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The 6th of an 8-part series exploring how to be a People Catalyst.  In the series we focus on “ME”, your individual core nature; “WE”, two people with different strengths interacting; “US”, a team working together; and “ALL”, how to work as an entire organization.

This episode focuses on “US”.  How we function as a balanced team, and what can go wrong when you are missing key strengths.

Listen to the podcast here:


Karla Nelson:  And welcome to The People Catalysts podcast. My co-host, Allen Fahden.

Allen Fahden:  Hello, Karla.

Karla Nelson:  Hello, hello, how are you to-doing, my friend? I hear you got a kind of a little bug. It seems like everybody’s sick these days.

Allen Fahden:  Yes, it’s a large insect. It’s the size of a davenport.

Karla Nelson:  Oh, we just traded places. The first two parts of this eight-part series, I was the one that was feeling a little under the weather. And we are in part six of an eight-part series, ME, WE, US, and ALL, talking about: ME, your individual core nature and strength; WE, what happens when we combine two of these individual core natures; US, which we’re going to be talking about today, that’s a team aspect; and then we will be getting to ALL as well.

I’m just going to go ahead and interview you. This style has worked really well for our listeners, just to break down-

Allen Fahden:  Great fun.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, to its most simple form. Actually, we’ve started sending each of the podcasts with the assessments, so it’s kind of fun that you can listen and get your individual to a deeper level, and then how you are with people, and then a team, and then an organization. So, with that said, let’s go in and I will be interviewing you in regards to US and the benefits, drawbacks, challenges of when you are putting a team together in order to get something done.

So, Allen, what happens when you’re trying to get something accomplished, when you don’t have a balanced team of mover, shaker, prover, maker?

Allen Fahden:  Well, the common wisdom right now says if you are missing one strength, the team’s in trouble. If you’re missing two, the team is usually a disaster.

Karla Nelson:  Absolutely. So when you don’t have the balanced team of the mover, shaker, prover, maker, and even you’re missing one, right, two is a disaster, and then what happens when one individual, right? There’s tons of solopreneurs out there as well, that if it even gets down to they don’t see their team as the people that they go to the office with. What are some of the things they can do to not only ensure that they have a balanced team, but then kind of redefine what team means these days?

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely. It’s one way of saying it is a virtual team that somebody who doesn’t work for your company, somebody who’s not an employee, but somebody maybe has some interests that are the same as yours. So, if you’re a mover, for example, probably the people you need most are the shakers and the provers. You could find a shaker who’s selling you insurance, and tell them what you’re doing, and ask for some ideas. Plenty of sources of ideas everywhere, and shakers love to come up with them. I could say that strengths and skills trump knowledge all the time. They beat knowledge no matter what, because you’re going to have people who are adept at coming up with great ideas. They think differently in just the way you want them to think.

So, you can put together a team and do each other favors. “I’ll do this for you, and then you do something for me later on.” That kind of thing.

Karla Nelson:  You got it. We do that all the time, and just understanding what part of the work you’re at, who do you go to? Of course, that’s where The WHO-DO Method comes in.

So, Allen, when you have a balanced team, but you’re unconscious as to how to move them through a process, especially when you’re using the traditional ways of work, what are some of the pitfalls that you can run into?

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. Well, there’s a big paradox too. We say, “It’s best to have a completely balanced team, you’ve got all the strengths,” but the problem is, if you then take all the strengths, put them in the same room, and do what you’ve always done, and run the process you always run, then the team fights and it’s pretty dysfunctional.

The other part is the traditional work model that we have says, “Hey, you started it, that means you finish it.” So, what does that mean? That means that somebody’s going to have to do probably 60%, 70%, 80% their weak work. That means they’re slow, it’s soul-crushing, they hate it, and it gets procrastinated on, any number of things happen, but none of them are good.

When you get to implementation, you’ll find that if you don’t use the WHO-DO, then you’re going to find your people are largely miscast, and that means nothing’s going to get done.

Karla Nelson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). And we’ve definitely seen levels of dysfunction, right? So, it just depends on-

Allen Fahden:  That’s right.

Karla Nelson:  That gets a little bit more into the personalities as well that we’ve talked about before. But definitely, having people in the wrong cast, they’re miscast, and then depending on how dysfunctional they already work, it can get even stickier.

Allen, when, in utilizing people’s core nature and strength, as a mover, shaker, prover, maker, how do you facilitate the process when you’re in ideation stage versus when you’re in implementing and you’re moving to command and control?

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. Very different. There’s a subtle shift that happens, and even when we play some of the games we play, you can see it all of a sudden when people say, “What happened? We’re out of ideation, we’re out of possibility, and wow, we got to get stuff done. How are we going to do that?” So, the best way to do the ideation phase is to let the early adopters run that, and especially a mover who’s positioned between a shaker, getting ideas, and a prover, who’s coming up with all the things that can go wrong, and making sure that idea’s thought through, bullet-proof, doing a back and forth between the shakers and the provers.

But once you get into implementation, then it’s quite different. Then the prover will oftentimes take over the implementation, and stand between the mover and the maker, because those two don’t get along either. It’s the mover who wants to keep the project moving, and it’s the maker who wants to get the details done elegantly and perfectly. So, you have two doers between a thinker, and that becomes a really good command and control, because after all, provers are the ones who love to make the rules, so they’re great.

Karla Nelson:  And guess what? Movers don’t care about the rules at all. They just want to get it done and facilitate it.

Allen Fahden:  Right.

Karla Nelson:  That’s pretty fun. I love that quote, Peter Drucker, what was that? “Innovation is easy, all you-“

Allen Fahden:  Yeah-

Karla Nelson:  Go ahead.

Allen Fahden:  “All you have to do is work in teams.” It’s just that nobody knows how to do it.

Karla Nelson:  It’s so true. Okay. Now, okay, so now, what I’d like to do here, Allen, is ask a question in regards to an individual’s core nature, so that’s going to be mover, shaker, prover, maker. We’ll break each of them down and I will ask them what we call what their run home to mommy is. So, when people get stressed and they’re put in either a new situation or even an older situation, but it becomes challenging, we close our mind down and we run home to mommy. This is always interesting. I find it very common when you’re working with a sales team that has been doing the same thing for 25 years, right?

Allen Fahden:  Yes.

Karla Nelson:  It’s harder to have them open up because they’ve always done this thing when things get rough.

So, Allen, as a mover, what is the mover’s run home to mommy?

Allen Fahden:  Oh, the to-do list, the get it done, the, “Hey, we’ve got to keep things moving here.” It’s all about setting priorities, making the plan, keep making the plan. We must revise the plan. We’ve got to update the plan. How many by when. Come on, come on, everybody move.

Karla Nelson:  That’s so funny. As a uber-mover, that’s exactly what I do when I get pressed and I have a lot of projects that I’m managing. I literally will clean the entire desk, get completely organized, take all of my checklists, and prioritize them. That’s exactly what I do. Oh, that’s good stuff.

Allen, as a shaker, what is the shaker’s run home to mommy when working with a team?

Allen Fahden:  Oh, more ideas, and then wait, some more ideas, and then some more ideas, and maybe we’re doing the wrong thing here. Let me come up with some more ideas. Let’s start over.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. The one I like is when the idea’s already come up with, and then you want to change the whole idea, that’s always a good one that a shaker jumps. That’s why it’s really important to get the approval from the shaker that the idea is picked, and the other ideas that come up should be how do you get over the roadblocks, and having them come up with those, I guess, because they’re still creating ideas, which they love. But I always love the CEO that’s a uber-shaker. We know a couple of those, and it’s like, oh, disruptive to everybody in the team and it essentially creates that culture of sit quietly, don’t make any sudden moves, and nothing will change.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. There was a head of a software company in England, and they wouldn’t let him come to work anymore because he’d just come in and say, “What are you doing? We’re not doing that anymore. Get rid of that. I got a new thing here.” And just, wow.

Karla Nelson:  Yes. Yup. Yup, yup, yup, love our shakers. We need everyone, just at a different time.

Allen Fahden:  Yes.

Karla Nelson:  So Allen, as a prover, what is a prover’s run home to mommy when working on a team?

Allen Fahden:  Deep, deep, deep analysis. You know, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, we haven’t thought this through yet. There are some things that are going to go wrong here. Give me more detail. I got to pick it apart.” So, you know, it’s like, “That’s not going to work.”

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, isn’t it interesting? So exactly opposite from the shaker, because when I think of the shaker, I think of energy, and I think of when they go to the run home to mommy, right? Another idea, this, that. And then when you go to a prover, it’s, “Whoa, put the brakes on, put the brakes on.”

Allen Fahden:  Right. Yup.

Karla Nelson:  And the other thing is we’re not even getting into secondary core natures and strengths here. That’s always interesting trying to navigate when somebody is right in the middle of a strength or core nature.

Okay, Allen, so as a maker, what is the maker’s run home to mommy when working on a team?

Allen Fahden:  Just to make sure that the system is running smoothly and is protected. So, dot the Is, cross the Ts, get a big pile of work here, roll up your sleeves, get these forms filled out properly. The office could be burning down, but you’ve got to get these forms done correctly.

Karla Nelson:  That’s so true, and when I’ve worked with provers and makers, as a mover, their run home to mommies … It’s easier to control the shaker run home to mommy because you can get approval. The provers and makers, the late adopter run home to mommy, it becomes challenging because they aren’t good at setting priorities. I would say, honestly, a shaker, a prover, or a maker aren’t, because the shaker is creating new ideas, and of course I’m going here to someone who’s running home to mommy, right? I’m taking it to the extreme.

But shakers are going to get stressed, and they’re going to think of new ideas. Provers are going to get stressed, and they’re going to say, “Hey, put the brakes on. Stop everything. We’ve got to figure out some other things.” And a maker puts their head down and doesn’t even pay attention to the big picture, which again, is their strength or their core nature. But what’s interesting is it really … I’m even learning stuff through this series. It really shines a light on why you have to find the mover, because that well-oiled machine, it can only happen when you’ve got a point guard and you’ve got agreements from everyone.

So, a run home to mommy isn’t a deal-killer, but if you don’t have a strategy, you don’t have that mover, and there’s a lot of people that are unconsciously aware of they don’t know that they’re a mover, but they’re still acting as one. But when you become conscious of it, what happens is now you find your point guard, and you’ve got all of your team bases covered, and if they understand the process, you get to nicely call them on the carpet when they’re running home to mommy.

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely. You know, just put briefly, the prover and the maker, their run home to mommy is to kill the whole thing.

Karla Nelson:  Oh, throw it out the window. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yup. Very true. Then it’s your mover that’s going to be still pressing it forward and getting those things done, but it’s definitely through the prover.

Isn’t it interesting, in the last series we did on the WE, it was so blindingly obvious that there are so many red lights, right, the core natures, and I just think that creates so much disruption on a team and so much challenge for leadership. I can’t even imagine running a project without understanding this. I mean, I did previously, but boy, it becomes so much easier and more fun, and everybody gets to be acknowledged for what they’re great at, versus their run home to mommy is what we always …

A shaker, what do we say? “Oh, you’re chief idea fairy. You’ve got your head in the clouds, you’re a dreamer.” And then you’ve got the mover, and then they’re just like, “Geez, do you always have to be in control?” And then you’ve got the prover, who is a naysayer, or Eeyore. Then you’ve got the maker that people are just like, “How do you come to a meeting and don’t have any input?” It’s impossible right?

Allen Fahden:  Right.

Karla Nelson:  And so, what’s sad about that is that we’re focusing on what somebody’s not. It’s the same thing in school, like you’ve got all As, and then you’ve got a C. As parents, we have to make sure we don’t focus on the C. Why work on what you’re not good at?

Allen Fahden:  Yup, absolutely, yup.

Karla Nelson:  There’s still a minimal level there, but that’s what I love about this, and we can appreciate that we need everyone.

Allen Fahden:  And training weaknesses never works.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. Well, it’s no fun. Anybody … Nobody likes what they stink at.

Allen Fahden:  No, not at all.

Karla Nelson:  It’s just-

Allen Fahden:  You’re a square peg in a round hole, so we send you to roundness training.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, because that’s so much fun. Okay. I’m going to wrap it up here, Allen, with one more question here, is that when you understand the relay process and the strength to strength process of people’s core nature, mover, shaker, prover, maker, what is the difference that happens on their team both time-wise and then also what they can expect?

Allen Fahden:  Good one. Well, so time-wise, teams will typically move 300% to 800% faster. They’ll get the work done that much faster. We demonstrated that again and again and again in simulations. Then the other part is, are you going to enjoy the trip? Take your choice. Do the parts of the work that are fun for you and you’re great at, or just instead just get all wallowing in soul-crushing work for the rest of your day. Which would you like?

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. Well, and what that made me think of is how every core nature and strength, with movers, shakers, provers, and makers, they disengage for a completely different reason. But when you put everybody in a room, what happens is you get this who’s the boss, or who’s in charge, which just doesn’t work. Especially anymore, because work has changed so much in the fact that nobody gets to have all the power. It’s really truly a team that’s doing the part of the work that they’re best at, and so people support what they build, and they can do it so much more quickly.

That’s awesome. I love that, “enjoy the trip.” Are you going to enjoy the trip? And everybody keeps on talking about, “Oh, my gosh, employee engagement. If I see one more thing on employee engagement,” and it’s just so interesting that employee engagement is not the potluck on Friday. That’s not. You’re in a room because-

Allen Fahden:  It’s not the ping-pong table.

Karla Nelson:  Oh, yeah. That’s a great one. It is what you do every day, so if you want to understand the culture of an organization, all you have to do is watch when the feet are moving. It’s not about hanging out. It’s not about … All those things are great. There’s nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, you’re sitting in a room to get something accomplished, and when you get those things accomplished and you do the part of the work that you’re best at, everybody wins.

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely.

Karla Nelson:  And who doesn’t want to be part of a winning team?

Allen Fahden:  Uh-huh.

Karla Nelson:  Excellent. Well, Allen, thank you so much for your time.

Allen Fahden:  Thank you.

Karla Nelson:  And we finished up the US of the ME, WE, US, ALL eight-part series, and we looking forward to seeing you again next week.


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