There’s always been a marked difference between the go-getter (GG) and the quiet plodder (QP). The obvious story, of course, is the fable about the Hare and the Tortoise.
But which are you?
Because your whole strategy to business and success in business revolves around coming to terms with your own personality and the way in which you approach everyday life, it would be sensible to find out what your traits are so that you can make use of your best features and either change or mask your less appealing side.
Let’s look at the Go-Getter first.
Generally an extrovert, the go-getter travels through life at break-neck speed, trying to brush all obstacles aside on the way.
Now whether or not those obstacles are people, it does not matter. To the true go-getter, nothing, but nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of progress to the top of the pile.
At school, the go-getter was always the volunteer to do the important jobs. GG wouldn’t even think that someone else might want a chance. It was GG’s right to get all the important monitor positions in every class throughout the school.
Then, later in life, GG is the one who tries so hard to become the chair of the society or club. GG wants to decide what goes on.
Then later in the world of work, it’s the ruthless GG that tends to get all the breaks. Strains hard to get to the top. And succeeds mainly, it must be said, because GG gives 100% to everything entered into. However, is the GG happy in that position, knowing that it has been ruthlessness that has gained the top spot? Probably not. Will the GG stay at the top? Again, probably not.
So, what about the Quiet Plodder?
Obviously one of life’s backroom people, the quiet-plodder allows someone else, in fact anyone else, to steal the limelight.
It’s not that QP isn’t interested in success. No, it’s just that QP seeks and gets the less glamorous approach to life. Much more comfortable as the brains behind the operation, rather than the blood and guts front-runner. QP derives satisfaction from knowing that the job was successful as a result of QP’s input.
Often QP, the unpretentious ideas producer, relies on GG’s penchant for the limelight to hide under a ‘Bushel’. Secretly, however, QP would like to be in the top spot, but is too shy to do anything about it. But when the GG falls from power, people often fall back on the compromise candidate, the QP. Is the QP happy in that position? Probably not since it is uncertain that QP would be in the top job if someone else had been available.
Now, of course, no one is completely one or the other of these characters. But many people show a marked tendency towards one or the other.
Why is it important then to recognise which traits of these characters you posses? And how can you work this out?
Firstly, the importance of finding or recognising your character traits.
Before ever thinking about these things, you probably went through your life unaware of why different people reacted to you in different ways.
You would realise, of course, that you always made friends with a certain ‘type’ of person.
You were either the one that everybody greeted straight away, or you were the one who quietly sidled into the group or conversation and people were always surprised when they realised that you were there.
But once you have worked out what your character is like, you can use that to your best advantage.
If you’re a GG, then, you could tone down or reign in your natural eagerness, so that you don’t leave people upset that you haven’t given them a chance to speak, or do something.
In business, this can be translated into listening more carefully to the opinions of others, especially partners and customers. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you learn!
And the upside of this is that people will be more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when the inevitable mistakes are made and be more willing to give a helping hand. So that when a high position is reached, you enjoy it more and stay in that position for much longer.
If you’re a QP, things are a little more difficult. It means forcing yourself to emerge from your comfort zone.
You must try to make your views known more. Make a big effort to break into a conversation. And you will be pleasantly surprised when you find that, once they realize that you have some important points to make, people will actually listen to you more.
The surprising thing is that the upside for you is exactly the same as for the GG!
And so to the all important question of how to recognise how much of each of these characteristics you posses.
Well this is where again, everyone’s the same. Or least everyone can use the same methods.
(1) Firstly you must make a conscious effort to try to see yourself as others see you. Put yourself in the shoes of those people you come into contact with.
How would you react to what you say and do?
Compare this with the way your friends and colleagues react.
(2) When relaxing at home in the evening, try to go back over the day’s events and remember how you behaved in various situations. Make notes and then after a while compare similar events. Make a note of any patterns in your behaviour.
(3) Then try and foresee any situations that are similar to ones you have observed before. Change your normal behaviour and observe your colleagues’ and friends’ reactions. In the evening, write down your findings. After a while compare all your findings.
(4) Continue your observations until you’ve covered all the different situations where you interact with others.
(5) Then you need to draw all your findings together. At the top of one side of a sheet of paper write Go-Getter and on the top of the other side write Quiet Plodder. Then, using all the information you have collected, write down your behaviour during the past months on the appropriate side.
This will show you which characteristic, GG or QP, you tend towards. If you have the same number of entries on each side of your sheet of paper, then you need to look at the importance, as you see it, of the information you have written on each side and give each section a weighting. You should be able to work out your answer from the totals on each side.
Then it’s up to you to make best use of the information that you’ve found!