Pioneer Guardian Profile
What is the 5 Voices?
Everyone Speaks. Not Everyone is heard.
Everyone has a leadership voice, whether they know it or not. From the most quiet to the most gregarious, we all have the ability to lead others.
The problem is most people don't know their leadership voice or how to use it. Some don't know what it is, others are insecure in their voice and have been told it is unimportant, and others immaturely overuse their voice and dominate the airwaves.
The 5 Voices is designed to help every individual discover their leadership voice and be empowered to use it effectively.
Can you imagine a team of people who were self-aware, knew how to communicate, and were able to bring their best to the table everyday? What would that do for culture? For productivity? For Profitability?
In short, a lot.
We believe teams and whole organizations can be transformed when everyone operates securely in their own voice and learns to value the voices of others.
The 5 Voices helps achieve the following objectives:
Greater Self Awareness
Learn your voice and understand what it's like to be on the other side of your leadership.
Discover the sweet spots of those on your team, get better aligned, and reach higher levels of performance.
Communicate what you mean without people taking it the wrong way and getting offended.
Delegate more effectively to save time and increase productivity.
Quicker Decision Making
Learn how to listen better, ask helpful questions, and make quicker decisions.
The 5 Voices Assumptions
Our "Voice" is made up of all 5 Voices
Some voices are more natural to us than others
Maturity allows us to value the contribution each voice brings
Nature, Nurture, and Choice have all played a part
Don't assume you know what someone else's foundational voice is
Don't assume you know what each word means
Your Foundational Voice
The Pioneer Guardian
Pioneers approach life with an "anything is possible!" attitude.
Visioning and shaping a scalable future is always the highest priority.
Their strategic military thinking makes them incredibly effective at aligning people, systems, and resources.
Winning is a massive driver. They hate to give up and will drive their team long after others would have given up.
They are powerful communicators, using logic and rationality to provide an attractive and compelling vision of the future.
The immature Pioneer can often appear very arrogant with a "me focused" agenda.
They quickly dismiss the contributions of those they don't believe to be competent or experienced.
Strategic vision, results-focus, and problem solving.
What to watch out for
Pioneers lack sensitivity, can be unwilling to listen, and perceived as arrogant.
You make up 7% of the global population.
How to empower them
Don't worry -- they empower themselves. Just affirm their competence.
Your Voice Order
Your foundational Voice is Pioneer. The Pioneer Voice is the champion of strategic vision, results, and problem-solving, which we explained in more detail in the previous section. This is your strongest Voice through which you view the world, and the Voice through which all other Voices are expressed.
Your secondary Voice is Guardian. Guardians are the champions of due diligence, resources, and efficient systems and processes.
In the 5 Voices model, the secondary Voice plays a crucial role in how you express your overall “Voice”, which is why your Voice combination is referred to as “Pioneer Guardian”.
Your Guardian Voice is highly adept at using logic, creating order, designing efficient systems, and establishing repeatable processes. It is also important to note that your Guardian Voice is expressed through the lens of your Pioneer Voice, which means that you leverage the Guardian Voice to create organization and alignment among all the people and resources you need in order to win.
The combination of these two Voices as your top two strengths means that you are able to articulate a concrete and compelling vision of the future, and that you’re built to take on the task and responsibility to lead people to execute that vision. Discipline and productivity are hallmarks of your approach to leading yourself, and you expect the same from others. Your strong bent towards the future is balanced with your ability to understand the practical resources at hand and how they can play a part in your strategy to achieve the objective.
Creative is your tertiary Voice, sometimes referred to as your third Voice. The Creative Voice is the champion of future ideas, innovation, and organizational integrity.
In the 5 Voices model, the tertiary Voice is typically a Voice that you value and can access when it’s helpful, but might be more of a learned strength than a natural one. Also, because it’s third on the list, your expression of the Creative Voice will be shaped through the filter of your first two Voices (the Pioneer and Guardian). It will not be the same as a first Voice Creative. In fact, you tend to utilize your Creative Voice in specific situations to support your first two Voices.
For example, you might tap into the Creative Voice to help you identify problems before they arrive, or to help you develop a novel strategy that helps you win or improve a system for which you are responsible.
Your 4th Voice, also known as your blindspot, is Connector. Connectors are the champions of relational networks, internal collaboration, and effective communication.
In the 5 Voices model, your 4th Voice is your blindspot because it’s typically the Voice (of the 5) that you might assume you are better at than you really are.
For example, you may align with the Connector’s ability to see a compelling vision of the future and engage key people to help you make it happen. But whereas the first Voice Connector will naturally connect with just about anyone, you will find yourself connecting with others in a more calculated, strategic way. Additionally, your tendency to view relational niceties as “unnecessary fluff” may prevent you from exercising the tone and tact necessary to build the same kind of relational capital that first Voice Connector’s tend to develop naturally. Just because you are gregarious and command the attention of the crowd, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re likable or building relational trust.
Take time to understand the value of the Connector Voice and identify ways for you to step into maturing in this Voice over time.
Your 5th Voice, also known as your Nemesis, is the Nurturer. The Nurturer Voice is the champion of people, relational harmony, and values. The reason we call this your nemesis Voice is because Nurturers see the world in a way that is diametrically opposed from how you see the world.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot tap into the strength and values of the Nurturer Voice, it just means it will typically be the most difficult Voice for you to access and appreciate.
How does this manifest in your Voice? Well, it means that the typical strengths of the Nurturer - roles or tasks that involve a high degree of emotional sensitivity, or attention to the physical and emotional needs of others - can wear you out quickly. Instead, Pioneer Guardians tend to express their Nurturer Voice and care of others through the systems they build or by leveraging their strategic mind to consult and advise people toward solving their problems.
However, this is an area of growth for the Pioneer Guardian. Learning some simple habits or tips that help you show others that they have your full attention, that you care about them, and that they are not just a pawn on your chess board will go a long way toward a healthy expression of the Nurturer Voice.
By taking time to understand how Nurturers view the world as well as how they process information, and make decisions, it will help you increase your maturity in using this Voice.
Strengths & Challenges
They ask challenging and critical questions to better understand their reality and envision the future. They love to lead and enjoy taking responsibility for others. Natural leaders, brilliant at aligning people, systems and resources to achieve strategic objectives. Natural competitors who love to win big.
Their competitiveness and abrasive personality often make them hard to love. They always appear to be working, even social interactions appear calculated and strategic. Colleagues and subordinates can often feel like pieces on their strategic chessboard. They respect strength and sacrifice, often failing to extend compassion and care to those who are struggling.
Suggested Growth Opportunities
Learning to develop relationships with people where you are not their leader. Learning how to be present with people without any particular agenda or need to recruit people and resources for a new vision. Developing empathy and compassion for those less fortunate than you. Serving people who can never repay you or add to your expertise and knowledge. Recognize that you may present your ideas too forcefully, effectively shutting out others’ opinions.
Stress & Triggers
What happens under moderate stress?
You become more and more demanding and controlling of your team. You begin to drive yourself and others to the limits of capacity and endurance. Drawn to your competency and charisma people start to fear your displeasure.
What happens under extreme stress?
Because of failure in your vision, and/or physical burnout, you start to withdraw and internalize your emotions. Begin asking, “Does anyone really care about me or like me?” Experience guilt and regret for having placed the task before relationships.
The Danger Zone represents the potential we all have to hurt others with our words and actions when we are frustrated, unaware, accidental, or immature. Like weapons that can hurt others, these are harmful patterns of behavior that can be triggered by certain things that are unique to each Voice. It's important that we are aware of these things so that we can know ourselves to lead ourselves in a healthier direction. If we do not, we risk undermining ourselves, our relationships, and the team at large.
When a Pioneer enters the Danger Zone, the damage they can do can be thought of like the carnage that a rocket launcher (or bulldozer) leaves behind.
• It happens when the Pioneer uses their sharp mind, logic, and the power of their Voice to destroy someone’s credibility or ideas
• It is often “destructive” and highly visible
• It can be “loud” and abrasive
• It usually destroys the opposition
• It leaves a “mark” on everyone, shutting down conversation and sowing fear in the group
Understanding Your Triggers
There are certain things that can trigger you to step into the danger zone. It's important that you are aware of these and spot them before it's too late.
• Perceived incompetence in others
• People challenging your competence
• People threatening your vision
• Time wasting
What does a healthy Pioneer Guardian look like?
They have a strong ability to ask the tough, strategic questions that go to the heart of the issue. They have the capacity to communicate vision in a clear, compelling manner such that everyone in the team knows what’s expected of them and what the success criteria are. They have an ability to drive teams and organizations to productivity and health, they provide a metronomic consistency that others take their lead from. They have an incredible capacity to think strategically and are always testing new hypotheses and exploring ways to win.
How do they stay healthy?
They need to have the freedom to ask the tough, critical questions of leaders in different parts of the organization. They need to have the opportunity to lead, to bring order and direction, aligning people, strategy and resources to achieve the objective. They need to carefully monitor the relational load they are carrying, if they start to over care they will lose the capacity to lead at their best.
What does an unhealthy Pioneer Guardian look like?
When they are not able to ask the tough questions of people they perceive to be competent then they don't have the tools to shape future vision. When they are dealing with impending failure, it causes them to become overly critical and judgmental of both themselves and those they perceive to be responsible. When they become overly sensitive and afraid of hurting people’s feelings they won’t ask the right questions and as such gather insufficient data.
I need you to respect my competence. Don’t judge me for being competitive and wanting to change the world! Invite me to help solve your problems – I love doing that! Encourage me to dream beyond what anyone else believes possible.
Connecting with Others
One of the most powerful uses of the 5 Voices is learning how to connect with others in an effective and productive way. To help you understand how to do that, take a look at the 5 Voices Dynamics tool, and learn the rules of engagement for each of the other Voices below.
[Warning: Do not assume you know what someone else's Voice is. Let them tell you what Voice they connect with before using these methods of connection]
The 5 Voices Dynamics is a powerful tool for understanding the primary differences between each of the 5 Voices. The simple, visual way it displays these differences allows us to easily facilitate conversations about significant team dynamics like team synergies, core strengths, key differences, and potential conflicts.
We start by defining the two axes that highlight the core functions/perspectives of each Voice.
The horizontal axis defines how people Process Information.
The vertical axis defines how people Make Decisions.
The two ends of the spectrum on each axis represent the primary differences in the Voices.
For the horizontal axis we discuss the dynamic of processing information from either a Present Oriented or Future Oriented perspective.
Present Oriented processors are focused on what they can touch, taste, see, hear, and feel. They live in the present and immediate world of today.
Future Oriented processors are focused on what is possible. They live in the future and more abstract world of possibilities that "could be" for tomorrow.
For the vertical axis we discuss the dynamic of decision making from either a Systems & Logic or People & Values perspective. Those who prefer to make decisions based on Systems & Logic will prefer using logical, rational, fact-based criteria that makes strategic sense within a particular system or framework. They value the "objective truth" as more important than feelings, emotions, or relational harmony. Separating their decisions from emotions and relational considerations enables them to make hard decisions. However, without developing a high level of emotional intelligence, this can leave others with the feeling that they are cold, calculating, or impersonal.
On the other hand, those who prefer to make decisions based on People & Values will prioritize relational harmony, impact on people, and alignment with core values. They value the health and betterment of people and relationships as the definition of success. This makes them strong champions of people and culture, but it can undermine the effectiveness of their decisions or influence with others if they don't support their position with a basis in fact and logical reasoning.
The location of each Voice is significant in how it informs our understanding of Team Dynamics.
Understanding that the Voices positioned opposite one another are diametrically opposed in their perspectives of how they take in information and make decisions is a key insight.
We call them Nemesis Voices. Nemesis does not mean they must be enemies, just that these people are wired to think opposite of each other. They must watch out for conflict and be intentional to recognize the value each brings.
In summary, these two axes represent the two most fundamental dynamics of personality that most significantly influence behavior.
Using this tool to better understand our team and ourselves will help us become stronger and more intentional resulting in higher performing teams.
Connecting with Nurturers
When connecting with Nurturers, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of people, relational harmony, and values. As a Pioneer, you are the champion of strategic vision, results-focus, and problem solving.
It’s important to understand that Nurturers are directly opposite of you in how they process information, and how they make decisions. For this reason, they are your “Nemesis Voice”. This doesn’t mean they have to be your enemy, it just means they see the world in a way that is diametrically opposed from how you see the world.
Neither view is better or worse than the other, they are simply different. Each Voice is valuable and brings a certain perspective and skill that the other does not have. It is crucial that you are aware of these differences as you seek to connect with Nurturers.
Nurturers are very present-oriented, which means they process information with an eye toward the present state of things, absorbing all the details of what is happening in the here and the now, especially as it relates to people. They prefer to move through the world in a sequential way, starting with “what is” and then moving forward one step at a time.
Pioneers on the other hand are very future-oriented, which means you process information and your experiences in the world with an eye toward the future, the possibilities, and the vision for “what could be?”. You focus on the big-picture, looking for patterns behind what’s on the surface of things.
When interacting with Nurturers, you may find their focus on the present, their attention to detail, and their desire to see each step laid out on the path to your vision as slowing you down, which can be frustrating. Take time to affirm their care for people and understand their concerns. From there, invite them to build the bridge with you to the future you see.
When it comes to decision making, Nurturers tend to make decisions based on what will maintain or strengthen the relational harmony with those around them. Their sense of personal alignment with their values and care for people override profit every time in the decision-making process. Therefore it is difficult for them to separate their emotions, and the impact of decisions on the relational harmony of the people around them from the decision itself.
Pioneers on the other hand tend to make decisions based on what seems logical, rational, objectively true, and strategically effective. It doesn’t mean that you don’t like people, or that you don’t have deeply held values. What it does mean, however, is that you find it easier to separate people, emotions, and the relational impact of actions and decisions from the decision-making process. When push comes to shove, Pioneers tend to value objective, logical truth or strategic effectiveness over relational harmony.
When interacting with Nurturers, watch out for your tone, tact, and the relational considerations of the Nurturer. If you can help them see how something makes people’s lives better through a concrete, tangible plan of action then you’ll find them much more receptive to your perspective.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Nurturers
• Be intentional to invite the Nurturer’s opinion with sincerity and attentiveness - they represent 43% of the population, whether you like it or not.
• Be careful of critiquing the Nurturer’s idea too quickly; affirm and draw out their thoughts first.
• Affirm the Nurturer’s commitment to champion our people and defend our values.
Connecting with Connectors
When connecting with Connectors, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of relational networks, internal collaboration, and effective communication. As a Pioneer, there are some attributes of the Connector Voice that align with how you view the world, with a number of important differences.
Connectors are future-oriented like you. They have the capacity to understand abstract concepts, and love innovation. Spend time with Connectors brainstorming new ideas, possibilities, and visioning the future.
Connectors are highly relational by nature. They prefer to make decisions based on relational harmony, prioritizing how the decision will affect the people involved. This does not mean that they avoid using logic when making decisions, simply that their default starting point is based on relationships. When interacting with Connectors, you will find it more difficult to understand and appreciate their approach to decision making because this is less aligned with how you make decisions.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Connectors
• Encourage Connectors to sell their ideas as passionately as they can.
• When Connectors share a new idea with you, don’t critique it at first. Start by celebrating, and only begin collaborating if asked. Remind them that your practical and detailed questions are not personal.
• Affirm their energy, passion, and ability to communicate in a way that connects with others.
Connecting with Creatives
When connecting with Creatives, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of future ideas, innovation, and organizational integrity. As a Pioneer, there are a lot of attributes of the Creative voice that align with how you view the world, with a few important differences.
Creatives are extremely future-oriented, not too dissimilar from you. More than any other Voice, the Creative spends time thinking about and imagining a world that does not yet exist. Creatives, like you, tend to be comfortable with abstract concepts, easily able to grasp the big picture. Spend time with Creatives dreaming about the future and brainstorming about ideas, possibilities, and innovation.
When it comes to decision making, there are two types of Creatives you will encounter.
The first is the “Creative Pioneer”, who is more logical by nature. Creative Pioneers prefer to make decisions based on logic, rationale, and fairness. When interacting with these types of Creatives, you will find it easier to understand and appreciate their approach to decision making because this is highly aligned with how you make decisions.
The second is the “Creative Connector”, who is more relational by nature. Creative Connectors prefer to make decisions based on relational harmony, and tend to prioritize how the decision will affect the people involved. This does not mean that they avoid using logic when making decisions, simply that their default starting point is based on relationships. When interacting with these types of Creatives, you will find it more difficult to understand and appreciate their approach to decision making because this is less aligned with how you make decisions.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Creatives
• Encourage Creatives to dream big, letting them know it’s okay to be wrong sometimes - no one is perfect.
• Ask clarifying questions and commit to drawing out the Creative’s thought process before critiquing their ideas. Sometimes it takes a few rounds of questioning to mine out the gold in what they are trying to communicate.
• Affirm the Creative’s commitment to integrity and the ability to see the future in a way others can’t.
Connecting with Guardians
When connecting with Guardians, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of due diligence, resources, and efficient systems and processes. As a Pioneer, there are some attributes of the Guardian Voice that align with how you view the world, with a number important differences.
Guardians are extremely present-oriented, which strongly contrasts with your future orientation. They are highly detailed, and prefer to work with concrete information. Their step-by-step approach to understanding the world around them drastically differs from your intuitive, big picture approach, and may cause you to feel bogged down when interacting with them. When it comes to making changes, Guardians prefer incremental adjustments over time, and tend to avoid making drastic changes, which might be frustrating for you.
When it comes to decision making, Guardians prefer to make decisions based on logic, rationale, and fairness. When interacting with Guardians, you will find it easier to understand and appreciate their approach to decision making because this is highly aligned with how you make decisions.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Guardians
• Encourage and invite Guardians to keep asking the difficult questions - it’ll save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the end.
• Commit to staying engaged with the Guardian’s questions for as long as you can - they are the champions of due diligence and this is how they protect resources, systems, and processes.
• Affirm the Guardian’s commitment to the truth and stewardship of financial resources.
Connecting with other Pioneers
When it comes to connecting with other Pioneers, it’s important to remember that you both process and make decisions in a very similar manner. However, this doesn’t always mean that you will align. The most common misalignment between Pioneers may arise from differences in how reflective (introverted) vs. expressive (extroverted) they are, as well as differences in how structured vs. adaptable they are. Disagreements between two Pioneers can quickly become heated, forceful, and tense. Leverage the following rules of engagement when connecting with another Pioneer.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Pioneers
• Invite other Pioneers to give their view or opinion before stating yours.
• Even though they can likely handle it, don’t assume they’re asking you to critique their ideas. Ask first.
• Be mindful of their preference for how reflective or expressive they are, as well as how adaptive or structured they are.
• Commit to giving Pioneers space and authority to pursue the objective - don’t micromanage them.
• Affirm their capacity for strategic thinking and invite them to collaborate to help the team win.