The Dream Team: What Would You Say To Your Mirror Today?


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This is a continuation of the blog I posted last week following research by Don Fornes, founder and CEO at Software Advice, who wrote a series called Psychological Profiles of the Dream Team. In the series of 4 articles, he details the attributes of four types of employees in today’s work force. These include: The Giver, The Savant, The Champ (and the chip), and The Matrix Thinker. Each of these profiles has strengths and weaknesses. You can read about them here in a series over the upcoming weeks.

If you read my posts regularly, you know that I am a huge fan of Apple. They developed and built an empire based on a customer-focused organization. This was, no doubt the work of the late, great Steve Jobs, the quintessential matrix thinker.

Matrix thinkers are the innovators, the creatives that populate the workforce and push the boundaries on casual Friday. Jobs matrix thinking touches left fingerprints all over Apple’s customer experience. From the way they plan their business to the way they design the customer retail experience, Apple is an innovator to its core (pun intended).

Jobs represents the third profile in the Dream Team authored by Don Fornes, founder and CEO of Software advice, called the Matrix Thinker. This psychological profile represents the creative types, the innovators, and the part of the team whose stubborn insistence that they have the answer both aggravates and inspires everyone else.

I admire this type of person greatly. In my recent post,” Are You Being Disruptive?” I encourage all of us to find the part of ourselves that thinks like the Matrix thinker and turn status quo on its ear. Innovation and determination are what drive change. Let’s examine what Fornes has to say about these members of the “dream team.”

The Matrix Thinker

A key characteristic of the Matrix thinker is that they are constantly absorbing information from everything around them. They are creative thinkers and often connect seemingly unrelated concepts. This can be innovative or confusing, depending on what they are linking.

Matrix thinkers may appear to be disorganized on the outside. But they typically have everything in order, down to knowing what is in each of the piles on their desk. They can connect all the information they are receiving and communicate it effectively to others. Particularly when they are a high-functioning matrix thinker.

Less mature matrix thinkers may not be as effective or organized, however. They also are more likely to have conflicts with others. They can also appear to be erratic as they jump from idea to idea. These types can also live in chaos and disorder in their personal lives.

Matrix thinkers are excellent at the following:

  • Problem solving. They are always looking for new ways to achieve goals; so thinking in the abstract serves them well.
  • Creative thinking. They find inspiration from various sources and synthesize them in unique ways, making them some of the best artists and inventors.
  • Developing a vision. They are unafraid to go into unchartered territory as it pertains to the business or the status quo. Their ambition drives them to be the best and their determination helps them stick to their guns.
  • Analyzing the environment. The ultimate multi-taskers, a matrix thinker is always connecting the dots of different concepts on several levels. Nothing gets by them.

Some of the things that make them great can also be their greatest weaknesses. For example, matrix thinkers can be easily distracted by multiple influences. Also they are fiercely committed to their ideas, which can create conflict when anyone dares to oppose them. Finally, too much information can actually overwhelm a matrix thinker, paralyzing them from action.

We have been talking a lot about how to be happy at work and create engaged employees. Workplace contentment makes a huge difference not only in the customer experience, but also in the happiness of the individual. Besides, as Jobs advises:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

If you think you might be a matrix thinker, you might want to consider a role in a project-oriented role. These projects vary and this is especially stimulating to a matrix thinker. Creative roles where you are able to bring new ideas into your work are another way to enhance your natural ability. Of course, you might also be suited to a CEO level, but lofty goals such as this take time.

Being in the right role can make a huge difference to you in your work life. Too many people languish in positions that don’t suit them simply because they don’t know enough about themselves to find a better position that is suited to their talents.

So, what would you say to the mirror today?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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