Thursday, June 21, 2012

Starters and Finishers

In my work as a corporate trainer, speaker and facilitator, I get the chance to learn a lot about working styles, communication patterns and the principles of success. One interesting dynamic I notice in many teams is that there are “starters”, and that there are “finishers”. The challenge is that often the starters don’t seek help of the finishers.

From a Working Style (Hal Stack) perspective the starters are often the Expressive Working Style people... the visionaries, creators, the idea’s people. They are superb at generating ideas, creative solutions and collaborations however; they sometimes lose their focus and ambition towards the completion of the project. This is where the finishers come in very handy. This working style, often the driver, can help the expressive move the idea from concept, to plan, to implementation to completion. I would describe myself as a starter, I am an Expressive and Driver working style, however, my business and the exciting journeys we are on right now have required me to refine and even develop a stronger finisher (driver) approach to my work. Being able to “dance” within the working styles, and ask for help will really advance the work of the starters.

Recently I spoke at the AWE Conference on the topic of Your Leadership GPS. The audience had the opportunity to complete the working style inventory. In addition to being a fun exercise, the learning is quite powerful. Hal Stacks describes four Working Styles: Expressive, Driver, Amiable and Analytical. On a team, all four styles are very important to the team’s success. The key to supersized success is being able to dance within the styles, and carefully choose the working style that will be most appropriate in specific situations. For example, as an Expressive Driver, I often solicit the help of my Analytical Working Style colleagues as they will carefully review my ideas, ask a number of questions (which will be very helpful to me in planning and implementation), and be strategic in their assistance.

To find out more about AWE and the Leadership GPS presentation, visit: and

In my upcoming blog, I will speak to the other two Working Styles from Hal Stack’s Working Style inventory.