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T-Rex, Eeyore, and Cousin It

T-Rex, Eeyore, and Cousin It

By: Ross Paterson

The second in our series of getting your team to the Xtra Mile.

One disrupter will drastically effect the performance and engagement of your teams.  Maybe you recognize some of these characters from your organization.

T-Rex: With a big, angry attitude the T-Rex brings a heavy dose of dysfunction to any team. The challenge is that T-Rex has a ferocious intensity that makes them one of the most productive individuals on the team. However, lack of self-awareness, critical or caustic attitudes towards teammates, negates any productivity advantage.

Eeyore: “That will never work. Is it Friday yet? (on Monday). Poor me.” The optimistic pessimist, Eeyore is confident that everything is going wrong. The reality is that sometimes work is hard, crises will arise, clients can be unreasonably demanding, set backs are normal. The last thing the team needs in the middle of a challenge, is a sad sack pointing out problems but not helping with solutions.

Cousin It: In the Small-Medium Business (SMB) space we frequently find a black sheep, a prodigal son, or a crazy distant uncle awkwardly placed inside the organization. The back story may be extremely complicated, but the dysfunction can be devastating. When someone has a different set of standards from the rest of the team or operates above the law, that team will always be a long way from the Xtra Mile.

Step one in solving the disrupter problem is to master the art of impromptu feedback. I was a bit of a T-rex in my early career. I am thankful for tough, honest leaders who helped me see and adapt. Many times, these disruptors do not even realize the impact of their behaviors. A competent rebuke from a respected and trusted leader (see previous blog) is all it takes to start noticeable improvements.

Click here for a prescription to coach each disrupter.

Leaders, when you notice these behaviors, you are probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg. If we do not address disruptors, our teams will never perform on the Xtra Mile. In worst case scenarios we have seen the top performers leave the business, because they are fed up, and have better options. When all we have left are T-rex, Eeyore, and Cousin It, work is not very fun (or profitable).

XM Truth: We get more of what we reward.

XM Corollary: We get more of what we ignore.