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Four Ways People Think. Know Yours to Be Boss


You ever see someone who is just wildly successful at whatever YOU’RE trying to be, and then you want to just emulate everything that person does? However, you’re not able to keep up, or you aren’t able to make it work the way you were hoping? Yeah, so that happens to me, too. And so now, this brings me to Inc.com’s article by Geil Browning “The Brain-Based Secret to Getting More Done”.

I’ve been told I’m like a machine sometimes when I work, but I know others who are just absolute freaks when it comes to productivity. As much as I want to be as successful or more, I know that I have to carve my own path. I want to change the world, sure. But for me to be able to do something as simple as, say, blog everyday like I know David Cummings can do, I know it’s just not something I can (or will) keep up with. Just like working out, I’ve gotta find what’s sustainable for me.

Browning writes how there are four major ways people think that can shape and impact how they are productive:
  • Structural. As you can imagine, this is the person who formalizes a game plan. It’s got rigidity. It’s got form and structure.
  • Analytical. Every decision is scrutinized to find and implement the best ROI.
  • Social. This type of person is democratic in his/ her approach. This is especially great to create a sense of accountability to the table for everyone.
  • Conceptual. Stuff is just done. There’s a notion that things are WIP (work-in-progress), but productivity here is measured in completion.

Okay, now that I’m done summarizing the article by Browning, here are my personal thoughts:
  • Team play. In a startup team (or really any team), it’s best to have people with different thinking and different backgrounds. The natural yin-yang and complementing will help your startup find holes in products and strategies. It’s like a good trivia team… you want people who can answer questions for any subject thrown at you.
  • Sustainability. The article mentions New Year’s resolutions (8% actually follow through?!) especially with exercise. Reminds me of an article I read from a trainer who was asked what was the best exercise to lose weight? The trainer responded with, “whichever exercise you enjoy”. You’ve gotta find what works for you, and what you enjoy to really implement anything that will be sustainable.
  • Switch it up! The article (and this very awesome post) is all about finding your natural state of thinking for productivity and just general mind set. However, I think it’s also good to switch it up every once in a while, and spend a day (okay, a few) trying to put a little more structure to your day, if you’re more conceptual. Or perhaps being more social. Not looking for the sustainable part, but spending a little time on the other side of the walls can help you consider other alternatives that can make your process and thinking that much more holistic and perhaps even stronger.
  • Respect. To the point above about team play, this article readily highlights the differences in how others may think. It’s easy to try to push others to your style of thinking, and then getting mad when it doesn’t stick or isn’t considered. This is why those personality profile tests like Myers-Briggs, DISC Profile, etc. are so good for managers to see. It’s important to consider others as individuals and promote their own growth.
  • Consider yourself. The article, at its core, is about knowing yourself. In today’s high-speed, text-a-minute, Facebook-slap-in-the-face society, it’s easy to forget to consider who we are. I’m a big proponent of taking a few minutes every night before bed in reflecting on the day, and think about yourself. What you like, what didn’t you like, what you did well, what made you bored…

What are your thoughts about what makes you more or less productive than one of your friends or idols? How have you capitalized on one of your strengths to be more productive and effective?

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