Susan Rice has withdrawn her nomination as Secretary of State from the Senate today. She did not have the support, even in a Democratic Party controlled Senate, to be confirmed. Why?

She overextended her strengths and strengths overextended become weaknesses.

According to a New York Times article just a few hour before she withdrew, ” she rebuked her Chinese counterpart in an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council, telling him his views excusing a North Korean missile launching this week were “ridiculous.”

He shot back, according to witnesses, that she “better watch your language.”

It was the latest example of why Ms. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, has so often been criticized as being an unusually undiplomatic diplomat, direct to the point of rudeness. But friends and former White House aides say that Ms. Rice’s style is a reflection of Mr. Obama’s own: impatient with niceties, uninterested in small talk or long dinners, focused solely on results.”

Based on this description of Ms Rice (and President Obama) I would classify her as a “High D” in the Abeo Social Style (DISC) model, “focused solely on results” is a classic High D attribute. However, sometimes this attribute, over extended, has undesirable results, the person you are working with see the High D as aggresive, arrogant and sometimes abrasive.

Being aware of how you are perceived is an important part of being effective, as a diplomat, business owner, coach, mom or dad.

Ms. Rice was a dynamic change agent, challenging conventions and staunch Obama ally. Yet those very qualities probably don’t align well with the role of the land’s highest diplomat.

Diplomats have the job of conveying, in the most persuasive way possible, the views of the home government to the governments to which they are accredited and, in doing so, to try to convince those governments to act in ways that suit home country interests. [wikipedia] This is probably not the right role for a pure High D Social Style.