What It Really Means to Have Command


What Is the COMMAND Theme

Those with Command are the people in our lives who instinctively assume control of situations and lead the way forward.  For them, stepping up and taking charge is life giving, and it completely aligns with their preference for taking action and looking life in the eye.  They live in the spirit of “Just Do It”.  For those reasons, they are generally goal driven and outcome-oriented; they value the process of scaling up and having something tangible to show for their work.  Their zone of excellence is when they are making decisions, delegating, and moving ahead.  They are naturally able to evaluate a situation, take a stance, and then act on it.  When something matters to them, they rarely hesitate to share their thoughts and make their voices heard.  Not surprisingly, they are totally comfortable with having their own opinions and feeling about things—even when their views are unpopular.  Because they are self-assured in their ability deliver results, being liked and understood is less important to them than being in command and doing the next right thing.  So, a minority-of-one scenario is no big deal to them, they might even feel energized by the challenge of it.  That is, they are visionary people who confidently play the long-game—knowing that, when they take action, the end justifies the means.  They are models of courage.

Why Should We Care

People with the Strength of Command are often willing to do what no one else will do—be it stepping into the unknown, walking through figurative or literal fires, or facing fears.  They are the ones whom we naturally turn to in times of crisis, emergency, and mayhem.  They are present, magnetic, and  highly intelligent people who are not easily frightened, badgered, or overwhelmed.  We can rely on them, even if they are, at times, heavy handed or intimidating.  Their ability to make decisions unflinchingly can create needed change and help to cultivate turning points during challenging times and periods of stasis or unrest.  Fact is, leadership comes easily to them, and they may not even be aware of the fact that they are conducting the operations of a room, group, or project.  They are persuasive, bold, and truthful.  In some ways, being in charge is their default mode, their baseline and it cannot be turned off.  People with Command demand honesty and have little patience for anything less.  They bring out our true selves and, in precisely that way, they draw out the best in us.  In their presence, we can often do more than we thought possible.

Ten Things to Know About People with COMMAND

1. Intuition. They are highly intuitive people who are willing to take massive action based on gut feelings and then own the results fully.  Be it success or failure, they are not ones to regret following their instincts.

2. Both Sides. It’s true that they are natural leaders, so they hold other leaders to a high standard.  When they, themselves, are being led they need to know and feel that it is being done effectively.  They may become highly critical and possibly vocal about the uninspired, poor, or thoughtless leadership of others.  It may be personally offensive to them.

3. Weeds. They do not like being “in the weeds” during decision making processes.  They operate best at a high-level, making executive decisions and then rallying people around them to handle the details.

4. Go Big. They are here to have an impact, so don’t be surprised if they apply extremely expansive thinking to all that they pursue.  Because they prefer to go big in their lives, they may have a tendency to leave others in the dust, which generally isn’t personal.

5. Impatience. They are prone to bouts of restlessness, irritability, and thoughts of “I could be doing more” (about themselves) or “They could be doing more.” (about others).  They might have a difficult time relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day.  If they are alone, they like to be doing, building, or destroying something.  They are generally project-oriented with an all-in or all-out attitude.

6. Theory. In general, they like to know, rather than to assume, presume, or speculate.  Theorizing and intellectualizing about abstractions can be incredibly uninteresting to them—as are hypotheses and conjecture.  They may view this type of mental activity as a pointless waste of time.

7. Confrontation. Because they are the ones who seem to come alive under pressure and take charge without hesitation, they do not avoid confrontation.  For them, confrontation is a necessary part of the way forward—they expect it and welcome it.  Confrontation is often one of the ways that they choose learn about others.

8. Yeses. They generally have little respect for “yes people” because they, understandably, see them as inauthentic and untrustworthy.  Folks with Command prefer that others have opinions as strong as their own.  To them, another’s backbone is highly respected—even if they disagree with them.

9. Heightened States. Even if they seem unassuming on the outside, people with Command usually have an intense inner-world.  They are incredibly aware and constantly alert, and they may find themselves craving a little disruption now and then, which would give way to their command-energy and allow them an appropriate channel for their authority.

10. When it comes to love, they are drawn to the idea of strategic partnerships.  Like a yin-yang, they prefer others who might add to or complement/contrast their strengths as opposed to mirror and relate to them.  They seek connections that are purposeful, not fleeting or frivolous.  They are also likely happy to go it alone.

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Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

7 thoughts on “What It Really Means to Have Command

  1. Yes! Exactly right on all counts. My husband and have both been self employed all our lives. It’s hard sometimes to tamp the ego down and deal with disruption at times and remain objective and kind. It can be a delicate balance. What I find disturbing is I not seeing a lot of young people taking command. I also see the reasons for this phenomenon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. I love your insights here. Command is a rare and highly misunderstood strength in our day and age. I feel like they come in generational waves. Like, certain strengths are emphasized in certain generations and de-emphasized in others. Thank you for your comment!


  2. I really liked the article. I can find myself in here quite easily, but I think it’s missing the other side of the profile. There are a few downsides that we must always be wary of and find a good balance.

    Liked by 1 person

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