In addition to my free Baseball IQ Tests, I wanted to make sure that my readers had access to my Character Development Inventory (CDI) program. CDI is a comprehensive program designed to help baseball players learn about how to identify and develop their own personal character strengths in order to become stronger leaders as well as to understand how character can impact on-field performance.
In my book Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game – in Baseball and in Life, I’ve written 63 pages on the topic of Leadership and Character, including a full detail for how I developed and implemented CDI. I’ve boiled down from those chapters some of the key points for using CDI, along with links you can use to download the CDI and the CDI Scoring Planner for free.
1. It Works No Matter How You Self-Evaluate
It’s not easy to be an honest and accurate self-evaluator. Most people in life, not just baseball, are either too tough on themselves or not tough enough. CDI is useful no matter how tough you are in your ratings. CDI is made up of 95 statements on 19 different character factors, five statements per factor. You simply read each statement and then circle a number from 1-10 that describes how much you think the statement describes you. If you’re too tough on yourself, your scores will be lower, on average. If you’re not tough enough, you’re going to see lots of 10’s circled. But either way, you should look for statements and factors that stand out as lower or higher than the others as those will always be the ones you feel strongest about. CDI can pinpoint your greatest character strengths and the factors that require the most improvement even if you’re not a good self-evaluator.
2. Making Intangibles Tangible
Part of the reason it’s so hard to measure intangibles is that the characteristics themselves have different meaning for different people. Many players can’t work on improving character because they don’t have any idea what words like “integrity” or “discipline” really mean, other than clichés that don’t have starting points for action. CDI offers five specific statements for each character factor that define that factor. If you want to know what I think it means to have a Positive Attitude, read the first five statements on CDI. Better yet, if you want to know how to work on improving your attitude, pick out one of those five statements and start paying attention to your actions on the field. For example, one statement in the Positive Attitude section is “I demonstrate an upbeat mentality that my teammates and coaches can see in my actions and on my face.” To improve your Positive Attitude, start by working on noticing how your teammates and coaches perceive your actions and your facial expressions.
3. Develop YOUR Character Strengths and Lead YOUR way
There is more than one way to be a leader. Character and Leadership are misunderstood often in baseball because too many people think leaders must be outgoing, social, willing to speak up for their teammates or confront them in the heat of every battle. In reality, the only way to be an effective leader is to be genuine with others and true to yourself. CDI is meant to help every player understand his strengths in order to use them to maximize his potential, both individually and in leadership situations. It’s just as effective to lead with quiet honesty and integrity as it is with vocal intensity. On most teams, the best player ends up being seen as a leader, whether he wants the job or not. CDI helps players understand their leadership qualities and offers clear developmental opportunities for any player to use his character strengths effectively.
To use CDI, download both forms. The first form is the inventory itself and the second download includes a one-page Scoring Planner as well as a CDI Factor Worksheet. After circling a number for how much you agree or disagree that each statement describes you, average your scores for each factor and record them on the Scoring Planner. When you’ve identified your Top 3 and Bottom 3 factors, you can examine each factor more closely with the Factor Worksheets. As with my Baseball IQ tests, these forms are available for anyone to use, but they are best used as a supplement to the information found within the pages of Intangibles.
Geoff Miller’s book, Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game — in Baseball and in Life, was released in August, 2012. For more information and free sample chapters, please visit:
For more information, please contact Geoff Miller at email@example.com.