Does Your Team Have These Four Personality Types?

Linda Dulye's picture
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team meeting.jpgAt one time, Paul Maritz, then at Microsoft, now the president and CEO of software company VMware, managed more than 10,000 people. It didn't start out that way, of course; his first team, in 1986, consisted of 13 employees. Over time Maritz has noticed what he calls an inevitable "amalgam of personalities that really enable the group to function at a high level." Here's how he described them:

You need to have somebody who is a strategist or visionary, who sets the goals for where the organization needs to go. You need to have somebody who is the classic manager -- somebody who takes care of the organization, in terms of making sure that everybody knows what they need to do and making sure that tasks are broken up into manageable actions and how they're going to be measured. You need a champion for the customer, because you are trying to translate your product into something that customers are going to pay for. So it's important to have somebody who empathizes and understands how customers will see it. I've seen many endeavors fail because people weren't able to connect the strategy to the way the customers would see the issue. Then, lastly, you need the enforcer. You need somebody who says: "We've stared at this issue long enough. We're not going to stare at it anymore. We're going to do something about it. We're going to make a decision. We're going to deal with whatever conflict we have."

Maritz says that these personalities work best when the employees themselves know who they are and who they aren't. Someone who sees themselves as a strategist but really isn't one is headed for trouble. Do you recognize these personalities on your team? Or, do you see one or more team member starting to show the traits of a successful customer champion, enforcer or strategist? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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