How to Check for Sheep

Any good boss knows a percentage of their staff is on the lookout to earn “brownie” points. What’s scary is when you’re not sure whom that is, or how many are in this group. When that happens, the team is so lacking in fortitude/vision/desire that action is not possible without a nod from on high.

On the other hand, there is often the oddball or crank that always has something new or different to try. You can count on this person to absolutely always be wanting to try something new. These people are easy to identify, as they tend to stand out (for better or worse.)

Now to be sure, one cannot be too quick to put folks that don’t fit the latter group into the former, just because they don’t speak up. They may just be quiet folk. There is nothing wrong with this.

So how to find the group thinkers or follow the boss sheep? Easy: just offer up a slightly lame-brain idea and see who reflexively stamps it as a good idea. You don’t have to immediately follow through on it, just defer action for a day or so and then announce a different set of priorities.

Now you know whom not to count on!

As a corollary, one of my sons football coaches was commenting on player attitudes: “There are two kinds of players: ‘Whoa’ & ‘Go’. The ‘Whoa’ player is one whom has to be throttled back; the ‘Go’ player is the one whom you need to kick in the butt. I prefer a ‘Whoa’ player.”

How to Check for Sheep

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