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Business chemistry

Business chemistry

This is a framework for understanding meaningful differences in people’s working styles. It identifies four primary types:

  • Pioneers, who value possibilities and spark energy and imagination
  • Guardians, who value stability and bring order and rigor
  • Drivers, who value challenge and generate momentum
  • Integrators, who value connection and draw teams together

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A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work well on a team with a mix of types.

For example, too many constraints can completely shut a Pioneer down, while a Guardian may withdraw in an environment that feels too chaotic.

Start by being aware of the differences between people that come from approaching things from diverse perspectives.

Sometimes the root cause of a particularly challenging relationship suddenly becomes clear when you look at it through this lens.

Manage the team in ways that support the diverse needs of different types of work.

You wouldn’t want a team that is all about creative ideas with no focus on implementing those ideas. Or one that is searching for the big win with no attention paid to the people involved in...

It’s not about who you are or what you can and cannot do.

We can all flex in the short-term, stretching outside our comfort zone in quick bursts, and we can all grow in the long-term, expanding that comfort zone through experience and practice.

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Pioneers

Those with a pioneer working style are big-picture thinkers who want to take advantage of opportunities or create new ones.

They tend to not be detail-minded, and they make quick, spontaneous decisions.

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They value possibilities and they spark energy and imagination.

They tend to be creative thinkers who believe taking big risks can produce great outcomes. They are outgoing, spontaneous and adaptable.

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...depending on different social motives:

  • Individualists seek to maximize their own outcomes with little regard for their counterparts’ outcomes. .
  • Cooperators strive to maximize both their own and other parties’ outcomes and to see that resources are divided fair...

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