This guest blog was submitted by Bill Wagner, CEO, CSP, and Co-Founder, Accord Management Systems. As a consultant, presenter, and author for more than 20 years, he has been at the forefront of leadership and entrepreneurial practice.

Printing industry professionals live in a world of trim sizes, PMS colors, and amazing attention to detail with the exception of the “C Level” and sales. It’s clearly an industry that depends on metrics.

Our industry, human resources consulting, shares this mission-critical imperative with the printing industry. We also depend on tools of measurement; however, the item being measured is behavior. Using a well-proven system, we conduct surveys that measure whether an individual’s behavior fits with the behavioral requirements of a particular position.

For the sake of example, consider any printing job you’ve worked on recently. If an error occurred, then a number of obstacles were created. For instance, the error may now compromise the envelope planned for the mailing. Or, the color may be darker than the color used in other campaigns. Either way, the decision must be made to reprint the job or somehow make it work with the error. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to fix a bad hire; hiring decisions typically have longer lasting repercussions and impressions.

Over the past decade, my company surveyed the personalities of 3000+ successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders. What have we learned? We’ve learned that success is based more on behavior than it is on skill, education, and/or experience. Our research shows that specific personalities actually perform at higher levels for sustained periods of time.

So, if you’ve struggled with people decisions in the past, think about it this way: A person who does well in a line position may not possess the personality to succeed as a department head. The best customer service representative may fail as a manager. And, your most profitable salesperson might stink in the role of sales manager because of too much of a competitive edge. Each scenario may end in failure not because of skills, but because they don’t have the personality necessary for the job.

If you want to learn more about effective leadership, Bill Wagner will be presenting Managing the Gap: A 3600 Leadership Survey at the 2012 LPIA Innovation Conference, November 7–9, 2012, in Coronado (San Diego), California.