There are normally three types of team members on an organization’s payroll: caretakers, playmakers, and game changers. The behaviors associated with each category go beyond skills or talent; they are primarily mindset issues that determine how well the skills and talent of an individual will be applied.
While these characteristics can typify any position, this article will focus on helping you to evaluate yourself and the other leaders on your team. I have included a partial list of character traits for each mindset: caretakers, playmakers, and game changers. While each person may demonstrate a blend of these mindsets from time to time, there is normally one mindset and corresponding set of behaviors that dominates their performance.
- Caretakers are baseliners. More often than not, they do what is required of them and no more.
- Caretakers are steady and dependable. You can count on them to consistently “soldier on” in their role and think and act as maintainers—not really innovating or rocking the boat in the process.
- The caretaker may make an occasional great day, but they are not going to determine the month’s outcome. They are also quick to encourage and cheer others on, but aren’t going to personally take what they do or lead to a new level.
- A caretaker may secretly covet the spotlight; but, when he gets it, doesn’t normally handle it very well. People come to understand they can’t count on the caretaker to get fired up enough—consistently enough—to rattle the status quo or shake things up in a meaningful way for long.
- Caretakers don’t initiate. They wait to be told what to do. Their strength is dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s,” not creating the script or writing the story.
- Caretakers focus on holding ground, or not losing ground, but haven’t developed the killer instinct to take new ground. They will however, do a diligent job of tending the ground they have been given
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