Saturday, February 4, 2012

Three Types of People

Maddock Douglass describes his Three Types of People to Fire for  I agree and anyone that works closely with any team knows that those three types of people crush innovation.

Cocoon's Bernie Lefkowitz

However, I feel like these people Douglass describes can all be lumped together into one category as the victims, the nonbelievers, and the know-it-alls are all in the same part of the pool (or not even in the pool)--like Bernie Lefkowitz from Ron Howard's Cocoon.  Bernie embodies qualities of all three.

South Park's Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski

There are two other groups of people on a team, though, that can contribute to or counteract innovation.  The second group are opportunists.  They enjoy status quo.  They enjoy routines.  They enjoy predictability.  They do their jobs and they do them well.  At times, they may fall into a funk and at others, they can be creative and innovative.  They are the contemporary everyman--they can be dynamic and altruistic, yet struggle with self-fulfillment.  Really, they are Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski.

Chris Chambers from Stand by Me

The last type is less common and not every team will have one every year--the Chris Chambers of the world.  This person has an uncanny ability to form goals and achieve goals while motivating those around them.  They fluctuate between confidence and over-confidence.  This person is driven, yet  discontented; they often accomplish the seemingly impossible, but also charge into problems without considering casualties.  They will inspire Bernie Lefkowicz, but they will also abandon him.   They will earn Stan's and Kyle's allegiance, but they will also isolate them for their hesitancy.

Most teams seem to have a lot of Bernies, a handful of Stans and Kyles, and find a Chris Chambers every now and then.  As their leader and manager, you need to identify all three types and evaluate what each type brings to your team.  What is each type of person doing for the current climate and what can they do for the future?  Know the personalities of the people around you and keep building a culture for success.

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