Patrick Marzullo – of Respond 2 Communications – pointed me to Tim O’Leary’s new book this morning: “Warriors, Workers, Whiners & Weasels,” which you can preview here. (Whether or not it was an email blast sent out to a bunch of us “business bloggers” is kind of irrelevant at this point. I followed his links and was entertained enough by what I saw that I’m posting about it.)
What’s the premise of Tim’s book? Well, it’s that there are basically four types of people in any organization: Warriors, workers, whiners and weasels:
The Warrior: Successful companies need at least one Warrior—the aggressive innovator who conceptualizes and defines the organization and who fights the
tough battle to make it successful. Some companies have many Warriors,
which can sometimes make for really great organizations or, in other cases,
can lead to disaster, depending on whether or not the Warriors can work
The Worker: The backbone of any company is the Worker—the dependable soldiers who take direction from the Warriors and make things happen. Great com- panies always have great Workers. Workers understand their essential role in society, and they also tend to live the most balanced life among the four categories. Great Workers take tremendous pride in their craft, be it building jets, answering phones, driving a truck, designing microchips, writing legal briefs, or managing a large staff. Workers come in every shape, size and economic category; they perform duties that range from the mundane to the complex.
The Whiner: Whiners might be competent workers, but their negativity and dissatisfaction over- shadow their performance. Often, their whining is a mask for their incompetence. They spend a disproportionate amount of time complaining about others and blaming everyone else for their personal lack of success. They usually attempt to recruit more Whiners from the workplace, creat- ing dissatisfaction among the Workers. One of their great pleasures in life is to contemplate and spread other’s troubles (hence they tend to be big gossipers), as it provides a welcome distraction from their obsession with their own perceived problems.
The Weasel: Weasels are always negative, personally and professionally. They operate from a profound sense of insecurity that clouds their existence and drives them to destroy, for the strangely misguided sense of fulfillment it provides them. They have no regard for honesty, relationships, long-term credibility, or friendships. Weasels tend to be strong in personality, which can make them diffi- cult to identify at the onset. They may initially appear to be a Warrior or Worker. But the core trait of a Weasel is to instill confusion and distrust within his or her structure. Trace back a nasty rumor mill, and usually there was a Weasel involved in its initial development. Weasels delight in stirring up trouble between factions, fueling it with distrust, rumors, and outright lies. They will claim to be everyone’s friend, while not honoring any friendship. Every motivation they possess is designed to fill their in- ternal void, and true friendship is almost impossible for them to attain. Due to their aggressive personalities and relentless methods, they can often become successful and achieve positions of power.
Read the complete descriptions here. Interesting stuff. Jung would be proud. I don’t know if the book will be any good, but it should at least be entertaining.
Also be sure to check out its tongue-in-cheekish companion site: exposeyourweasel.com, which cleverly lets you submit your own weasel and maybe win a 30 gig iPod for your trouble.