Leader! Know thyself

Published June 8, 2017

I recently became certified in the use of a psychometric self-awareness tool that I believe can have a profound impact on the development of sport leaders. The NOVA Profile is a comprehensive instrument that provides information about behaviours, skills, different psychological characteristics, and personal motivations. What I find particularly powerful is that the tool synthesizes three of the most influential works on human behaviour of the last century: those of the DISC system of William Moulton MARSTON (associated with the language of colours), the works of Carl JUNG on psychological types, and that of Eduard SPRANGER on motivations. In addition, the tool helps an individual awaken to their ‘natural style’ – the unconscious and preferred style – and their ‘adapted style’ - the style that people tend to show as they react to their environment. Understanding these two styles allows a person to ‘see themselves’ as they are and appreciate their strengths and limitations in a supportive and non-judgmental way.


The process is a simple one. Sport leaders take a 15-20 minute survey and their responses are tabulated through the Swiss Nova software. A certified NOVA consultant reviews the assessment and shares the profile with the client in a 90 minute debriefing session. Having done my own profile I can attest to quite a few ‘ah ha’ moments and the resulting insights have been very useful as I look to deepen my own understanding of self. As an Integral Master Coach (TM), this tool nicely compliments the other lenses I have in my coaching tool belt and from experience, can serve to accelerate the learnings acquired in a coaching program.


Since March, I have had the chance to work with over a dozen sport leaders using the NOVA Profile as part of our coaching conversation. Here’s what some of them had to say about their experience.

Sports, work, life - everything is about relationships.  In any context, it is important to know the complexity of the human being behind the role or task that he or she occupies in any organization. The NOVA Profile, through an accessible questionnaire, allows us to learn about the magnificent subtleties that makes each person unique. The NOVA Profile results are presented in the form of images and uses powerful words that gave me the opportunity to understand and appreciate different facets of myself. As an Olympic medalist coach, I have always known the power of recognition. However, to be able to give feedback or high quality recognition, you have to get to know yourself and know the people you work with. The NOVA Profile is a tool that allows us to develop this knowledge in a way that supports the creation of high quality relationships.

J.P. Richard
Olympic Coach & Enrepreneur

The NOVA Profile is the most comprehensive personal assessment tool that I have ever come across. It provided me with valuable insights not only into my natural and adapted tendencies as a leader depending on my environment, but also how those tendencies combine with my intrinsic motivations. The NOVA Profile has empowered me with information to both shape my environment and quickly adapt to create the everyday professional experience that I truly desire.

Eva Havaris
CEO, Equine Canada

How can it be used?

The tool can be used for individual personal development or system-wide cultural transformation projects. It can be used by administrators to build stronger teams; by hiring committees when comparing possible candidates; by Boards to enable better dialogue; and by any individual looking for personal growth. I also feel this tool could be useful to sport teams looking to increase collaboration and appreciation for diversity of perspective. When combined with a personal and/or team professional coaching session, the tool becomes a supportive means of enhancing communications and increasing shared appreciation for each other’s unique ways of contributing to the organization’s mission. The beauty of this kind of tool is that it can offer an objective way of increasing your knowledge of different ways to view the world, which during times of stress, can lead to conflict. During high pressure environments like international Games, hosting events, or while managing a crisis, how useful might it be to be forearmed with a deeper understanding of self, one’s limitations under stress, and an increased appreciation for how others might respond?

From my perspective, this kind of development tool can help us move the yardstick from good to great and increase the likelihood that we can transform medal potential into podium performance.

To find out more

If you are keen to learn more about this tool, send me an email at DBL@sportlaw.ca. I am open to discussing how this tool and other integral coaching services can be of help to your organization in the following areas:

  • Organization-wide assessments
  • Leadership assessments
  • Integral coaching sessions
  • Job profile
  • Team profile
  • Management team profile

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