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Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Ahas", "Uh-Ohs", & The Rest Of Us

In my experience working with large organizations, the outer edges of the bell curve are often elegantly demonstrated by two very small groups of people. I've named them the "aha" group and the "uh-oh" group. I am anxious to hear how this reflection matches up with your experiences in large organizations.

The "aha" group are those who are almost universally trusted, liked, & respected. Not coincidentally, they are usually very good at their work. Stephen Covey would say these people combine exceptional character with competence. It's difficult to find others with bad things to say, personal or professional, about them.

The "uh-oh" group are those who most others try to avoid. Though not necessarily incompetent, a reputation for being difficult or divisive can obscure their skills. When others speak of people from this group, the language is often guarded or tentative, at best. And you don't have to search far to hear much worse.

And the overwhelming majority of people in large organizations, in my experience? On the bell curve, just like me. If you're working now in a large organization (and you've been there long enough to be a "known quantity"), where would you fall in an informal, totally unscientific poll? On the edge of the bell curve as an "aha"? On the other edge as an "uh-oh"? Or, somewhere on the bell curve?

1 comment:

  1. I seem to bounce from being an aha at times to being on the main curve, and at times on the uh-oh. My placement at times depends on the organization I am a member of and my ability to relate or my need to challenge and how well I can do so and fit. Sometimes its a function of my perspective and how acute the situation is and therefore how I act upon it, resulting in how I am perceived on the curve and how I perceive I am being viewed. It is even more curious to see how these match through feed back and outreach!