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A Model for Understanding Your Most Important Skill


Dr. Gerald D. Bell, founder and CEO of Bell Leadership Institute, discovered the truth around the importance of our personalities early on in his career while studying what it means to be a great leader. Technical skills and the ability to commit are important. After surveying thousands of individuals across a range of industries and of varying technical competencies on the traits of their best and worst leaders, he found that what stood out the most was a consistency in the personality traits and behaviors of the people identified as highly-effective leaders as well as similarities around the personalities of those identified as the least-effective leaders. These findings led to the development of the Achiever Model™. Though the model has evolved and been refined over the years through continued research and analysis, the central point of the model remains salient. There is an ideal balance within our personalities, a balance of valuable personal skills which we can all strive to attain. Individuals who attain that balance are what we call Achievers.



The Achiever Model is the basis for what we teach at Bell Leadership and how we help leaders and organizations succeed. The model is based on six main areas of personal skills, six types of basic human personality that make each of us who we are and determine the way we navigate our world through our actions and relationships. Each of us is unique in our presentation of these skills; we all have a different formula that includes our own specific proportions of each area of skill that results in our own distinct personality.

There is an ideal balance within our personalities, a balance of valuable personal skills which we can all strive to attain. Individuals who attain that balance are what we call Achievers.

You may be someone who is very enthusiastic about pursuing new ideas and loves to brainstorm and develop new processes with your team, but maybe sometimes you are so enthusiastic that the rest of your team doesn’t get a chance to participate. You might be the source of calm and safety in your organization and enjoy being a trusted resource for people, but you aren’t always comfortable speaking your mind in meetings because you don’t want to upset someone with a differing opinion.


Perhaps you are the one who can be counted on to keep everyone on schedule, keep things organized, and also make sure everyone gets a fair stake in the project, but when it’s time to hold a team-building exercise or morale-boosting luncheon, you see it as wasted potential to get ahead of schedule and you’d rather opt out.

We all behave according to our own unique mix of traits. We all want to improve and become the best versions of our unique selves—there’s a reason self-help books are one of the top selling genres on Amazon. But changing our personalities is hard. We are who we are because of years and years of programming through our relationships and experiences. That stuff is hardwired into us, and it takes significant, meaningful effort to start over and be something different.

Knowing yourself and understanding why you do the things you do is the first step to meaningful change. At Bell Leadership, through programs like Achievers, we share what we know about personality; we help you learn about yourself through personal assessments and detailed explanations of how our personalities are formed and what it takes to change them.

Viewing yourself through the lens of our Achiever Model can help uncover hidden motivations and allow for deeper understanding and lasting change.


Although the model is a way to understand people on an individual level, Dr. Bell will tell you that when he developed it, his original focus was on understanding what made great leaders and great organizations. Individuals make up organizations, and when your individuals know themselves and develop the skills to become highly-effective leaders, they create a common language, a foundation for success, and an organizational drive to continue building the skills that achieve

GREAT LEADERSHIP STARTS WITH ACHIEVERS | Regardless of the challenges a company or leader is facing, the most impactful solution often begins with Achievers™. As the cornerstone program of Bell Leadership, Achievers is built upon over 50 years of research into the behaviors of the most effective and least effective leaders worldwide. We provide leaders with not only an understanding of what they do but also why they do it. Through Achievers, individuals cultivate their “Self IQ,” gaining insights into their strengths and areas for improvement. They emerge with a comprehensive plan for personal growth, ultimately transforming into more effective leaders, which positively influences their teams, departments, and the overall business.