In every office — no matter what industry or region — managers must deal with differing personalities. Whether it’s the kiss-up, the slacker, the negative Nelly, workaholic, the “idea monkey” or the “ringleader,” personality differences are commonplace in modern American offices.
But according to Mike Maddock, opening keynote speaker at this year’s NAILBA conference in Dallas, it’s how a manager finds balance between an idea monkey — one who is teeming with energy about new ideas and innovations — and a ringleader — one who makes the ideas come to life — that can lead a company to long-term success.
Need an example of an idea monkey? Think Walt Disney. It was him who had the wild and crazy ideas that eventually made Walt Disney World into a global destination and one of the most popular brands on earth. But those ideas (like, say, a talking mouse) would have lingered on the innovation shelf for a lifetime if it weren’t for Walt’s brother, Roy. It was Roy who acted as the ringleader and had the wherewithall to reign in Walt’s sometimes over-the-top ideas. And it was Roy who took Walt’s plausible ideas from fantasy to reality.
And what about Apple? Steve Jobs was the face of the tech giant, with vision and creativity and passion unbounded. But it was his introvert sidekick, Steve Wozniack, who was the ringleader, taking Job’s ideas from whiteboard graffiti to popular products.