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A test used by NASA assessed top leaders. Zuckerberg is 'Original' but Trump is a 'Doer'

Karen Gilchrist
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Ever wanted to get inside the heads of the world's top leaders?

A new study has attempted to do just that with a test used by NASA astronauts.

Behavioral analytics company Mattersight used the world's only linguistics-based model to find out what top leaders' word choices reveal about their personalities.

The test, known as the Process Communications Model, was used for almost two decades by NASA to assess the psychological fitness of new recruits. Being language-based, it is arguably harder to game than other self-report personality tests.

Mattersight analyzed 10 minutes of public speaking by top leaders and found that, based on the language they used, they could determine where they fit within six distinct personality types and the impact this has on their management style.

Here's what top leaders' language reveals about their personalities:

Organizers

Elon Musk , CEO, Tesla , SpaceX: "The literal definition of a company."

Organizers prioritize facts and data in their language patterns and avoid invoking emotion. As leaders, Organizers are goal-oriented and strive for perfection, often making it difficult for them to delegate.

Organizers make up 25 percent of the population, with three-quarters being male.

Typical word choices: basically, make certain, my numbers

Other famous Organizers: Jeff Bezos , Bill Gates , Barack Obama , Martha Stewart , Warren Buffett .


Connectors

Marissa Mayer , former CEO, Yahoo: "It's personalized to you."

Considered the archetypal "people person," Connectors frequently reference their feelings in their language choices. As leaders, they put a strong emphasis on relationships and teamwork and make decisions based on their impact on employees and customers.

Connectors account for 30 percent of the population, with three-quarters being female.

Typical word choices: feeling, kind of, best

Other famous Connectors: Jimmy Carter, Princess Diana, Laura Bush.


Advisors

Satya Nadella , CEO, Microsoft : "…have a deeper meaning."

Advisors employ firm, formal and deliberate word choices to emphasize their conviction in their beliefs. When leading others, they tend to prioritize their own values and judgement over hard data.

Advisors make up just 10 percent of the population and are more typically (75 percent) male.

Typical word choices: should not, are you saying, duty

Other famous Advisors: Tim Cook , Hillary Rodham Clinton , Meg Whitman , Jørgen Vig Knudstorp.


Originals

Mark Zuckerberg , CEO, Facebook : "We're making cool stuff."

Originals' language patterns demonstrate a preference for spontaneity, fun and informality. They make for innovative, non-conformist leaders.

Originals make up one-fifth of the population, of which 60 percent are male.

Typical word choices: you guys, what's the deal, gotta problem

Other famous Originals: Ellen DeGeneres, Evan Spiegel, Jan Koum.


Doers

Travis Kalanick , former CEO, Uber: "My rating is a 5.0. All 5 star rides."

Doers' word choices tend to reflect their preference for action over planning. As leaders, they are also known for their charisma and short bursts of intense action.

Doers account for 5 percent of the population, with just over half (60 percent) being male.

Typical word choices: do it, come on, bottom line

Other famous Doers: Donald Trump , Mark Cuban and Richard Branson .


Dreamers

Mattersight did not identify any famous leaders who fall into the dreamer category. They noted, however, that such personalities would likely have a strong second in command.

Dreamers typically use few words and often rely on others to carry the conversation. When they do speak, their language is literal, impersonal and has little variation in tone.

Dreamers make up 10 percent of the population, with just over half (60 percent) being female.

Typical word choices: wondering, need time, having a difficult

Mattersight said that the findings could make it easier to gain an insight into the leadership styles of top CEOs and and the cultures they set within their companies.

"This initial research only scratches the surface in analyzing CEO personality based on the language leaders use. However, it illustrates that the words they use and the way in which they deliver them should not be viewed as hollow," Mattersight said in the report.

It added: "If we can begin to better understand how leaders display and utilize their 'core' personality within the C-suite, we can begin to discern the impact of leadership personality on the organizations they run."

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