The Four People your Team Needs to Succeed
To grow sustainably, every team needs four critical people.
With them, your team has the right balance to execute, solve problems, innovate, and maintain harmony. Without this balance, an organization is vulnerable. These four people are the Operator, the Maverick, the Pioneer, and the Reconciler.
We derived these four archetypes by overlaying two critical characteristics: introversion versus extroversion and detail versus vision-orientation. These characteristics provide distinctive inclinations that reveal the roles in which people are likely to thrive.
Operators are mission-focused.
They nail the details and hold people accountable. They help you execute to a high standard.
Mavericks like to question the status quo and solve chronic, wicked problems.
They help you avoid complacency and keep your focus on the issues that matter.
Pioneers love to rally people behind new ideas and innovations.
They will help you recognize emerging threats and seize opportunities.
Reconcilers are natural team-builders.
They know how to manage processes and to gain and maintain consensus. They keep egos in check and harmony on your team.
History provides some great examples.
George Washington, an Operator, built a balanced team as head of the Continental Army and later as our America’s first President [Hamilton (the Maverick); Jefferson (the Pioneer); and Knox (the Reconciler)].
Abraham Lincoln, a Reconciler, had a “Team of Rivals” [Stanton (the Operator); Chase (the Maverick); and Seward (the Pioneer)].
During World War Two, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower, a Reconciler, carefully cultivated and maintained his balanced team [Bradley (the Operator); Montgomery (the Maverick); Patton (the Pioneer)] that, together with the Soviets, defeated Nazi Germany.
What happens if your team does not have all four?
Google is a good example. In the 1990s, founders Larry Page (Maverick) and Sergei Brin (Pioneer) excited many investors with their breakthrough ideas. They, however, could not make the business work. At the insistence of the investors, they brought onboard Eric Schmidt (Reconciler), and Jon Rosenberg (Operator) as CEO and Senior VP. Google became one of the most successful companies in history.
1. Hire intentionally – make sure you have all four represented and empowered
2. Assign people to roles that enable them to thrive. Most vision people can do details, and vice versa, but doing so drains their energy faster.
3. Check to see if you have a balanced team (take our quiz below). If not and you cannot bring someone in to fill the role, then consider hiring a consultant or adviser. You can also ask someone on your team to play the role, but you will need to find ways to address that their energy may drain faster.