Several years ago I joked in my team how we had all Winnie the Pooh characters in our workplace. It was accurate joke and the characters fit well to all groups you have in corporate world.
Since then, similar comparisons have been done in a larger scale and the poor Winnie has worked as leadership consultant and business coach.
This might be an old joke and worn comparison, but once more I decided to use Winnie as my help to define types of people in workplaces.
Managers – Rabbit and awl.
“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.” — A.A Milne (Winnie The Pooh)
Rabbit is protecting his own garden. He wants to keep his backyard tidy. He means well and works hard, but he is not really a leader. He is very much in to the rules and he is a bit cranky if someone disturbs him and how he works. He does not want to share his carrots.
Awl is very wise. We all know it, but we rarely listen what he says. He is always planting his wisdom, but he has the problem to get anyone to follow him. Usually his wisdom come too late, even being 100% accurate.
Rabbit and Awl are the standard managers of any corporate company.
Leaders – Christopher Robin
You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
— Christopher Robin To Pooh
Some of the Managers are leaders. If you have 20 managers, maximum five of them can be called as leaders, in other words Christopher Robins.
Christopher Robin is a leader. He is always helping his team and supporting them. He lets them fail and accepts all the failures they do, but also encourages them to be who they are.
He is well respected, listened and the team will follow him.
Influencers – Winnie the Pooh
People who don’t think probably don’t have brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake. — Winnie the Pooh
Winnie does not look like an influencer, but he is. The looks don’t reveal his ability to be the driving force in 100 acre woods. The looks hide him from the top management as well.
Winnie is always in new projects. He has new ideas and he tries hard to get things done. Sometimes he fails and gets in to the trouble, but his team and Christopher Robin will support and stand with him.
Christopher Robin helps him to learn and achieve the goals he has. Winnie truly wants best for the 100 acre forest and tries his best to make all things good.
Influencers are the most important part of the company. They influence to other people in a way that the company will be innovative, fresh, efficient, capable and actually gets something done.
They have the ideas and they make the ideas come true. People listen and follow them.
If you are leader, make sure your influencers have the keys. They have space, even in 100 acre forest, to implement their ideas.
If you have several Winnie Poohs (Oh no!) in your forest, put them together. You will get something out from this world or at least from the forest.
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? — Winnie the Pooh
Doers – Piglet
Piglet is a doer. He is a bit scared sometimes, but he will help his friend Winnie always without a doubt. He will find a courage from himself and there is no job he would not get done in a mission set up by Winnie.
Piglets don’t have much influence, they might not have that much ideas, but when they join with influencers they will produce without complaints and if needed they will stretch to unbelievable performances.
Sometimes, if developed right, doer can turn to influencer.
Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart,
it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.
– A. A. Milne (Winnie-The-Pooh)
The rest – Eeyore and Tigger
Most of your workforce belong with the group “the rest”.
This group of people might be the why you have the management, HR and other corporate functions. Their skills and performance varies and some of them are there just because of money.
Tigger is a new employee, who is full with the excitement, he is always ready to jump in, but often the results are not what you would like them to be.
..and Eeyore. What can you say? He is the employee who has worked in same corporate 30 years.
“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little,
“we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
So – Who runs your company?
I would say it is Christopher Robin, Winnie the pooh and Piglet together. The winning team!
Winnie the pooh picture is from Wikipedia