What’s the Difference Between Styles & Personalities? (Authorities)

This is the last of a 4-part series focusing on the the unique characteristics between each Market Force Style. In this article, we focus on the nature of Authorities.

People often ask us what makes the Market Force Style assessment different from some of the other profiling tools that they may be more familiar with, like DiSC or Myers-Briggs. While all of these assessments are used to predict behavior in the subject, it’s important to understand that different parts of your brain are responsible for different types of behavior patterns.

Market Force Styles is a biological assessment, not a psychological or personality-based one, like many of the other tools. The biological distinction means that your Style is NOT what you think about, or even how you think. Your Style is, in fact, the thing that operates (on your behalf) when you aren’t thinking at all!

Normal business stress has a significant impact on your ability to operate productively. Coming up against the slightest challenge, like facing an impending deadline or receiving a proposal rejection, can trigger you into your hard-wired, fight or flight response, completely without your permission. And, when find yourself in the throes of an “Amygdala hijack”, your primitive, lizard brain has taken over control of your more-evolved neocortex in order to run your habitual patterns of behavior (predetermined by your survival wiring) in an attempt to save your life.

Your Style lives in your limbic system, along with your other involuntary bodily functions. Since your biology’s job is to fight for your survival, your Market Force Style always sits behind the scenes shaping your world view, ready to jump into action at any sign of threat. Your personality, on the other hand, sits in the part of your brain associated with higher reasoning and is a pretty good indicator of how you will react to and approach these situations as they arise.

So, while all people who share the same Style will likely become triggered and react when exposed to the same types of stimuli, each will behave somewhat differently under pressure depending on the nature of their individual personalities.


Under pressure, all Authorities will lean toward evaluation, driven by their incessant need for security. It’s so important for Authorities to be able to understand and predict the future before it happens that their biology forces them to generate their own version of security. They do this by engaging in an extended period of consideration whenever the path forward isn’t clear to them. But, remember, this behavior is simply intended to calm their biological reaction, they aren’t actually trying to make the right decisions as much as they are looking to avoid making bad ones. Authorities need to create the conditions where they can avoid looking incompetent in front of others so they can calm down.

Their survival response is so effective at satisfying their concern for security that they are able to convince themselves that their slow process improves the situation, unable to see the problem of their own inefficiencies even when they are being critical of others for wasting valuable time and resources. Authorities position themselves as the guardians of the future, but they tend to rely more on information in the rearview mirror than truly understanding the opportunities by looking through the windshield. This is why other Styles can judge Authorities for being too risk averse and slowing down progress.

Now, Authorities with different personalities will play out their hibernate strategies with their own flavors. Some attempt it academically like a scientist, by taking a deliberate and inquisitive approach to eliminate possibilities that won’t work. Others take a skeptical and pessimistic approach in an attempt to prevent bad ideas from getting through and causing any harm. Lastly, others will take a superior stance, building their reputation as one who hold the highest level of standards.

Like the others, their biology makes them do it, but their personality shapes their approach.

This is the final article in this series. Please enjoy articles focused on the other three Market Force Styles: Controls, Influences and Powers

About the Author / Tony Cooper
Tony instigates breakthrough performance for businesses through his fascination of playing the “game behind the game”. He brings out the best in business leaders by helping them simplify complicated issues and supporting them to gain new skills and insights quickly. Tony has been training, coaching, and consulting since 2002, serving his passion of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit. He graduated with distinction from Cornell University, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering. In Tony's youth he was a nationally-ranked diver and Tae Kwon Do martial artist. And now after a lifetime of city dwelling, he is raising his family on a farm in Davis, California.