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Dominant Dummy or Silent Smarty... how do you relate?


When Cherie and I first got married,  we agreed that there was a need for a biblical third cord in our marriage.  That third cord helps us to grow and mature as a married couple.  At first, it was very hard for us to be ONE, because I was the “Dominant Dummy” and she was the “Silent Smarty".   I have since learned to take personal responsibility as a husband, and do not blame, defend or justify myself.  Sometimes we try to navigate away from chaos when it is wise to embrace the chaotic times and mature through them.  We also are learning NOT to enter into other peoples CHAOS unintentionally, and to move gently away from those people and situations that keep drama alive.  A good pilot will not fly into the clouds if they can avoid turbulence, yet they have the skill to fly the aircraft in uncertain space when needed.    We have learned  that “understanding” is the secret ingredient to high achievement.  The third cord to us is not compromise, instead its more about deep understanding.  The third cord, or “understanding” gives us the ability to be harmonious.  In addition to employing “understanding” in our life we include the skill of negotiation minus coercive and manipulative tactics to advance as a couple and with others.   This process of higher living includes a sequence of epiphanies, that directly inform our decisions every day.   The goal and the end game for us is to “Leave a Legacy of Leaders™ who demonstrate Character, are Trusted by others and operate with Passion”. 


Dominant Dummy:  Someone who has no clue that his or her behavior is so obnoxious and rude that they act like a steamroller.  They may get-er-done, but most often they harm the team spirit and wreak havoc throughout the rank and file of a company or organization due to their immature behavior.  They have limited personal responsibility and ignore congruent outcomes that support team growth and tend to operate with ego centric leadership while unintentionally crippling the culture.  The reason I say "unintentionally" is because they are blind to their own behavioral issues.  They tend to have tunnel vision, generally lack self awareness and awareness of others and the especially the big picture.  They may have a conscious or subconscious disrespect for anything other than their own relentless drive toward their finite agenda and often have a desperate need to be right.  They will bludgeon you with rules and berate others in an effort to present themselves as superior.  They risk the relationships in effort to gain what they perceive is personal position or power.  Simply put they gain ground with a power over, opposed to power with people attitude.   You may classify them as verbally abusive and potentially bullies.  The result of the idiotic behavior of the Dominant Dummy might be - money in the bank for themselves, bogus power and prestige of a perceived position or title, some degree of perceived prominence but most often they lose relationship equity in the process of their perceived success and will undoubtedly  leave a huge wake of casualties in their pursuits. They can rob and murder relationships through their unkind, rude and even cruel behavior, and rarely consider empathy toward others.   The behavior of the Dominant Dummy often creates failed cultures or unsustainable cultures that are reliant on the Dominant Dummy because they have disempowered others to make useful decisions.  The root of the Dominant Dummy's dysfunction may be relentless bullying that may have occurred in childhood, a defiant attitude developed toward authority because they themselves were abused, mocking others as a result of being mocked, masking behind a title as a means to cover insecurities, or other deep rooted personal and/or emotional insecurities and/or lack of understanding and care for the real purpose and mission of life.   The Dominant Dummy most often has a limited understanding/or desire to know the essence of genuine authority or the art of empowering others.  The Dominant Dummy fails to understand the purpose for which authority is needed, therefore they are their own authority.  The Dominant Dummy is most often very insecure, and could be classified as having narcissistic behavior.  

The only hope is for a quality  intervention, followed with extreme accountability.

Silent Smarty: Someone who has an intuitive knowledge of the best practice, supported by a deep heart desire to collaborate to the higher achievement to advantage the whole. The Silent Smarty may at times lack confidence and/or be unwilling to stand up to the intimidations of the Dominant Dummy.  The Silent Smarty understands that authority is designed to keep the culture safe, stable, growing and to serve the needs of others.  The Silent Smarty may at times lose heart and not fight to bring the needed contributions to the whole.  The reason that Silent Smarty may shut down is due to the infectious attitude birthed by arrogance and pride as demonstrated by the Dominant Dummy.   A word of caution to the Silent Smarty - beware not to enter into a codependent relationship with the Dominant Dummy.  The result most often will include stolen identity, and misuse of your knowledge while taking credit for your impute, twisting of your words and truth,  depletion of you energy, an attempt to hijack your ideas and other contributions, and may ultimately result in stolen rewards from your efforts. The Silent Smarty's may tend to remain silent and not offer their brilliance for fear of not being heard, but most often decide not to share because they have experienced the abusive behavior of the Dominant Dummy.    Given the opportunity to be heard the Silent Smarty's offers the critical solutions to temper the Dominant Dummy and advance the long term goals and missions for the best results of the whole.

Recognizing our hardship and frustration in our early marriage, we learned.  We established that the third cord is vital and is the presence of "real truth".   Our faith,  and our business is governed by the truth found in Scripture.  Safe use of power is dependent on mutual submission, and learning how to communicate with excellence.  We know that we are not perfect, but in process and we are growing.  Most of our significant breakthroughs comes when we compare notes and then take appropriate action that aligns with our life goals and aspirations.   A Symphony happens as moments of time connect with greater understanding followed by the application of truth.  We try very hard to get to a YES before we move forward, and generally wait until we reach that truth before we make any significant decisions.  Shortly after the application of this truth we discover a culture of prosperity, and those around us enter into this amazing place.  

Fundamentally, process consulting is (Progress in the Process) and coaching is (Ensuring Sustainable Growth that is accomplished with character, trust and passion).  The very first place to start to grow is in the biblical marriage, of which that transcends into every other aspect of life.  The marriage is the training ground for excellence, it is the true essence of you character displayed to the world. We are not saying this process is easy or that it will be immediately harmonious, with no discord.  We are saying that when you resolve discord and eliminate the cause of that discord you enter greater harmony and a personal joy.  One agreement we have between us is that we do NOT agree to disagree.  We have learned to discuss, communicate and learn from each other until we come to a conclusion, then we act according to our new agreements.  

This blog is written to simply point to the importance of alignment and agreement especially in marriage, and how that relates to other areas of your life.  We hope you discover the direct correlation to building a profitable culture and the relationships that are engineered at home.  Much like a kinetic ball your marriage and home life connect, and when healthy will positively influence business and community.   Like you,  we face many challenges every day.   The people puzzle can be very complicated,  and it is critical in business to honor your legal partnership,  also called your "marriage vows".  A key to strong business is to recognize that the covenant you make in marriage is supreme over every other agreement.  Therefore,  I would contend that the Marriage is genuinely the only LEGAL partnership that is fully supported by God.  Other agreements fail to have the power of an authorized Marriage, and need to be kept in check The point here is perhaps instead of forming partnerships with people that a clearly written alliance would better serve as an organizational structure for the business you may conduct.  An alliance differs because at the helm of your business is your husband, (Christ), and your Spouse.  3 Fold Cord.

Should you be interested in learning more about Alliance opposed to Partnership, feel free to contact us. 

An Example.

I point to in a third-generation business that hired us to perform a cultural evaluation for the purpose of understanding the critical issues affecting profitability.  The CEO,  hired us to conduct a survey in effort to gain clarity on issues impacting profitability.   About three days into the work,  the CEO’s wife  approached us  with concerns regarding the process,  She wanted to understand the purpose of the work we were conducting and how it may impact the culture.   Sadly the CEO,  in this case the husband had no idea that his wife had any concerns, and did not see the wisdom of informing her on his decision to hire us.   After describing the process and direction,  his wife decided the work was unnecessary stating, “this is rudimentary and a waste of time”.   

The point here is that at the helm of the operation there was discord or lack of authorized agreement.  It is critical to communicate and operate with unity and execute with aligned purpose.   After processing the conversation, we recognized the root issue was a lack of communication between spouses.  We wrote up a report and recommended the two of them come into full agreement prior to advancing with the contractual work, in fact suggested our relational excellence course.   In absence of agreement, it is hard to advance.  It is disastrous for any business or organization to try to build from separate philosophies in management.

The assessment proved to identify the root issues that,  if left unattended,  can cause dysfunction and loss of profit.  Communication at the helm is a key factor to long term sustainability and future growth.  Crucial conversations offer harmony and give confidence to the team.  

It is critical in business and life that a husband and wife be in communication and agreement as they proceed down the road of either building a family or a business.    If there is discord,  and frustration in the marriage the result most often is dysfunction that hurts the bottom line.   In the case of the business we served, we were able to associate severe fiscal loss because the two were not on the same page.  Sadly, if the root of the tree is diseased, it will not furnish the rest of the tree with healthy nutrients.  Most of the employees were scared of the wife, and had no association with the husband.  The husband might have been a bit of an introvert and an intellect and the wife might be more outgoing a bit sanguine and very passionate.   The result of not being in agreement and not having alignment is DRIFT and if you drift too long, it does not end well.  

Our Discovery and Remedy

We could give you an example after example of the times when Cherie  and I have had employ the concept of total agreement.   On numerous occasions we have had to make decisions to not allow division or discord to contend with the harmony and well-being of our company.  

I would suggest this is one of the main reasons we have entered into higher achievement. The issue is not that it’s hard to walk in agreement,  the issue is that it is hard not to.   Too many business failures happen simply because there is a lack of “understanding” especially around the importance of a three fold marriage.

This blog is making a case for a strong marriage,  we welcome your comments and ideas as it relates how business and marriage intertwine.