Which character are you?
Most business development / sales organizations have characters that we have seen before – we try to have high self awareness and understand our strengths, weaknesses and how we are perceived by others. We also try to have fun, not take ourselves too seriously, and here are some of our common characters – remember that we are all neuroplastic and we can change… as you read this you may want to ask yourself… which character am I? which character do my teammates think I am? and which character do I want to be?
- The Flamethrower – everyone and everything is not good enough and the reason for a lack of success is always external; does not possess a mirror and has no ability to look inward nor to take accountability or ownership; has been surprisingly successful with this approach and crushes it when being interviewed as a candidate; excuse making is hard to stop and the rewiring project is massive; only consider keeping this one around if he/she is willing to be rigorously honest and commit to change behaviors; The Flamethrower has likely never been called out before, which is shocking
- The All-American – tall, pretty, white teeth, nice car, country club membership, great golfer and a very nice person; struggles with long division, ratios and spelling but typically is aware of limitations and will engage resources internally to get deals done; typically a good teammate if he/she acknowledges weaknesses and adopts team philosophy; will open many doors that others can help close
- Ken or Barbie – best looking in high school, active social media player, great personal network; is not aware of limitations and has never been on a championship team; is genuinely a nice person but really doesn’t bring much to the team; struggles with managing projects and finishing; not the best draft pick for your team
- The Rambler – blah, blah, blah and more; this person is just dying to talk – always – and knows what is going to be said next regardless of what is contributed by the person he/she is speaking with – zero awareness – thinks others like him/her much more than they actually do; teammates eventually come to pity The Rambler and he/she typically will take him/herself out and move on
- Utility Infielder – does everything asked of him/her and more and does it with an awesome, wonderful, positive attitude; appears to be too good to be true but actually is what he/she appears to be – a true needle in a haystack; grew up with tremendous nurturing and has strong spiritual foundation that is contagious in an amazing way; find this person… today
- The Tortoise – patient, calm, thoughtful, kind and consistent; will be around for a long time and is a great teammate; like a strong middle inning reliever in baseball who everyone forgets; he/she does actually beat the hare in the long run
- Eddie Hascal – yes, from the old TV show “Leave it to Beaver”; Eddie’s ability to be two completely different people is amazing and honed through years of practice; he has been a “jumper” in his career and has had modest success; treats teammates poorly and disrespectfully and blatantly tries to win favor from superiors with compliments and statements of perceived commonality; also known as a kiss-ass, Eddie’s tricks are much more transparent than he/she knows; is actually a decent guy when he/she has the courage to be him/herself; Eddies don’t kill your team but you have to let Eddie know that everyone is on to him/her – Eddie can change
- Yoda – yes, the ultimate mentor, but does not necessarily carry the leadership title nor throne; quiet, wise, compassionate and full of empathy; a being of few words, yet he/she carries immense impact; find one fast, or two; Yoda cares deeply about his/her teammates and sees the best in everyone
- Darth Vader – not quite the nemesis but pretty close; will crush anything and anyone in his/her way to get a deal done, bordering on unethical behavior if necessary; skilled in the art of deception, betrayal and manipulation; unfortunately he/she can sell and will often be a major contributor; very low desire to change because his/her actions have been rewarded with strong positive reinforcement with the only thing that matters to him/her – money; he/she is not worth having on your team and avoid temptation for the short-term gain; win the favor of better teammates by not having him/her around
- William Wallace – avoids the spotlight, does not relish conflict, but is an absolute warrior and will not stop until justice is served and the big deal is won; tremendous internal motivation that transcends money or prizes; strong mission basis and elevates the fearlessness and courage of all on the team; find a couple of these teammates and you will soar
- MMA Guy – rarely smiles, keeps his head down, and every day dons some sort of branded apparel with Tapout, Affliction or Bad Boy brands; tribal tattoos grace both muscled forearms and perennially in a bad mood, this guy is telling the world that he is indeed, one bad ass; shows tremendous persistence with pursuing opportunities and is willing to put in the work to get a deal done; very uncomfortable at the C-level and borders on panic attacks when the pressure is on; would be so much more effective if he took himself just a bit less seriously and accepted that, in fact, he really isn’t a bad ass – in fact, he loves helping people and lap dogs
There are more characters and we’ll introduce them later. If you are rigorously honest with yourself, who are you? More importantly, who do you want to be?
“Remember that we are all neuroplastic and we can change..”