This editorial was originally published on Feb 26, 2008. It is being re-run as Steve is traveling.
There are all different types of people in the workplace; some are driven, some aren't, but there are more facets to this. I worked with someone awhile ago that was a good worker. Solid, produced quality results, and was dependably. This was someone that you might consider one of your better employees and a high achiever.
But not driven.
In other words, it was someone that liked to work, would do a good job, and enjoyed the work. But it wasn't someone that you should promote, despite this being the type of person you might think would be next in line. This person wanted to move their career forward and make more money, but in interesting ways as a technical worker, not as a manager. And this person wanted to confine work to work hours, being able to enjoy time with family outside of work.
In many ways I'd consider this a Type A person, but not so ambitious or driven to succeed they they'd compromise the rest of their life. But more driven to accomplish things than what I've typically seen as a Type B person.
I'd call this a "Type C" person, someone that has drive and a desire to succeed, but keeps that drive in check and balanced in their life. And I think that there are many, many of you that fit this category, not driven enough to be a workaholic, but not so distracted and free floating that you don't move forward. There's actually a Type C recognized by psychologists.
There are more types of personalities and even tests that measure the degree to which you fall into certain categories. The Myers-Briggs test is one of the most common, resulting in a four part rating. I've done it a few times and it's an interesting test. If you're interested, I'm usually an ISTJ.
I don't think the tests necessarily tell you who will do better in a situation or who might succeed, but they are interesting in that they can help you to determine how best to get along with other types. There are definitely techniques for dealing with different types of people, and more importantly, ways to ensure you don't cause conflicts.
Whatever your type, I think it's important that you learn who you are and what's important to you and keep that in mind as you make decisions about your life and career.
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