January 27, 2015

Chuck Norris, a Cheerleader, R2-D2, and a Sheep Walk Into A Bar…

What happens when you take Chuck Norris, a cheerleader, R2-D2, and a sheep and put them in a group to work together? Tension or confusion may arise, heads may butt (lol), and ultimately productivity will likely diminish. At this point you might be thinking “why would I hire a sheep anyway?” or “how can I get my hands on R2-D2?” (<-at least that’s what I would be thinking!). In reality, every organization has Chuck Norris’, and cheerleaders, and sheeps, and their own versions of R2-D2s to some respect. Each of these very different types of workers have their skills to bring to the table, but none of their skillsets are as great as the value of what they are able to achieve together as a team. Knowing how to get each of these types of workers stoked and empowered to be leaders themselves is how great things are achieved in an organization. Let’s take a moment to give these metaphorical workers a face:

The Chuck Norris:
Chuck Norris doesn’t obey laws…the laws obey him.”
The Chuck Norris just needs a yes or a no, no explanation needed. The Chuck Norris is not one to ever feel pressured…the Chuck Norris creates pressure. The Chuck Norris steps on toes and hurts feelings, but never shows his own feelings. The Chuck Norris does not have time for that.

The Cheerleader:
The Cheerleader is on a high-speed train on a one way track, fueled by stimulation. The cheerleader will show you happiness and drive in return for your praise, this makes the train go faster. The cheerleader will lose steam and pace if gratification is not received or if the environment is not exciting enough. Needless to say, the Cheerleader’s heart is very clearly worn on his sleeve.

The R2-D2:
Beep, bloop, blop, bleep, boop.” – R2-D2
The R2-D2 needs to know where the starships is going, but is not so concerned with what happens once the starship gets where it’s going. R2-D2 processes thoughts, but not feelings. The R2-D2 needs thrives on logic and leaves no room for error. The R2-D2 does not care if they are serving the Royal starship or Luke Skywalker, his dedication is not to people, it is to principle.

The Sheep:
The Sheep will not take on a project that hasn’t already been thought out by another. The Sheep does not mind letting you know if they are happy or sad. The Sheep is susceptible to stress when there is tension in the workplace, the Sheep is very friendly and thrives when others are also very friendly. The Sheep is not much of a talker, but scored an A+ in Advanced Listening.

Now that we can envision each of these four archetypes as colleagues of our own, very different in their ways, it is crucial to recognize that their development processes will look very different as well. Here are a few tips each type can use to gain traction in developing their leadership skills and increase productivity among their teams:

The Chuck Norris:
• Your peers will recognize and appreciate when you make an effort to get to know them.
• There is no shame in empathy.
• Practice smiling and listening, think before you speak.
The Cheerleader:
• Take time to learn the difference between being active and reactive.
• Set goals, and think twice before adjusting your goals.
• Learn from the success of those around you.
The R2-D2:
• Learn what motivates others on your team to perform.
• Spend time at work away from your desk.
• Trust in delegating tasks to others.
The Sheep:
• Learn to cross your t’s and dot your i’s, take time for logic.
• Try taking risks.
• Learn from success in assertiveness shown by those around you.

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