Many years ago, when Code Zero founder Paul Edge was part of an elite team of high performing financial advisors in the city Of London, Paul asked one of his clients, a successful entrepreneur who employed many people, "what was the purpose of the Ferrari that he drove to work every day?".
Expecting a different answer, Paul's client explained, the ferrari was not a status symbol even though it adequately met that criteria, it was symbol of hard work, of the 20 hour days, of the sacrifice, the blood sweat and tears, the drive, the commitment and of the uniqueness of each individual in the now rapidly growing his technology company. It required high level maintenance to run properly, each mechanical component, even the smallest, most apparently most insignificant part needed to be maintained to ensure maximum performance.
One day, a junior member of the team was asked to take the Ferrari and fill it up with gasoline. This was a not a big deal, the client had recognized that handing over control of his most prized asset to potential high performing employees was a highly productive exercise.
However, this time, instead of driving a Ferrari back to the corporate HQ full of gas, the beautiful car spluttered and crawled back into the parking lot until it just stopped, smoke billowing from the engine. The new employee, not particularly interested in high performing cars, had inadvertently filled it up with diesel.
This proved to be an invaluable lesson that Paul has carried with him his entire life and lays the basis of Code Zero for business.
What is your team's diesel?
Many people reading the previous story will immediately make a rush to judgement. Over the years it has produced many responses normally that coalesce into the following to judgements:
"How can anybody be so stupid to put diesel in a ferrari?"
- "The entrepreneur should not have assumed his new employee knew that Ferrari's ran on gasoline"
"If the employee didn't know they should have asked
In order for the team to understand the individual, the individual must also understand themselves.
Personality is often said to be the major makeup of an individual person or team’s make-up. A contemporary definition for personality is offered by Carver and Scheier (Professors of Psychology): “Personality is a dynamic organization, inside the person, of psychophysical systems that create a person’s characteristic patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings.” Important aspects of the psychological or personality makeup may be:
Dynamic Organization: suggests ongoing readjustments, adaptation to experience, continual upgrading and maintaining Personality doesn’t just lie there. It has process and it’s organized. Inside the Person: suggests internal storage of patterns, supporting the notion that personality influences behaviors, etc. Psychophysical systems: suggests that the physical is also involved in ‘who we are’ Characteristic Patterns: implies that consistency/continuity which are uniquely identifying of an individual Behavior, Thoughts, and Feelings: indicates that personality includes a wide range of psychological experience/manifestation: that personality is displayed in MANY ways.
Carver & Scheier also suggest that the word personality “conveys a sense of consistency, internal causality, and personal distinctiveness”. This issue of “personal distinctiveness” is very important. There are certain universal characteristics of the human race and particular features of individuals. We all for example experience stress and the elevated pressure that goes with it. The real key is this though - Every one of us is unique too. That is why using psychological profiling can point out much of those unique points and point the team in the right direction to play on those unique points, while also meshing with the similar characteristics.
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