Are You Leading Consumers or Creators?

I’ll be the first to admit that today’s topic may be overly simplistic, however, I believe it is worth discussing. Make a list of your team members in one column. To the right of that column make three more columns with the headings Creator, Consumer, and Other.

Creators are individuals on your team who take minimal care and feeding, and they produce a steady stream of innovative results. Give them a direction and they’re off. These individuals are generally bright, disciplined and passionate about their work. On the other hand, Consumers will take a disproportionate share of your time by asking questions, remain unsure how to proceed in most tasks, and continually check in to make sure they are on the right track. They will likely be more concerned about what they are getting out of their employment than what they can produce for your team and the organization. Others may be steady, heads-down workers or deadwood.

Now venture down the list and place a check mark in the Creator or Consumer column for each team member or enter a comment in the Other column. It should now be easier for you to determine your top contributors as well as team members you may want to consider moving out. You may also want to think about your role in each performer’s results. How are you motivating your team members? How are you rewarding your top contributors?

• How many of your team members are needlessly consuming the majority of your time?
• How many of your team members are continually churning out useful, innovative results?

Keywords: leadership, employee selection, creativity, motivation

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