Typically, organizations tend toward a MacLeod hierarchy with three tiers: the Sociopaths, the Clueless, and the Losers, in that order from top to bottom.
Sociopaths, who take an up-or-out strategy and either end up at the top or fired, are strategic and dedicated but not subordinate. They’ll never sacrifice their individual career goals for the benefit of the organization, although they may work to improve the company if there is gain for them. These aren’t always bad people. Of the three personalities, I have most in common with the Sociopaths, but I’m not a bad (much less psychopathic) person.
Clueless, on the other hand, are dedicated and subordinate but not strategic. They’ll work hard, and take orders, but they don’t have a good intuition for what is worth working on. They’ll eagerly follow or lead pointless, “death march”, projects. They tend to be shunted into middle management where their dedication and eagerness are an asset but their lack of strategy does minimal damage.
Losers are subordinate and strategic but not dedicated. They know what’s worth working on and what not, and will follow orders– they’re subordinate because it makes their lives easier– but rarely put forth more effort than is required of them. (As already said, they’re not actually “losers”. More on that, later.) They’re discomfort-minimizers, while the equally strategic Sociopaths are yield-maximizers.
This is somewhat similar to my Kings, Sages, and Cogs post.
I don’t know that I agree with his classifications, but I am drawn to these types of rating systems nonetheless. I suppose my main objection is that I believe myself to be strategic, dedicated, and subordinate. Oh, wait, now that I think about it, I see the breakdown. I am basically subordinate to one person, or one group of people, but not in general. So I change my mind: I do (mostly) agree.
Great stuff as always from Michael.