New Year

As our team in Asia Pacific celebrates the Lunar New Year on Saturday, January 28, we welcome in the Year of the Rooster. At Emergenetics we have a four-year tradition of using the Lunar New Year as an opportunity to ponder what lessons can be learned from the New Year’s Chinese zodiac sign. With leadership as a benchmark, we examine the sign’s qualities and reflect on how to they might apply to the role of a leader.

According to, Roosters are “extremely sociable.” They are “loyal, trustworthy individuals who are blunt when it comes to offering their opinions.” This bluntness is honest and comes with an expectation of honesty that inspires the trustful and loyal environment the Rooster will thrive in. The Rooster also displays character traits of “confidence, pompousness, and motivation.”

We can recognize an obvious connection to the Emergenetics model right away in the word sociable. This tie to Emergenetics is deceptive, though. While the rooster’s sociability requires the empathy seen in the Social Thinking Attribute, it also represents some second-third or third-third Expressiveness. The Rooster wants to talk and work with others. As Geil Browning once wrote in an Inc article, “Strong leadership is speaking the language of your people.”

Most people would agree that trust and loyalty are vital assets in leadership. Cultivating a trustworthy environment creates the kind of relationships that will inspire those you lead to perform and grow. We learned the value of trustworthiness in the Year of the Horse. This year, we can follow the Rooster’s need for an honest environment to get the best from our teams.

Next, we can look at confidence and motivation. Together, these two traits can inspire hard-work and determination, quite a handy combination for a leader as they are faced with countless decisions and challenges throughout their day. Being confident in the direction you’re headed with the end game in mind helps to keep leaders going even when they’re faced with setbacks or uncertainty.

Leaders must also learn to instill confidence and motivate their teams around a shared vision. In very basic terms, motivation increases productivity. The honest environment that a Rooster creates, its empathy, its own strong sense of motivation, will likely inspire its team and be representative of a great leader. After all, the real sign of effective leadership is an effective team.

The traits from the Rooster are not individually implicit in leadership. Together, they make a leader and make a team. While we celebrate this Lunar New Year, we can also reflect on our own qualities, how we are Rooster-like, and learn to use these skills in the year to come. From the Emergenetics family, we wish you all a prosperous new lunar year!

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