Each of us has a primary persona that makes up our personality. Some people like to work alone, while others are more comfortable in a group setting. The question is, “How does the mix and balance of these operating personas affect your job search strategy?” Let’s look at just three of them.
- The Eagle– This person is primarily a go-it-alone type individual who acts as a solo contributor while usually interacting with others only if necessary
- The Team player– Primarily an integrator, who interacts with others to organize and make sure things are done through the right people.
- The Stabilizer– Primarily this person is a detailed person within the group, who keeps track of everything once the direction is defined
Let’s take a look at them one at a time:
- The Eagle usually is a sole contributor who works best on his or her own. Give them a task that is not highly dependent on others’ interaction, and then leave them alone to produce a result. In sales, give them an area that needs growth or new business and turn them loose with specific expectations. If you make them a manager, they are now dependent upon the work of others. Some can’t make the transition and may tend to micromanage. They need goals and objectives.
- The team coach or player interacts up/down and across organizational lines and can participate or lead groups around complex tasks. They make the best managers. They provide the interaction between functions and tasks that are critical to the performance and results of the business. All companies need a number of these types of employees, well placed and competent in their function.
- The stabilizers help to develop and execute the work plan and are good at what they do. They need a manager who can communicate effectively and has high standards. Don’t expect great insights or new improved processes, however. These are important contributors who usually form the backbone of the business. These are the “doers” within the organization. They get the details done while others move on to the next step.
We all have attributes in all three categories, but usually we gravitate to one or the other. So, which one are you? All three are needed in any organization. It’s the balance of where they are and what they do that’s important. The decision-maker, however, has to figure out how to put together a high performance work group given each individual contributor.
When you’re interviewing for a new position, the group is already established and set. The question is how and where will you fit in? If you’re working with a group of Eagles, the issues will be very different then if they are mostly Stabilizers.
Work groups have a persona just like individuals. Some are high performers while others are not. Having insight as to their needs and make-up is important for you to know.
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