Alex Aanderud, the President, and CEO of HumanSpectrums Consulting (You Don’t Know DISC) and an expert in Advanced Integrative Psychology, has observed a significant shift in leadership priorities in recent years. Instead of relying solely on traditional business metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), leaders are now adopting a more comprehensive and integrative approach that considers factors such as culture, authenticity, satisfaction, and overall experience. This change in mindset is rooted in the realization that people are the driving force behind the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and team satisfaction, which are indispensable for any organization.
As leaders navigate the complexities of human emotions, mental states, challenging experiences, and relationships, they understand that business success is no longer just about the bottom line. The focus has shifted to the importance of understanding and valuing people (Human Capital). Communication, culture, and trust have become vital intangible assets that breathe life into organizations.
In response to this paradigm shift, leadership has become more human-centric. Understanding people’s needs, motivations, thought processes, limitations, and potential has become crucial for successful leadership. Creating a culture where individuals feel acknowledged, secure, accepted, protected, and empowered has become instrumental in achieving consistent and predictable results.
Alex brings a unique skill set in response to these changing dynamics. He has a diverse background in engineering, having provided support for experimental flight tests for both Boeing and the US Military. In addition, he is a certified trainer in Advanced Integrative Psychology, which gives them an exceptional ability to understand individuals deeply. Alex uses EEOC-compliant psychometric assessments and lean principles to help executives optimize and manage their company’s intangible assets, such as communication, culture, retention, and trust and make data-driven decisions around these hidden assets. This approach leads to improved profit, productivity, and retention for the company.
As the head of an Executive Coaching, Training, and Consulting firm, Alex’s company specializes in solving the intangible challenges faced by businesses, such as issues related to people, communication, culture, and trust. Their expertise lies in adaptive leadership, psychometrics, and effective hiring and retention practices, providing comprehensive solutions for organizations seeking sustained success in the ever-changing business landscape.
Challenging the Status Quo
Starting as a clown for the Shrine Hospital and a music major, Alex quickly realized the need for financial stability. When he learned about human factors and the ability to help people prevent injury and that he could combine his passion for helping people with a profitable career, he shifted his focus to engineering. In his junior year of college, he landed an internship at Boeing. During the internship, the school rescinded his financial aid. He talked his way into a full-time position, contributing to exciting projects like the 787, P-8 Poseidon, and the TX flight trainer.
During his time at Boeing, Alex’s interests expanded beyond engineering, and he began studying NLP and Psychology, seeking to help others while healing his own emotional traumas. This passion led him to transition from Boeing to therapy work, where he gained a reputation for producing life-changing results. Despite the rewarding nature of the work, he faced financial challenges and limited capacity to assist those who needed help.
As an alternative practitioner, Alex gained a reputation for delivering results and assisting people with various challenges like PTSD, suicidal depression, anxiety, and more. He worked with doctors, veterans, kids, and more. Despite the rewarding nature of therapy, Alex realized that many people couldn’t afford the help they needed, which led to a shift toward business consulting. Recognizing that the root causes of many issues were related to feeling unseen and undervalued at work, Alex committed at least 10% of revenue to create scholarships for alternative and holistic therapies for those who couldn’t afford them. So far, Alex and his company have been able to donate over $200K in scholarships and services.
Driven by his personal experiences and desire to help others heal and unlock their potential, Alex became a business consultant and mental conditioning coach. During this time, he stumbled upon intriguing “profiles” and embarked on a journey to explore their significance. These profiles were psychometric assessments, allowing him to merge engineering and psychology, creating a unique approach to understanding human behavior. His unique approach and unconventional thinking earned recognition and respect from seasoned experts in the coaching and training fields.
Inspired by his mission to challenge preconceived notions, break through limitations, and uncover individuals’ hidden potential, Alex rebranded as “You Don’t Know DISC.” This name encapsulated his determination to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others and to empower them to reach their limitless potential. The idea behind ‘You Don’t Know DISC’ was sharing a new perspective on psychometrics and human behavior…freeing people from the boxes and labels flooding the business world.
You Don’t Know DISC: Unlocking Human Potential
You Don’t Know DISC/HumanSpectrums Consulting acts as a unique bridge between engineering and psychology, offering a data-driven approach to human performance, leadership, and communication. While traditional business metrics are valued, the company’s philosophy emphasizes the often-hidden assets of people, communication, culture, and trust. By understanding and harnessing these intangible factors, the company unlocks the full potential for success within companies and teams.
Its distinctive approach sets You Don’t Know DISC apart in personality assessments. They believe that each personality holds the potential for success and reject the idea of confining individuals to rigid boxes. Instead, they acknowledge the fluidity of personality, acknowledging how experiences and environments shape individuals. Their mission is to empower individuals to embrace their unique strengths and support their growth and development.
At the core of effective leadership and communication lies the empowerment of authenticity. You Don’t Know DISC teaches the importance of leaders adapting their communication styles to meet the unique needs of their teams. The company cultivates productivity, retention, profitability, and overall growth by fostering environments where individuals feel seen, safe, accepted, protected, and empowered.
Beyond business success, You Don’t Know DISC is deeply committed to transforming people’s lives. They actively pursue this through scholarships and holistic services, striving to create a movement of Total Health that addresses spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and financial well-being. With the vision of establishing a non-profit later in the year, their ultimate goal is to ensure everyone can access alternative therapies and resources for personal growth and well-being.
Optimizing Performance across Industries
Under Alex’s leadership, You Don’t Know DISC has had the privilege of collaborating with numerous remarkable companies across diverse industries. He has helped teams and leaders in many noteworthy companies, including Navy Federal, MGM, eXp Realty, TED, American Medical Association, Boeing, and Intel. In these collaborations, You Don’t Know DISC’s expertise addressed common pain points such as leadership breakdowns, attrition, sales and production issues, and the need for improving organizational culture.
Within these organizations, You Don’t Know DISC has played a pivotal role in helping teams and individuals enhance their leadership capabilities, improve team dynamics, and optimize overall performance. Many clients face communication breakdowns, trust issues, motivational challenges, and teams significantly underperforming.
You Don’t Know DISC has effectively empowered leaders to adapt their communication styles and create empowering work environments through customized solutions. Their guidance has enabled organizations to optimize sales strategies, enhance customer engagement, and drive revenue growth. Moreover, their expertise in culture transformation has fostered employee engagement, improved communication, and cultivated a positive and thriving work culture within client organizations.
Remarkable Transformations and Exponential Growth
Under the leadership of Alex, You Don’t Know DISC, remarkable results have been achieved through his coaching for clients. For example, one company witnessed a significant reduction in attrition rates, dropping from 65% to an impressive 5%. Another team experienced remarkable success with an incredible 30% increase in sales within fewer than two months. Moreover, a large company experienced a striking improvement in engagement and satisfaction surveys, soaring from 27% to an impressive 83% within six months.
In the real estate industry, Alex’s expertise has been instrumental in helping teams foster a self-ejecting culture, where individuals who are a good fit naturally stay, while those who don’t find themselves naturally leave. This unique approach has resulted in exponential growth for these teams, with some witnessing their size and volume increasing by more than ten times.
These exceptional success stories vividly illustrate the effectiveness of Alex’s coaching in driving positive change and attaining outstanding client outcomes. The feedback on these examples is highly valued and appreciated.
Alex’s Harmonious Approach to Work-Life Integration
Alex has a beautiful three-year-old daughter, Edilyn. She brings him immense happiness and joyful days. He loves to fill his world through laughter, play, and possibility. The love he shares with his daughter is indescribable and beyond words. In addition to being a loving father, Alex enjoys the power of music, shows, and comedy as they bring people together and uplift spirits. He also finds happiness in dancing, rock climbing, running, and exploring the world. These experiences contribute to the richness of his life.
Alex has a unique perspective on work-life balance. Rather than trying to balance everything on a scale, he aims to create a sense of harmony and rhythm in his life. Alex believes in integrating work, family, and personal interests in a way that feels fulfilling and true to himself. Although challenging, he approaches this journey with enthusiasm and a clear sense of purpose.
Alex’s Expert Insights for Leaders
- Understand Your People: Recognize individual strengths, motivations, and needs. View them as complete people, not just employees. Their unique perspectives enrich the team. Understand them to offer better support.
- Foster a Culture of Authenticity and Growth: Encourage authenticity at work for a positive environment where team members feel valued for their true selves. Boost engagement and productivity by promoting continuous learning and professional development. Highlight that progress is valued.
- Embrace Adaptive Leadership: Take responsibility for your team’s success. Be flexible and adjust your leadership to the team’s and situation’s demands. Sometimes, offer guidance; other times, grant more autonomy.
Also Read: The Top 10 Leadership Coaches of 2023