Color Coding Leadership
By Ian Gooding

Scores of business women showed up for the Institute of Business “Women in Leadership” workshop at the Hilton Trinidad on Monday to hear the secrets of Hungarian-American writer Shoya Zichy, president of the Myers Briggs Association of New York.

Zichy, an obvious extrovert, is the creator of the Color Q personality model, used for leadership and team development.

According to published information this system of analysis can be used to provide “highly accurate information” on how people’s personalities affect their leadership styles, career choices, management and sales styles, coaching approaches and interaction on a team and in a family.

Zichy is the author of the book Women and the Leadership Q, for which she interviewed 37 prominent women, including Hilary Clinton and ABC anchorwoman Diane Sawyer.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, based on the work of Carl Jung—which incidentally does not measure intelligence, stress, mental and physical health, education or special skills and talents—helps a person to decide on his/her level of preferences as regards to extroversion or introversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling and judgment or perception.

“You need to have a bit of both to maintain some balance,” said Zichy. “You need to find your true type. You can only be successful when you find it.”

There are 16 types to suit all personalities.

The Color Q personality model is a derivative of the Myers-Briggs model and combines personal preferences to create four major groups: Golds (46 per cent of the population), Blues (10 per cent), Reds (27 per cent) and Greens (17 per cent).

Persons in the Gold group are “grounded, responsible, realistic and accountable.”

They are the backbone of corporate and public institutions of all kinds: banks, hospitals, government, military and religious.

They are polite, always on time, dress in a co-ordinated and appropriate fashion, use short sentences and concrete vocabulary.

Famous names in this group include George and Barbara Bush Sr, Colin Powell, Queen Elizabeth and Barbara Walters.

People in the Red group are bold, spontaneous and focused on “now.” They need freedom to follow their own trusted impulses; cool-headed and courageous, proud of their daring and ability to handle crisis. They excel as negotiators and troubleshooters.

Famous Reds include President George W Bush, Donald Trump, Winston Churchill, Michael Jordan, John F Kennedy and Barbara Streisand.

The Blue group consists of persons who are theoretical, competitive and ever driven to acquire more knowledge and competence. They have little interest in routine and established procedure. Visionaries, they seem always on the edge, always searching for new solutions.

Famous Blues include Bill Gates, Vice president Cheney, Hillary Clinton and Cybill Shepherd.

Greens are emphatic, humanistic and expressive. They are most productive in an environment that is supportive, idea-oriented and egalitarian.

They are informal and warm, usually interested in the big picture and not the details, ask personal questions and study people intently. They are the most expressive of all types, with a profound need to develop close relationships.

Famous Greens include Oprah, Diane Sawyer, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.

Zichy, who had to flee Hungary for Cairo as a child with her parents, and then fled to America, told the businesswomen that true knowledge of themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, could lead to self management by focusing on their core strengths, create their own personal plan for success and by actively using the strengths of others.

“The majority of people rise to responsibility,” she affirmed. “Too much focus on weaknesses is a waste of time.”

Back to Press

  • "Awareness of the variety of styles was a career-altering event. It has provided me with a strategic advantage in many career & personal situations."
    K. O’Hare, Partner

    "Your presentation was both educational and entertaining and we have received tremendous feedback from all who attended."
    T. Kamradt, Partner
    Baker & Hostetler LLP

    "Zichy scores a bull’s eye in showing leaders how to understand their strengths and use them to work and manage more effectively."
    P. Tanous, President
    Lepercq Lynx Investment Advisory

  • "I have successfully used Color Q with hundreds of associates to increase their awareness of personality and leadership style, which has resulted in higher performing teams. It is an incredibly fun, memorable and effective resource!"

    Rehana Farrell
    Chief Administrative Officer
    Guggenheim Investments

    "I recommend Personality Power, a unique reading selection in today’s crowded business literature. The ideas work; the suggestions are easy to remember. One can bring out the best in oneself and others while succeeding on the job. The key is to insightfully access and understand the personalities that surround us in our work environment."

    Sergio I. de Araujo
    AnSer Latin American Opportunities Fund

    "We all know that 'people skills' are important in one’s career. Perhaps no one has defined those skills and their potential applications as well as Shoya Zichy. At last, the mysteries of successful, professional interactions are solved -- laid out in plain English and organized to allow the reader to immediately understand difficult personality types."

    Ellen Reynolds
    Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer
    The Segal Group, Inc.

    "Leadership is about bringing out the best in people or an organization. This book provides a unique framework, combining business experience and psychological insight."

    Kathleen Waldron
    William Paterson University

    "We've reviewed dozens of personality profile approaches and what I love about the Color Q method in this book is that it does what personality assessments rarely do well - it answers the great 'so what?' question. We coach with Color Q because it gets to this extremely important bottom line - finding a job that really fits, and keeping it."

    John Courtney
    NextJob, Inc.

    "Personality Power opens the floodgates to improved profitability, productivity, and communication. Individuals who embrace the principles in this book are happier, more productive and committed to their career choices; organizations learn how to make internal and external meetings and conversations more successful and less stressful, and ensure that the 'right people are in the right seats on the bus.'"

    Jeannette Hobson
    Senior Vice President
    Eastern Division
    Vistage International