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Business-related Personality Test (BPT) by Professor Pelz

How to Achieve Career Success and a Satisfying Private Life
by Using the Business-Related Personality Test (BPT)


  • Your Personality Traits (Strengths and Weaknesses): Free Personality Test
    • Conduct the Test: Compare Your Profile with Others' Profiles 
    • Analyze the 10 Most Effective Business-related Personality Traits
  • Definition, Significance, and Quality (Validity) of Personality Tests
  • Features of the New Business-Oriented Personality Test (BPT)
  • Applications of the BPT in Professional and Personal Life
  • Examples for Interpreting Test Results (Personality and Career)
  • Links for Further Exploration of the Topic
  • References

Your Personality Traits (Strengths and Weaknesses): Free Personality Test

Conduct the Test

Using the following link, you can create your personality profile and compare your strengths and weaknesses with the average of all previous participants. This will help you discover what you excel at compared to other people, thereby achieving your goals more easily and quickly. Examples for interpreting the test results can be found at the aforementioned link (suitability as an entrepreneur, manager, or self-employed individual). You should first take the test. Here is the link to the personality test. Registration or entering an email is not required, but we would appreciate a recommendation.

The Top Ten Most Effective Business-Related Personality Traits

The following top ten business-related personality traits are essential for managerial effectiveness. They were identified in a survey of approximately 30,000 managers by Waldemar Pelz in Germany and other parts of Europe. These traits determine whether you can turn your skills or talents into success. For instance, mastering a skill typically requires at least 10,000 hours of practice as a rule of thumb. Without perseverance and passion, your skills and talents will remain dormant. An example of the test results is shown in Figure 3 below.

  • Effective Creativity (focusing on creative solutions): This trait measures the strength of your intrinsic motivation to overcome new challenges and provide workable solutions, contrasting with a passive consumer attitude.
  • Useful Learning (eagerness to learn what really matters): This trait gauges the desire to acquire new skills and knowledge and to learn from both positive and negative experiences. The opposite is being reluctant to learn or averse to innovative ideas.
  • Optimistic Ambition (striving for convincing results): A high score indicates enjoyment in competition and reliance on personal strengths, as opposed to pessimistic anxiety.
  • Cooperative Fairness (contributing to team spirit): This trait reflects a strong commitment to ensuring the smooth functioning of a team by balancing conflicting interests, unlike selfish egotism.
  • Sincere Trust (striving for trustful relationships): Individuals with this trait are seen as having integrity; they command respect and acknowledgment from their peers, which stands in contrast to employing political tactics.
  • Cooperative Responsibility (contributing to common goals): A willingness to take responsibility shows that individuals are prepared to be accountable for others, assume tasks, and accept the consequences of their decisions, as opposed to showing detached indifference.
  • Courageous Enthusiasm (overcoming obstacles to success): This trait measures the sustained enthusiasm and courage needed to see projects through despite negative conditions, rather than exhibiting hesitant followership.
  • Focused Role Model (giving direction to others): These behaviors indicate leadership qualities regardless of hierarchical position and differ from opportunistic dependence or getting bogged down in trivialities.
  • Resilient Stamina (coping effectively with setbacks): Success often involves overcoming numerous factual and emotional setbacks, requiring what's known as the "stand-up-man-effect," as opposed to succumbing to hyperactive chaos.
  • Willpower (turning objectives into results): This trait assesses the ability to translate character strengths and opportunities into action, contrasting with frustrated defensiveness.

Definition, Purpose, and Quality (Validity) of Personality Tests

Definition: What is a Personality Test?

A personality test is a diagnostic tool designed to assess and quantify an individual's characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior. It identifies various personality traits that can influence how a person interacts with the world around them. Common traits that are often evaluated include ambition, enthusiasm, optimism, creativity, willpower, endurance, and energy (often referred to as drive). Each of these traits typically has an opposing quality, such as pessimism, lack of willpower, anxiety, helplessness, and indifference.

The purpose of a personality test is to measure these traits within an individual to determine how well they align with the demands of both their professional and personal lives. This alignment is sometimes described using the key-and-lock principle: just as the right key fits into the right lock, certain personality traits may fit well with specific roles or environments. Understanding one's personality profile through such tests can provide insights into areas of strength and potential growth, which in turn can influence one's success in various aspects of life.

Why is a Personality Test Important for one's Profession?

A personality test is important for one's profession for several reasons:

  • Identification of Traits: It helps in identifying how pronounced certain character traits are in an individual. For instance, it can reveal if someone is particularly creative, persistent, or strong-willed.
  • Benchmarking: A personality test allows for comparisons with other individuals. This can be crucial in a professional setting where employers may want to find the most suitable candidate for a job role. By comparing the levels of ambition or creativity among candidates, employers can select someone who stands out in the desired traits.
  • Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses: The test helps individuals and employers understand what combination of strengths and weaknesses is typical for a person. Knowing these can guide career decisions and personal development plans.
  • Creating a Personality Profile: Each individual has a unique personality profile that emerges from such tests. This profile is particularly important when making career decisions as it provides insights into which professions or roles might be most fulfilling and appropriate based on one's inherent traits.
  • Job Matching: For hiring companies, the key question is whether and how well an applicant's personality fits the requirements of the job. A good fit can lead to job satisfaction, high performance, and employee retention, while a poor fit might result in dissatisfaction, poor performance, and high turnover.
  • Avoiding Unfavorable Decisions: Using personality tests in the hiring process helps avoid unfavorable hiring decisions that can cause significant material and psychological stress for both candidates and companies.
  • Reducing Professional Suffering: Many people experience dissatisfaction in their professions despite having great strengths because they may not be in roles that align with their personalities. Personality tests can help individuals seek out careers that are more congruent with their innate preferences and abilities.

In summary, personality tests are valuable tools for both individuals seeking to understand themselves better and make informed career choices, as well as for organizations aiming to hire candidates who will thrive in specific roles and contribute positively to the company culture. See also the following graph:

Requirements and personality traits

Figure 1: How a Personality Profile Matches Requirements. In this case, a lot of effort and poor results (success).

Why are personality tests important in private life? 

In private life, a personality test can help improve an understanding of one's own emotions, thoughts, and behavioral patterns. This insight also extends to a better understanding of human nature. Personality traits, which are largely innate or acquired in early childhood, enable us to assess and predict behavior. Understanding human nature is often considered the key to successful interpersonal interactions. 

It is extremely difficult to turn an optimist into a pessimist; similarly, it is said that you cannot turn a workhorse into a racehorse. Each character should therefore be accepted but dealt with differently. Most attempts by parents to change their children's character are doomed to fail, as are efforts to change one's spouse or partner in marriages and partnerships. It's no coincidence that John D. Rockefeller once stated he would pay more for the ability to deal with people than for anything else under the sun.

When is a personality test "scientifically sound"?

A personality test is considered "scientifically sound" when it meets certain established criteria that assess its reliability and validity. These quality criteria are essential to ensure that the test provides accurate and consistent results that can be used to make informed decisions in various contexts, such as employment or psychological evaluation. Here are the key criteria that determine the scientific soundness of a personality test:

  • Reliability: This refers to the consistency of the test results over time. A reliable test will yield similar outcomes when administered to the same person under similar conditions on different occasions.
  • Validity: Validity measures whether the test actually assesses what it claims to assess. There are several types of validity:
  • Content Validity: The extent to which the test represents all facets of the given construct.
  • Criterion-Related Validity: The effectiveness of the test in predicting an individual's behavior in specific situations (predictive validity) or correlating with other measures of the same construct (concurrent validity).
  • Construct Validity: The degree to which a test measures the theoretical construct it is intended to measure.
  • Norms: The test should provide normative data, which means it has been administered to a large, representative sample so that an individual's score can be compared to this norm group.
  • Test Fairness: The test should not be biased against any group based on gender, race, age, or other irrelevant factors.
  • Utility: The usefulness of the test in practical applications, such as helping with career guidance or understanding interpersonal dynamics.

Non-scientific Personality Tests

Figure 2: Evolution of non-scientific personality testing 

The new Business-related Personality Test (BPT)

The need for a personality test that meets state-of-the-art scientific quality criteria, such as validity and reliability, was a driving force behind the development of the new Business-Related Personality Test (BPT). Below is an overview of the test:

Note: The BPT assesses ten personality traits, each represented by six behavioral descriptions, also known as items. Participants are instructed to rate how accurately the following statements describe their typical behavior using a five-point Likert scale that ranges from 1 ('strongly disagree') to 5 ('strongly agree').

Candidates Traits and Requirements

Figure 3: Evaluation of the Business-Related Personality Test

Please Note: In this figure, the 'total average score' represents the combined results from all participants who have taken this online test. In the context of leadership development, it's crucial to focus on a benchmark profile that aligns with specific job requirements and considers the competitive landscape. This approach ensures that the management team can maintain its position as a key competitive advantage.

Quiz Question (Considering the Green Bars): What kind of activity or job is this individual best suited for?"

Remember that without visual access to Figure 3 and its green bars, I cannot provide an accurate answer to your quiz question. The answer would depend on how these green bars represent different personality traits or competencies relevant to certain jobs or activities.

Personality: The Ultimate Magnet

Personality acts like a magnet: one pole attracts, while the other repels, with most individuals' traits falling somewhere between these extremes. Whether positive or negative, personality traits can profoundly influence one's career, marriage, friendships, and daily interactions with superiors, colleagues, employees, customers, and competitors. Ultimately, personality determines how we are treated by others, which opportunities we're presented with, and which paths remain inaccessible.

The Role of Personality Tests in Making Important Life Decisions

To make informed decisions about your professional and personal future—essentially setting your life's course—it's crucial to be well-acquainted with your own strengths and weaknesses. It's equally important to accurately assess both the positive and negative traits of key figures in your life—from parents and friends to teachers, spouses, bosses, employees, and business partners. A multitude of personality tests has been developed to evaluate these strengths and weaknesses. Given their importance in guiding critical life choices, these tests must possess a level of quality that matches the significance of such decisions.

Remember that when discussing personality tests or any psychological assessments, it's also important to mention their scientific validity and reliability if they are being used for making serious decisions.

Scientific Foundation of the BPT

In today's professional world, there are unfortunately very few scientifically sound test procedures available. The business-related personality test developed by Waldemar Pelz—a result of over 20 years of practical experience—is designed to address this shortfall. Intended for use in both professional settings and private life, its practical relevance has been critically reviewed through a survey involving approximately 30,000 people. Continuous improvements have been made based on this feedback, with a scientific publication detailing quality criteria expected soon.

Importance of Personality Over Competencies

Why does personality often trump competencies? To illustrate this point, consider one example each from private and professional sectors: People possess varying degrees of musical, artistic, literary, sporting, technical, or mathematical talents. However, it takes perseverance, focus, enthusiasm, and substantial energy for these abilities to translate into achievement, pride, recognition, admiration or financial success. While empirical studies suggest that mastering a competence may require around 10,000 hours of consistent practice—a figure subject to academic debate—it is clear that without personality traits such as endurance, enthusiasm, energy and willpower, even the greatest talents or strengths can go unrealized.

Example at Work: Transitioning from Top Salesperson to Manager

A common scenario in the professional world involves promoting successful salespeople to managerial positions. Many careers at technology companies begin with sales roles because they provide firsthand knowledge about customers, products, markets, competitors, and technologies. Additionally, sales roles often require persuasive skills during negotiations with international clients.

Consider a case where an exceptional salesperson was promoted to managing director. Despite their sales acumen, an anonymous assessment by their team rated their supervisory persuasiveness as extremely low. How could this happen? The answer lies in understanding that convincing customers during brief interactions differs significantly from continuously earning a team's trust as their leader. Effective leadership requires building trust and serving as a role model—qualities rooted in one's personality rather than mere words.

Target Audiences for the Business-Related Personality Test (BPT)

Waldemar Pelz's BPT caters to two main groups: companies seeking to identify, recruit, retain, and develop talent—including specialists and managers—and individuals aiming to shape their professional and personal futures proactively.

For companies, finding and nurturing talent is both crucial and challenging. For individuals, creating a personal development plan helps prepare for an uncertain future by reflecting on past decisions or indecisions that have led to current successes or challenges.

Both companies and candidates rely on high-quality personality test results as essential tools for decision-making. To ensure its effectiveness and relevance, Waldemar Pelz's BPT has been refined through feedback from approximately 30,000 participants."

Business-related Personality Test by Profesor Pelz

Figure 4: Overview of Negative Traits Identified by the Business-Related Personality Test

In the workplace, it's common to observe individuals displaying negative personality traits, such as:

  • Employees with a passive consumerist attitude.
  • Individuals highly skeptical about innovation.
  • Those who invest energy in political maneuvering and spreading rumors rather than focusing on their tasks.
  • Spineless opportunists.
  • Anxious conformists.
  • Frustrated egoists who act only when personal gain is at stake, showing indifference otherwise.

Additionally, some employees frequently report extreme stress and work overload; however, upon closer examination, these issues often stem from an inability to prioritize tasks effectively. Their lack of goal orientation, integrity, or presence of narcissistic tendencies typically results in mistrust and subtle resistance from superiors, colleagues, and subordinates alike.

Instead of leading by example, they engage in conflicts over praise and recognition—a pursuit that can lead to burnout because they have not learned how to earn genuine appreciation and respect. Therefore, as Bruch & Ghoshal caution: 'Beware the busy manager.' This advice underscores the importance of distinguishing between mere activity and productive leadership.

Applying the BPT for Effective Career Management

Our research involving approximately 50,000 participants has revealed that career success doesn't hinge on possessing extraordinary skills, personality traits, values, visions, or missions alone. Instead, the key lies in achieving an optimal alignment between the demands of a specific role and your unique personality profile—a synergy of values, skills, and characteristics.

Figure 5 provides an overview that should serve as the foundation for a detailed personal development plan. To facilitate this process, we offer comprehensive guidance through our step-by-step instructions available in our 'Personal Development Plan' resource."

Perfect Match

Figure 5: Matching of personality profile (traits, skills, and values) with the requirement of the task to be worked out in a personal development plan 

What to do next

Tips are coming soon from the Institute for Management Innovation

  • How to identify and develop talented leaders
  • How to find out if your candidate is the perfect match 
  • How to create a personal development plan
  • How to find the most suitable career path 
  • How to generate positive energy in 4 life areas (business, family, physical, ethics)
  • How to create an energizing vision (for oneself and for others)
  • How to use the BPT for a 360-degree feedback
  • How to speak about your strengths and weaknesses in a job interview
  • etc. 

If you need assistance in one of the cases mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact us: