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Sunday, July 4, 2021


 As leaders we often find ourselves dealing with two distinctive kinds of folks on our teams: Stoppers and Goers.

The Stoppers constantly serve as a drag on progress. They resist change (of any kind), they block initiatives, they hold up progress in both overt and covert ways, they squelch forecasting conversations. Stoppers make us feel like we're stuck in mud, and they seem downright giddy about that stuckness.

The Goers are the ones that are ready to push each and every idea forward, zealously. They never hear a bad idea. Goers don't take the time to think through logistics. Goers act as if the quantity of tasks undertaken somehow trumps the quality with which they are undertaken. They resemble waterbugs on a pond, darting around energetically and relentlessly, but with no discernible purpose or direction. 

Most teams have both kinds of folks. The worst and unhealthiest of teams have too much of one and not enough of the other. The healthiest of teams have leaders who understand both the Stoppers and the Goers, and they understand that keeping both archetypes at the table, in the conversation, and engaged in the work is the surest pathway toward judicious improvement.

Navigating the organizational tension between the Stoppers and the Goers is one more thing that compels us in leadership to LEARN - learn to understand others even better than they understand us. 

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