You may recall, in an earlier blog, I pondered how the characters of Tigger and Eeyore could be used to classify most personality types. On one hand, you have the eternal optimist – full of energy and seeing no boundaries. On the other, the eternal pessimist, always waiting for the rain to start and sure of his or her bad fortune anytime it does. However, as I was once again reading the Grand Adventures of Winnie the Pooh with my son, I realized there was one character and defining personality type that I neglected to recognize – Rabbit.
Okay, Rabbit is not the strongest character in any of the stories and isn’t one of the first characters you would name if asked to name a character from that series. But, Rabbit does have a very distinct personality. Can you identify it?
In the story I enjoyed with my son, Rabbit was leading his team into the woods in search of Christopher Robin. He was armed with his trusty map and consulted it constantly to determine which way to go. Suddenly, a strong wind came up and tore the map out of his hands and carried it away. At that point, Rabbit crumbled. He couldn’t function without the map.
Are you seeing the personality type now? There are many leaders and managers who are the “by the book” kind of people. They’ve had a textbook approach to their jobs for decades and they refuse to waiver from that. There are agencies, and marketing departments like that as well. When the old rules are shaken and perhaps no longer valid, these individuals either refuse to recognize it and adjust course or find themselves completely lost without any plan or way to move forward. It’s a dangerous position to be in.
The economic conditions we’ve weathered the past few years have been unlike any others I’ve experienced in 16 plus years in the industry. As I talk with clients, prospects, editors and industry folks, they agree that the old standards don’t apply. There is a new normal that we must all adjust to. In order to grow our businesses, we need to push beyond on our comfort level and try new tactics and enter new markets. We need to lead – without a map or textbook. So identify the Rabbit in your team or yourself and find the confidence to continue to lead and succeed as we explore this new territory.
What is your company doing to adjust to the new business climate?