Here’s a neat way to parse people in your organization:
Stars stand out because of their exceptional performance. They complete important work and are widely admired. If they report to you, reward them amply and help them advance. If they report to someone else, try to lure them to your team.
Old Boys/Girls are traditional managers who defend the status quo. If you’re working as a change agent —as all leaders do—these bureaucrats will give you fits. They will use perfectly rational and persuasive arguments not to change a thing, which of course will kill any organization eventually.
Yammies (young, aggressive, ambitious, antagonistic and sometimes amoral managers) can be highly effective, but they’re in it for themselves. So, in the end, everyone and everything in their paths may suffer.
Many are ruthless. They often steal credit and stab people in the back even as they slap backs, laugh at jokes and act like friends.
Decide whether their agenda is good for the organization. If not, weed them out. If so, support them but protect your people.
—Adapted from Soul in Management, Richard America and Bernard Anderson, Birch Lane Press.
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