    The Curious core driver reflects the high pole of Openness to Experience.

    Curious individuals can be described as free thinkers, creative and open to ideas. They appreciate the arts and science, and interested in what is possible rather than what currently is.

    The strengths of a Curious individual is that they are inventive, creative, and spend their time entertaining unconventional ideas. They enjoy seeing how things work or are connected, generate a lot of ideas and solutions, and love playing with new ways of seeing or doing things. The limitations of this are that Curious individuals may not be very practical or struggle to explain their thoughts in a coherent or concise way. Further, they may get carried with an idea and forget to consider its relevance or whether it is useful to others. Their appreciation for novelty, arts and science, can lead them to grow easily bored and distracted by the next new idea.

    When leading or working in a team, Curious individuals are likely to play the role of the “Idea Machine”. Such individuals bring their teams the ability to explore and create. They can quickly generate new ideas, thrive in changing environments, and enjoy working on new and different things. They leverage these tendencies to help their teammates work in novel ways, stretch their thinking and expand what they believe is achievable. Their natural curiosity closes gaps in a team’s knowledge, and likely offer unusual and imaginative solutions to some of the team’s most pressing problems. The downside to this is that they may fail to realize when the team just needs to execute on a task or strategy. Constantly spotting new ways of doing things can create distraction and frustration. Curious individuals need to remember to ground their ideas in the context of what the team is trying to achieve.

  • The Passionate & Stable Core Drivers

    The Passionate core driver reflects the low pole of Emotional Stability.

    Passionate individuals can be described as someone who feels things deeply, is alert to what can go wrong and is always concerned they haven't done well enough. They are likely to be prone to feelings of stress and anxiety, and highly critical of themselves and others.

    Passionate individuals appear to others as sensitive, thoughtful and concerned about how they come across. They willingly seek feedback and advice about things that are of concern, great or small. Passionate individuals feel things more intensely than others and are quick to pick up on problems and worries. They are rarely satisfied and are often critical of themselves. Being self-critical, Passionate individuals might seem too focused on themselves, or even needy and emotionally volatile. They may lack confidence and worry needlessly about things, which can cause others to lose faith and feel discouraged. When the pressure is on, they need to better practice self-control and stress management.

    When leading or working in a team, Passionate individuals typically play the role of the “Guardian”. They help the team be aware of risks and problems, and are alert to dynamics and situations that can derail performance. Since they are rarely satisfied, they welcome feedback and suspect that things can be done better. Others will also recognize their passion to make things better. That said, their teammates may find that their passion becomes tiring or too intense. Their negative feelings can be contagious and bring others down. Last, their urgency and energy can strain relationships as people can perceive them as being too reactive or negative.


    The Stable core driver reflects the high pole of Emotional Stability.

    Stable individuals can be described as being calm and easy going, free from excessive worrying, and steady in the most difficult circumstances.

    Stable individuals are seen as well-adjusted and calm. Such individuals are less likely to be depressed or anxious, staying even-tempered in tough situations and tending not to worry too much. Being free of anxiety means they may have a calming effect on those around them. The limitations of being stable is that they may overlook emerging problems or downplay real risks and other’s concerns. They may come across as being too laid back, indifferent or lack urgency. This ultimately leads them to miss signals that indicate a new approach is needed.

    When leading or working in a team, Stable individuals will play the role of the “Chiller”. They help the team stay cool and composed. They keep a level-head under pressure, and others turn to them to help stay calm. They remain relatively unaffected by the ups and downs of team life, helping the team stay focused when things are going sideways. When under pressure, they are able to provide perspectives that are unclouded by powerful, and ultimately unhealthy, emotions. Stable individuals can use this ability to be the voice of reason and calm when others are reacting emotionally. Despite these strengths, their calm demeanour may be perceived by their team as being out of touch or disconnected from the important challenges facing the team. As such, they may discount feedback or criticism rather than using it as an opportunity to develop as a teammate and as a leader.

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