Reflecting (Northwest Heading)

    Leaders who favor the NW Heading are often the least likely to accept positions of leadership for they can be so fiercely independent. They may be extraordinary performing artists, very much at home on center stage playing a character role, but for themselves, they are less likely to want center stage. The daily barrage of questions and problems would be an intrusion on a beloved inner life. Yet people with a NW Heading are often natural leaders, for they command the respect and attention of others through their quiet yet profound presence.

    For those willing to take the leap to intense growth and development, people with a NW Heading would be more adept at effectively managing an organization if they grew toward the SE Heading. Mature growth to a balanced personality would be advanced by adopting what may feel like opposing attributes.
    Formulating (Northeast Heading)

    Leaders who favor a NE Heading are often highly imaginative and insightful. They see the big picture and are forever formulating new and enhanced versions of it. Their key brilliance as leaders is their ability to understand complex systems and to perpetually improve upon them. Never content to leave well enough alone, they are often formulating or exploring some new approach or project for the organization.

    Their task, to be balanced, mature leaders is to grow more toward the SW Heading to become increasingly adept in social situations, more easily and casually relating to others. It requires conscientious effort that may often feel odd and uncomfortable. Yet developing the SW Heading tends to generate a sense of social well being that puts people at ease. People who feel valued are far more likely to bring their best effort to the work of the organization.
    Associating (Southwest Heading)

    People tend to love the leaders who enjoy the SW Heading. These are the leaders who are easily compassionate, attentive, socially adept, and genuinely interested in the lives of others. They love to meet with people and derive much energy from the many social interactions demanded of people in positions of leadership. They support harmonious interaction and enjoy carrying on the established traditions and values of the organization.

    Their inclination to maintain stable harmony would be complemented by growing toward the NE Heading where strategic thinking, perpetual innovation, and new ideas are generated freely. In today's Darwinian economy, the responsive, nimble, and innovative organizations are the ones most likely to thrive.
    Producing (Southeast Heading)

    Leaders who prefer the SE Heading are the classic leaders of American business. Their paradigm might be characterized as the military leader who "takes the hill" or commands and directs the work of others. The great value of these leaders is in their practical and decisive action. They are well organized themselves and are adept at organizing the work of others.

    They would enhance their leadership style by growing toward the NW Heading, where intuition would play an invaluable role in bringing deeper meaning and inspiration to their work. People want, in their heart of hearts, to be part of something big and sacred. Leaders in touch with deeper values brings the big and sacred to everyday life—and to those around them.

You can accomplish anything in life, providing that you do not mind who gets the credit.
—Harry S. Truman

Point to GCI Heading


Organizational cultures are the true mirrors in which leaders see the reflection of their own influence. Leaders create organizational cultures where innovation and creativity flourish . . . or where people feel suppressed and controlled. The fate of the organization, to a large degree, is contingent on mature leadership.

Mature leaders listen to many views while maintaining a strong commitment to the mission of the organization. Which compass heading of the Gifts Compass is that?: None of them . . . and all of them. The really effective leader is one who has grown beyond an initial compass heading to develop many other gifts.

After you take the GCI, find your preferred compass heading above to learn more about growing your leadership effectiveness.