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)



  • Overview: top ten most effective personality traits in business 
  • What you should know about personality and testing
  • The new Business-related Personality Test (BPT) by Waldemar Pelz
  • How to successfully apply the BPT to your career management 
  • What to do next

Top ten most effecitve business-related personality traits 

Please note: if you haven't done the test yet, go directly to it and create your personality profile, which shows your strengths and weaknesses in comparison with other participants who have already taken this test: Link to the personality test (bilingual). An example of test results is shown in fugure 3 below. 

The following top ten business-related personality traits are essential for managerial effectiveness. They were found in a survey of around 30.000 managers by Waldemar Pelz in Germany and other parts of Europe. Traits determine whether you will turn your skills or talents into success. Example: To master a skill, you need, as a rule of thumb, at least 10.000 hours of practice. Without perseverance and passion your skills and talents will never awaken

  • Effective creativity (focusing on creative solutions). This scale measures how strong is your intrinsic motivation to master new challenges and to provide workable solutions. This trait is the opposite of passive consumer attitude. 
  • Useful learning (eagerness to learn what really matters). This scale measures the desire to acquire new skills and knowledge and to learn from positive and negative experiences. Opposite: reluctant to learn or averse to innovative ideas. 
  • Optimistic ambition (striving for convincing results). High score indicates that these individuals enjoy competing and rely on their personal strengths. Opposite: pessimistic anxiety 
  • Co-operative fairness (contributing to team spirit). This scale measures the strong commitment to the smooth functioning of a team by balancing conflicting interests. opposite: Selfish egotism Sincere trust (striving for trustful relationships) 
  • Sincere trust (striving for trustful relationships). People with these manners are considered to have integrity; they enjoy esteem and acknowledgment from those around them. Opposite: political tactics 
  • Co-operative responsibility (contributing to common goals). Willingness to take responsibility is a sign that these people take responsibility for other people or assume tasks and stand by the consequences of their decisions. Opposite: detached indifference.
  • Courageous enthusiasm (overcoming obstacles to success). This scale measures the sustained enthusiasm and courage required to see a project through - even in the face of negative conditions. Opposite: hesitant followers 
  • Focused role model (giving direction to others). These behaviors show leadership qualities (independent of hierarchical position). Opposite: Opportunistic dependence, getting bogged down in trivialities.
  • Resilient stamina (coping effectively with setbacks). On the way to the goal (success), there are many factual and emotional setbacks. To overcome them, one needs the so-called "stand-up-man-effect". Opposite: hyperactive chaos 
  • Willpower (turning objectives into results). This scale measures the ability to put character strengths and opportunities into action. Opposite: frustrated defensiveness.

What you should know about personality and testing

Definition: What is a personality test?

A personality test is a method of analyzing an individual's characteristics. These character traits influence thought, emotion and behaviour. Examples are ambition, enthusiasm, optimism, creativity, willpower, endurance and energy (drive). Each character trait has an opposite pole. Examples are pessimism, weak will, anxiety, helplessness and indifference. A personality test helps you measure these characteristics and determine how well they match the requirements of work and private life (key&lock principle). This determines success in life.  

Why is a personality test important for one's profession?

A personality test shows how pronounced character traits are. Is someone particularly creative, persistent or strong-willed? A test also allows comparisons with other people, for example, to find the most suitable candidate. One person may seem very ambitious, but if others are much more ambitious, this is not a strength at all.

A personality test also lets you discover what combination of strengths and weaknesses is typical for a person. The personality profile thus obtained differs from one individual to another. This profile is particularly important for career decisions. For the hiring company, the key question is whether or how well an applicant fits the requirements of the job. This avoids unfavourable and wrong decisions which can cause significant material and psychological stress for candidates as well as companies. Many people suffer in their profession, despite possessing great strengths. Refer to the next example: 

Requirements and personality traits

Figure 1: How a personality profile matches requirements

Why is a personality test important in private life?

In private life, the personality test can help improve an understanding of one's own emotions, thoughts and behavioural patterns. This also applies to a knowledge of human nature. Because personality traits are largely innate or acquired in early childhood, they make it possible to assess and predict people's behaviour. A knowledge of human nature is considered the most important key to success in dealing with people.

It is extremely difficult to turn an optimist into a pessimist. Equally true is the statement that you can't make a racehorse out of a farm horse. Each character should therefore be accepted, but dealt with differently. Most attempts by parents to change the character of their children are doomed to fail. This also applies to marriages and partnerships. It is no coincidence that John. D. Rockefeller once said 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"?

This promise is often made, but rarely kept. Scientists have developed criteria which make it possible to measure the usefulness of personality tests. These are called quality criteria. They are supposed to protect candidates against charlatanry. Examples are graphology (script interpretation) and astrology (zodiac signs). Charlatanry includes personality tests derived from the four-humor / four-element doctrine and from astrology (humoral pathology). One example is the DISC personality test in its countless variants. Such tests may have some entertainment value, but are completely useless. They provide no evidence that, for example, a blue "dominant type" is a better leader than a "steady type." On the contrary: "Dominant" people often have a narcissistic personality disorder. For the evolution on non-scientfic personality tests (lacing validity) see following fugure: 

Non-scientific personality tests

Figure 2: Evolution of non-scientific personality testing 

The new business-related personality test (BPT)

A personality test which meets state of the art scientific quality criteria (validity and reliability) was urgently needed. This was a major reason to develop the BPT. Provided next is an overview of the test. Note: Each of the ten personality traits is operationalized and empirically tested by six behavioural descriptions (items). The instruction is: How accurately do the following statements (items) describe your typical behaviour? The five-point Lickert scale ranges from 1 = "strongly disagree" to 5 = "strongly agree".

Your own personality profile

Figure 3: Evaluation of the business-related personality test
Please note: in this figure, the "total average score" comes from all participants in this online test. In leadership development, a benchmark profile is more important. This profile should match the requirements of the task and take into account the target group of competitors since the management team is the most effective competitive advantage.
Quiz question (considerung the green bars): what kind of activity (job) is this person best suited for?

Personality always wins

Personality acts like a magnet. One pole attracts, while the other repels. Most people's characteristics lie between these two extremes. Positive or negative personality traits have fateful effects on career, marriage, friendship and everyday relationships with superiors, colleagues, workers, customers and competitors. Personality decides how someone is treated, which opportunities are offered to them, and which doors remain closed. 

Personality test for important decisions in private life

In order to make the right decisions (setting the course) for your professional and private future, you have to be extremely familiar with your own strengths and weaknesses. Equally significant is an accurate assessment of the positive and negative traits of important people in life. This starts with parents, friends and teachers, and progresses to spouses, superiors, workers and business partners. Numerous personality tests have been developed to assess strengths and weaknesses. These tests should be of a quality commensurate with vital decisions. 

Scientific basis of the business-related personality test (BPT)

Unfortunately, very few scientifically sound (valid) test procedures are applicable in today's professional world. Waldemar Pelz's business-related personality test is intended to remedy this deficit. As the result of more than 20 years of practical experience, this test is intended for professional and private everyday life. Its practical relevance has been critically reviewed and continuously improved via a survey of approximately 30,000 people. A scientific publication (also covering quality criteria) is to follow soon. 

Importance of personality and competencies

Why is personality more important than competencies? Provided in this context is one example each from the private and professional sector. All people have differing extents of musical, artistic, literary, sporting, technical or mathematical talents. Perseverance, focus, enthusiasm and a lot of energy are needed in order for these abilities to yield a sense of achievement, pride, recognition, admiration or financial success. Empirical studies estimate that about 10,000 hours of consistent practice are necessary to master a competence. Conclusion: Without personality traits such as endurance, enthusiasm, energy and willpower, even the greatest talents or strengths wither away. 

Example at work: Turning the best salesperson into a manager

The situation is similar in the professional domain. Most careers at technology companies start in sales. The reason: Acquired here is a first-hand knowledge about customers, products, markets, competitors and technologies. At the same time, one gains the power of persuasion in many negotiations with mostly international customers. In one specific case, a salesperson with excellent sales skills was appointed managing director. In an anonymous supervisor assessment, this manager's persuasiveness was rated as extremely low by the remaining staff.

How is that possible? The answer is relatively simple: There's a huge difference between convincing customers in a few conversations of limited duration, and a supervisor having to prove their powers of persuasion to their closest staff members on a daily, monthly and annual basis. This can only succeed if the supervisor wins the trust of staff members and acts as a role model. People do not trust words as such, but the personality behind them. A credible personality can lead their team much more easily to great success. This is one of the secrets of success of outstanding entrepreneurs. Narcissistic personalities are sooner or later exposed and lose their effectiveness. 

Groups targeted by the business-related personality test 

Waldemar Pelz's business-related personality test is aimed at two target groups. Firstly, companies which want to discover, hire, retain and further develop talent, specialists and managers. This is one of the most important and, at the same time, most difficult and delicate tasks for companies. The second target group, as the mirror image, comprises all persons who want to optimally shape their professional and private future. They should prepare a personal development plan. 

This plan is not meant to predict the future (no one knows the future), but to prepare for it. One planning principle here is that today's successes, opportunities and problems are the result of decisions or non-decisions made several years ago. It is about setting the course for the future. Both target groups - companies and candidates - require a personality test's results as a decision-making aid meeting the highest quality standards. For this reason, the business-related personality test has been continuously improved through a sampling of about 30,000 participants. 

Traits and dimensions of the BPT

Figure 4: Overview of the business-related personality test

People exhibiting the negative pole of individual characteristics can be found regularly in practice. Examples are employees who have a passive consumerist attitude, or are highly sceptical about innovation, or invest their energy in political manoeuvring and spreading rumours (instead of in their task). Also encountered regularly in practice are spineless opportunists, anxious conformists or frustrated egoists who only become active when they sense a personal advantage but are otherwise completely indifferent to others. 

One often also meets people who complain about particularly severe stress and an enormous work overload. A closer analysis shows that the real problem lies elsewhere: They usually lack the ability to distinguish the essential from the non-essential. Due to a lack of goal orientation or integrity, or because of narcissistic tendencies, they mainly experience mistrust and (concealed) resistance from superiors, colleagues and workers. They fight instead of leading. Their "struggle" for praise and recognition can lead to exhaustion, because they have never learned to earn sincere appreciation and respect. Therefore (Bruch & Ghoshal): „Beware the busy Manager“. :

How to successfully apply the BPT to your career management

Matching and personal development plan

The secret of success, which we found in our survey of around 50,000 participants, is not extraordinary skills, personality traits, values, visions, or missions, but a perfect match of the requirements of a particular job or task with your personality profile, by which I mean an effective and efficient combination of values, skills, and traits as shown in figure 5. It gives an overview to be worked out in detail in a personal development plan. A step-by-step instruction can be found here: Personal Development Plan.

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: