November 16

In my book Herding Tigers, I wrote about two common profiles of team members who can disrupt your team dynamic. The first is what I call “The Spark”. This is a person who has never met an idea they don’t like. They are in constant idea mode, and can toss out a hundred of them in a half-hour meeting. The problem is that they will often continue to throw out new ideas long after ideas are useful. They will champion anything that comes along because they can see possibilities everywhere.

The second profile is “The Scorpion”. They dislike every idea, and immediately dismiss new thinking. They can quickly bring the vibe of a meeting down just with their presence, because everyone knows they will be the first to offer critique. In fact, people may even look their way when sharing an idea, in anticipation of their response.

It’s worth noting that both of these qualities are important for all of us to curate as creative pros. It’s important to be able to spot possibility and to play with ideas until they become useful. It’s also important to be able to critique ideas in order to improve them. However, maintaining a balance of each quality is necessary to be effective.

Both The Spark and The Scorpion can disrupt the flow of your team. Strive to maintain a balance between possibility-seeking and critique.

Question: Do you skew toward one profile or the other, The Spark or The Scorpion?

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