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This is the first of an 8-part series exploring how to be a People Catalysts.  In the series we focus on “ME”, or on your individual core nature; “WE” being two people with different strengths interacting; “US” which is a team working together; and “ALL” which is how to work as an entire organization.

This episode focuses on being a Mover: what your strengths are, what is your peak work, what motivates you, and what work you need to stay away from.

Listen to the podcast here:


Karla Nelson:  Welcome to the People Catalysts Podcast, my co-host, Allen Fahden.

Allen Fahden:  Hello, Karla. Hello, everybody.

Karla Nelson:  Hello, hello. Great to hear your voice as always, my friend.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, likewise. I think we got a good one today. Different.

Karla Nelson:  I love it. I always love it. Well, we are doing an eight-part series that we’re going to call Me, We, Us, and All. Me being the individual and talking about their core nature. We being if there’s two individuals and the dynamics that you see there based off people’s core nature. Us, how that translates into a team, and then all, an entire organization, and so it will be an eight-part series. We’ll try to make them as quick and as … so that you can absorb a ton of information about each, but it might be that you just want to focus on the me, right, if you’re a mover, shaker, prover, and maker.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, and the beauty of that is that when you’re focusing on the me part, we’re doing one each for movers, shakers, provers, and makers, so you can hear about yourself and nobody else if you want to.

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. Yeah, exactly, and so the other thing is we have a ton of recordings on the People Catalysts Podcast that we identify all four: mover, shaker, prover, maker. We talk about the individual challenges, which is the we if there’s two people. We talk about the team dynamics, and we also talk about an organization as a whole. Actually, now that I think of it, we could … That’s going to be a really fun podcast because we probably have not a ton in regards to an entire organization.

Allen Fahden:  No, we don’t.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, and so it is an eight-part series, and you can pick and choose the pieces or listen to the entire series, and I will be interviewing Allen, and he’ll be answering the direct questions, and so it’s not necessarily … Well, at least for the first four, that’s how we’re going to do it with the mover, shaker, prover, and maker. If you’re a mover, then Allen is going to answer the questions as if he was a mover and answer the questions in part two, shaker. Part three will be prover, and part four will be maker. Are you ready to go, my friend?

Allen Fahden:  I am ready.

Karla Nelson:  Okay, so … and I will say as a mover just so that people remember which podcast they’re listening to and you remember which question you’re answering based off of each of the core natures. Okay, so Allen, as a mover, what parts of the work will bring out your magnificence?

Allen Fahden:  A mover thrives in a big pile of ideas because number one strength of a mover and the core nature is that movers love to decide which idea has the most potential, and they usually do so based on how original the idea is, how likely it is to solve the problem, and how doable is it, how easy or difficult to implement is it. Once they apply to that, they’re just screaming their excellence. They’re great at setting priorities and they never want to kill an idea. They just want to grab on to the one that’s going to bring the most results and run with it.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Awesome. Love it, and so as a mover, Allen, what should you say yes to?

Allen Fahden:  Anything that involves doing something new, so as I said, setting priorities. Also, making a plan. A mover is unique. You can’t find one on DISC, or Myers-Briggs, or Colors, or any of those personality profiles. A mover is someone who can just out of gut intuition know what the plan ought to be, know how many by when, be able to visualize it down a timeline, know who to go to for a budget, so anything that involves doing something new, launching something. Great launcher.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). I have no idea what that’s all about.

Allen Fahden:  No, You could probably answer a lot better than I could, being a mover.

Karla Nelson:  Absolutely, I could be a mover. Yeah, we don’t want to confuse everybody about so and so, and plus, if you noticed, my voice isn’t so strong here today. Okay, so Allen, as a mover, what should you say no to?

Allen Fahden:  Well, number one thing to say no to is any status quo work. If you’re going to keep the things the same as they are, if you’re not open to any new ideas, don’t even bother a mover. They’re all about getting new things done. They’re the poster child for innovation because innovation is a lot more than ideas. Innovation is implementing and executing ideas, so a mover should say no to the status quo work if there’s not going to be anything done differently from the way it’s been done before.

Movers should also say no to generating ideas, unless you’re a combination, mover-shaker, because the talent of a mover is, “Give me some ideas to look at and let me grab the one I know is going to work.” If you don’t have a mover being a point person or in an innovation team, that’s a … They should say … The mover should be saying no to that, to anything other than that.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative), and then I’ll piggy-back a little bit on that being uber-mover is …

Allen Fahden:  Please.

Karla Nelson:  A mover should say no to the details.

Allen Fahden:  Oh, yeah.

Karla Nelson:  Coordinate the end game is great. Saying that you’re going to be a part of any of the pieces just is complete weak work. It’s not that you can’t do it, and this is one of the things that movers do is they do it because they can, and that is … That’s where you have to figure out where your magnificence is and don’t say yes simply because you know you can. Stay away from anything that’s crossing the Ts, dotting the Is, and keeping your head down because your job is to coordinate the project, the … whatever you’re implementing. Whatever you’re innovating. You’re the conductor, so be the coach. Don’t play on the field.

Allen Fahden:  Well said.

Karla Nelson:  Okay, so Allen, as a mover, who is your natural inbox? I love it. It says not, “What is your natural inbox?” but who …

Allen Fahden:  But who?

Karla Nelson:  Who do? Who is your natural inbox?

Allen Fahden:  I imagine this little inbox with all these people sitting like, “Karla. Karla. Here, here.” The mover’s natural inbox is a shaker. That’s a person whose nature it is to produce ideas. Not only ideas, but oftentimes, life-changing ideas, out-of-the-box ideas, things that nobody else would see any potential in at all. It’s the mover who sees the potential in those ideas that haven’t been done before, so a perfect inbox relationship. When you want something to do, go find a bunch of shakers because they’re going to give you a whole lot of ideas that you can choose from and say, “Oh, we should do this.” That’s your natural inbox.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Allen Fahden:  It’s the shaker because you want their ideas. You thrive on the ideas, and the more unusual they are, the better it can be.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, and I’ll piggy-back a little bit of that. It’s not just the starting idea. It could be the idea of how you overcome something else. Remember, this is cyclical, right?

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely.

Karla Nelson:  Depending on the challenge, it could be the best idea to run with, but it also could be, wow, a new marketing idea, a new … “How are we going to get this new technology or innovative thing to overcome some obstacle in the end goal?”

Allen Fahden:  Right.

Karla Nelson:  Remember, it’s not just starting. You’re continually starting, right?

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely.

Karla Nelson:  Continually. It’s cyclical.

Allen Fahden:  When you get back into that loop, it’s usually when there … You’ve been running for a while, and then a bunch of problems come up.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Allen Fahden:  So, what do you do? You pick the best solution. You’re a mover, so again, it’s … So, it’s ideas at the beginning, and it’s solutions to the problems that have come up when you get further along in the project. Same basic things. Solutions are ideas just like ideas are ideas, but yes, it’s a … So, there’s a lot of in and out there.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, Allen, as a mover, who is your natural outbox?

Allen Fahden:  Your natural outbox is the prover, and the reason being that what you’ve done with these ideas is you converted them to a plan, and this is a little unusual for a lot of our listeners to relate to perhaps, but what you want to do once you have that plan is get someone to blow every hole they can in the plan immediately.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Allen Fahden:  Once the plan is down, you want to find out everything that can go wrong, and what you’re doing is failing the plan in concept form. When you fail something in concept form, you don’t have to throw anything away. You don’t have to do anything over again because you haven’t done it yet, so instead of people resisting critiques of ideas, and those are provers who naturally critique ideas, instead of resisting, you accept. In fact, you seek them out.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). We love it. We want to know what’s going to happen because why? Because it’s going to go faster and you’re going to get it done faster than make mistakes.

Allen Fahden:  That’s correct. The outbox is the plan, and the who is the prover, and that prover is giving you as much gold as the shakers because now, you have ideas about what can go wrong, and when you have ideas about what can go wrong, guess what? You can fix them.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative), and you fix them by going back to the shakers and saying, “Give me more ideas,” because you want the best one to get it done.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. Absolutely.

Karla Nelson:  Okay, so Allen, as a mover, what phase of the work do you excel at and that leave you energized?

Allen Fahden:  It always has to do with moving things ahead. I’ve known a lot of movers who would say, “I am my to-do list. I get energized when I can really move the needle every day,” and then I have ran into a few people who are even more unusual movers who say, “Oh, I don’t have a to-do list.” I’m like, “What? What do you mean you don’t have a to-do list?” “Yeah. Why do I need one? I see what needs to be done, and I do it. Who needs a list?” That’s a little bit unusual, but a mover lovers to take an item and not just tick or check it off the list, but put a big bold line right through it.

Karla Nelson:  Big fat sharpie through it, and if it’s not …

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, big fat sharpie.

Karla Nelson:  If it’s not on the list, you write it on the list and cross it off.

Allen Fahden:  That’s right. That’s right. Crush that one. Crush that one.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Allen Fahden:  That’s very energizing. It’s getting those things done and especially when it’s your own plan. Now, you’re implementing your own plan. Not all of it because it’s going to get boring as it gets more and more mature, but in the beginning phases, you’re putting people together, you’re putting maybe the budgets together, the facilities, materials, and that’s energizing. Does that feel energizing to you?

Karla Nelson:  Yes. I just got a whole bunch of energy sitting here and just listening.

Allen Fahden:  Good.

Karla Nelson:  It’s exciting, of course, for a mover. I think we’re probably stressing our provers and makers out right now.

Allen Fahden:  Probably. Yes.

Karla Nelson:  Allen, as a mover, what phase of the work drains you?

Allen Fahden:  Probably the biggest drain is this. You’ve probably heard this before. It’s an old saw. A person who says, “Well, you started it, you finish it.”

Karla Nelson:  Gosh.

Allen Fahden:  Okay? It’s like as you, a mover, get into the later stages of a project, beginning, middle and end, right about the time you’re in the middle, this is getting petty repetitive, and pretty boring, and pretty mundane. By the time you’re finishing, which is dotting Is and crossing the Ts, you might as well just crawl home, and turn on the television set, and never move away from it again for the rest of your life because you’re a mess.

Karla Nelson:  It’s so true, and as a mover, you have to learn how to hand that off. Give the baton. Hand it off to someone else, and go on, and do something that energizes you because it will suck …

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely.

Karla Nelson:  It will suck the life out of you when it ends up getting a routine, like routine. Movers don’t like routine.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah.

Karla Nelson:  They like fast-pace. They like putting things together, and as soon as it becomes … and it’s interesting because a checklist for starting something is energizing. When it’s a checklist after all the details are being put together so that you can make it repetitive or scalable, that’s just absolutely draining, which is interesting because you get confused.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah.

Karla Nelson:  You get confused, “Wait a second. I thrive off with a checklist.” Right now, all of a sudden, you’re handing off the work, and it needs to be repetitive, and you can get confused because they’re both checklists, but they’re checklists for two completely different reasons, right? What is …

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, and you know what? One is big stuff that needs to be done and in ambiguous circumstances, and where the second checklist is routine stuff like integrated to get into the system and small things that need to be done.

Karla Nelson:  Exactly, and … You got it. That big picture checklist also has a energizing quality of priority to it.

Allen Fahden:  Yes.

Karla Nelson:  Your natural prioritization of which one needs to be done first. As a mover, you look at the checklist, and you can go back to Stephen Covey. I loved learning this, which is put an A, a B, or a C, a one, two, three, and then that gives you piece of mind because you could put 25 things on your checklist, but you can’t do 25 things at once, so what is your A1? What is your priority? Start there. Any time you get lost, because you’re coordinating so many things, go back to the prioritization, and you no longer feel overwhelmed as a mover because you know what needs to be done next.

Allen Fahden:  Beautiful.

Karla Nelson:  All right, so Allen, as a mover, what can you do to not take on weak work?

Allen Fahden:  Okay, so this takes reversing another old saw, “If you started it, you finish it,” and this one is, “Okay, Karla. I want you to take one for the team. You’re not really a team player unless you just do what you hate and what you’re really bad at.” I mean, that’s a subtext at what people say. Don’t ever complain. You do what you’re told. Take on stuff that nobody wants to do, and then you’re helping the team.

Well, you’re not helping anybody when you do that because what happens is this slows you down. It’s hard to focus. It’s not what you’re good at. It’s not what you like, so you’re already creating less than stellar performance for the rest of the team, and so you’re not helping. You’re actually harming, so how … What can you do not to take on weak work?

There are several things you can do. One is have an enlightened boss to change the whole system, and that’s what we’re about is, “Let’s put the right people in the right place doing the right thing at the right time because things go 300% to 800% better and faster, better results.” The other thing you could do short of that or on your way to that is get yourself a WHO-DO. What’s a WHO-DO? That’s a person who does the next step.

When you’re done with your plan, you want to get a WHO-DO who’s a prover, so that they can critique it, and you can solve it. At some point, when you’re ready to integrate it into the system, you’re going to want the prover to work with the maker to integrate that into the system, so what you’re really doing is handing the work off at the person who’s most appropriate to the phase of the project that you’re in.

Makers are great finishers. They want to be there. They’re late adopters. They want to be in there late in the project. Movers are early adopters. Movers want to be there right at the beginning of the project, and they’re natural starters, so what you can do is do something, some trading and saying, “Hey, look. If you do this for me on my project, do my details here, then what I will do for you is I will help you set priorities for your project.” Everything gets done way, way faster.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Allen Fahden:  I did this once with an expense report. I had a maker do my expense report. I’m a shaker. It took him 15 minutes. It takes me five hours, and I get it back from accounting six times.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, movers can’t…

Allen Fahden:  Look at all the time we saved the company.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. We’re the same on that one, myself as a mover. Okay, and that leads us to our last question, Allen. As a mover, come on. Really? Does peak work really, really outperform weak work?

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, so I’m going to quote some statistics, and this is actually a study done by the Gallup Organization when they wrote that book by Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham back in the ’90s, which was about … It is called First, Break All the Rules. They had 125,000 data points I believe on this study. One of the things they did was they broke work teams in a company into five segments. Okay? The five segments ranged from those who work most in their inner strengths down to those that work least inner strengths. Okay? Five levels.

Also, who had a … the most inner strengths were with the higher performing manager and the least inner strengths was with the lower performing manager, and so put those together, and the highest team that worked most in their strengths beat the goal by 15% at the end of the study. The lowest team who worked least in their strengths missed the goal by 30%.

Karla Nelson:  Wow, it’s at delta.

Allen Fahden:  15% ahead, 30% behind. There’s a swing of 45%.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah.

Allen Fahden:  That’s enormous no matter what you’re doing, so that’s just one piece of evidence. That work is probably the most qualitative evidence, and then of course, we’ve got … oh, I don’t know, dozens of anecdotal studies of teams that shows again, and again, and again. Deming, the quality guy said, “In one word, can you describe management? It’s the ability to predict.” Well, if you use this system, you could predict what kind of results you’ll have because it happens again, and again, and again. The only way it doesn’t work is when you don’t do it.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, just like everything else.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah.

Karla Nelson:  Awesome. Well, this concludes our first segment of an eight-part series for if you are a mover, and again, the People Catalysts … As a people catalyst, we utilize this information to build relationships first with our team, then with our clients, and then our promoters, so thank you again, Allen, for being with us here today.

Allen Fahden:  Thank you, Karla. It’s fun.

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