The Solid Citizen:
The Management Approach: You should recognize the Solid Citizen for the good work he/she does, and this recognition should be in public in front of others. Let the Solid Citizen know that his/her efforts are appreciated and valued, and that others should emulate such efforts. Let this person know ways in which he/she can improve his/her performance, and ways that he/she can advance in the organization. Also let the Solid Citizen know that there will always be a place for him/her in the organization, regardless of whether or not he/she wants to move up in the organizational management chain. Treasure the Solid Citizens; much of your success depends on their success.
The Valued Expert:
The Management Approach: The skills and expertise of the Valued Expert are critical to the success of the products, programs, and/or projects and to your success. He/she should be encouraged and rewarded, and recognized publicly for the value he/she brings to the organization. A reward that will be truly appreciated by the Valued Expert is actively encouraging participation in additional courses, seminars, conferences, or committees in his/her area of expertise. These are activities that can enable him/her to continue to hone his/her skills, and can give recognition beyond the immediate organization. Monetary recognition is also appropriate, although this should be given in private. Also, encouraging the Valued Expert to train others, if this suits him/her, can be of value to both this person and to others in the organization. As with the Solid Citizen, the Valued Expert should be treasured and empowered to flourish.
The Rising Star:
The Management Approach: First, be very grateful if you have a Rising Star among your group. You are truly blessed. Second, publicly recognize the outstanding performance and contributions of the Rising Star and do whatever you can to both encourage the Rising Star to continue to contribute and flourish, and to encourage others to emulate the characteristics and behavior of this person. Let this person know how he/she can continue to grow and advance, and work to remove obstacles that may impede such growth and advancement. Recognize that there is a need for, and value in, spending the appropriate time at each level of advancement to gain the necessary skills; you don’t want to push this person to the next level prematurely. At the same time, you need to recognize when this person is ready to advance, and not hold him/her back. The Rising Star is a true asset to any organization, and should be recognized as such and coached in ways to maximize both his/her contributions and his/her opportunities to succeed and excel.
These are just three more of many personality types that you will come across in knowledge worker-based (and other) organizations. I will get into more in subsequent blog posts. The key is to recognize the various personality types as early as possible, and work to address the problems or opportunities that they may bring. You don’t want to destroy individuality or mold everyone into an automaton. At the same time, you want to encourage positive behaviors and contributions and don’t want certain negative individual behaviors to destroy team morale. You must walk a fine line, and find what works best for your organization using a style that fits you.