Are You Ready for Some Football (Analogies)?

Any football fans? (Note: September 8 opens the new NFL season for American football fans in the U.S.!)

A fundamental difference between the Visionary, Operator and Processor lies in how they perceive their surroundings. Just as each has a distinct view of the team’s ultimate goal and is motivated differently to reach that goal, each also holds a different perspective of the environment within which the team works to achieve those goals.

This is rather like the differences in perspective seen by a player, a coach, and an owner at a football game. The player views things from the center of the action, the coach gets an eye-level view from the sidelines, and the owner sees things from the lofty heights of the VIP booth in the stands.

Taken together these differences in perspective should lead to a greater understanding of the game and how the team played, with the player, coach, and manager each sharing different perspectives and enriching everyone’s understanding of what worked and what didn’t.

But if the player, coach, and manager each believe that only THEIR perspective is valid – if they disparage, disrespect or simply ignore the views of the others – there’s a problem.

And that’s typically what happens when Visionaries, Operators and Processors get together.

The Synergist (and remember, this a learned role and style) is critical to making sure the entire team works together toward the common goal.

In practical terms, what does the Synergist do that breaks the gridlock of a Visionary-Operator-Processor team?

Here’s a quick look:

    • By regulating the range of characteristics from which the V-O-Ps operate, the Synergist empowers the others to flourish in their roles without straying into the red zone of unhelpful extremes of behavior.
    • The Synergist’s perspective is based primarily on the good of the organization as a whole, so resolving conflict unshackles the V-O-Ps from their style-driven agendas.
    • Synergists act as minesweepers, scanning for potential communication hazards and defusing them where possible.
    • This is a “view from the balcony” role, where the Synergist rises above the immediate work at hand and keeps the big picture in focus.
    • The Synergist is perfectly placed – elevated – to help the V-O-Ps choreograph their interactions for best effect, and fewer conflicts.
    • The Synergist is able to take the needed insights, suggestions, prompts and more from each contributor, and sculpt the best solution to a specific issue.
    • The Synergist is the only style that can facilitate a conflation of the Visionary, Operator and Processor ideas into one harmonized whole.
    • Finally, the Synergist can help conclude one project, start a new project, and set goals and ground rules as the team transitions from one initiative to another.

As you seek leadership growth and explore the role of the Synergist – either on your team or in your own development – you can start small, or you can start big. You can start early or you can start later.

But remember, you can only start leading from one place: where you are, now. Today.

So, what’s holding you back? Dive into the resources here in the PSLC (a collection is here for easy access) and make these next few months the best and most productive of your career!

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