Daily Thought 12/20/11: Leading Different Kinds of Talent

Today I ran across a great post on another blog: Brian Dodd on Leadership.

The post (Leading Talented Who Produce But Are An Absolute Pain In The Rear) does a fantastic job using horses as an analogy for various types of workers. Once you have identified the working habits of someone, you can know how to lead them.

The basic breakdown is this:

  • Thoroughbreds: They can be extremely unruly in many administrative and team oriented tasks, but once they have their assignment, they blow out of the gates and cannot be stopped. These workers are your usually your top performers but will need help with tasks before they can take off and run.
  • Clydesdales: These guys are, as a good friend likes to say, “all sizzle and no steak”. They put on quite a show, but when they are asked to produce they simply seek more attention and praise for all of the flare they have created. While they may look good most of the time, they don’t get the job done and need to be handled accordingly (give them a different task).
  • Plow Horses: These workers are your bread and butter. They work hard and get the job done, whether prompted or not. They seek little attention for their work. They deserve great praise, make sure you give it to them.

This post is truly a great breakdown. Can you think of any other horses/workers that require a unique leadership approach?

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