Monday, April 20, 2015

Simpifying into Three Types...

Great leaders are 
almost always great 
simplifiers, who can 
cut through argument, 
debate and doubt, 
to offer a solution 
can understand.
Colin Powell
Reductio ad..?
Branson: Why is it that people who like to simplify often divide people into three groups?

Powell: Do they? Who do you mean, “they”?

Branson: Malcolm Gladwell did it in The Tipping Point. Mavens, connectors and salesmen.

Powell: I see your point. I just ran across some postings on Quora by people who like to divide others into “puzzle-solvers”, “tool-users” and “storytellers”.

Branson: I’ve seen that distinction before. It popped up in an obscure academic book in German containing a reference to Jerome Bruner. So you say others claim it as their own paradigm? It happens. Anyway, what’s magical about three? 

Powell: Indeed. Why not four or five? Some home in on “seven”. “Seven Habits….” But I think three has a pedigree of simplicity and authority. The triple, the trio, the triangle. The tripod, the triathlon, the trinity.


Mavens: Connect us with new information. They have knowledge, social skills and an ability to communicate.
Connectors: Know large numbers of people and provide introductions. They have active social networks of over 100 people.
Salesmen: Good at persuading others. They are charismatic people with charm and negotiation skills.

Puzzle-solvers: Tend to minimize emotional and social context of thinking.
Tool-users: Focus on tools to make changes in the environment.
Storytellers: Use narratives to show causal and consequential relations.

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