What type of player will you be?

Being new to an industry can allow you the pleasure of being able to look at something for the first time – with fresh eyes.

A recent meeting was one of these instances. I started thinking…

Nowadays in work, like in football, there are more and more different types of people.

Different roles. Different skill sets. Essentially, different players.

Team players. Players who are only out for themselves. Players who bumble along in the lower realms. And players with that magic spark.

This meeting was an example to this. The task was to brief a research agency. It was about an hour and a half long – 90 minutes.

There were a load of planners and account handlers. I counted everyone. There were about 11 of us round this table.

Everyone keen to make a name for themselves.

All working to achieve the same aim – a clear research brief.

However, to do this each person played their own game. Contributed in their own way. Did what they thought best for the end goal, and for themselves. This was my observation:

It’s all about the touches; how many you make, and how good each one is.

Some players are constantly in the conversation. Sometimes directing to help the team. Sometimes commenting just to have their say.

None of the comments are really game-changing. But they move things along. Keep the meeting flowing.

Their comment may be the start of a great idea. The touch that sets others up.

Others take very few touches. Only when they feel the touch can make a difference. They don’t waste their time stating the obvious.

They take it all in; the problem, the context, and possible solutions. They wait for their moment, to make sure that their idea comes from the most informed position possible.

And the last group calculate their moments a little more intentionally.

The first big tackle in a match, or a last big push in extra time. Like being sure to have your voice heard early on. Or chipping in when a great idea has been brought to the table.

More structured, less fluid. They play a little more for themselves. In the hope that they’re remembered at the end of it all.

They want to be seen to make a difference at these purposefully chosen moments.

This isn’t to say they don’t. Structure provides answers. But maybe not in quite the same fluid way that creativity can.

Some of this is just human nature. Some is a little more conscious. The question is which do you want to be?

Do you want to always work to create something special? As a team or an individual? Or do you want to work to create something for yourself?

I’m not preaching. By my reckoning, there’s no right or wrong.

There have been a range of players in our game for a long time now. You just have to work out which one suits you.

If you haven’t naturally got that spark, do you want to leave a meeting remembered for being there throughout. Or remembered for your comments, even if it is mostly because of when you said them.

People have got far through all of these methods. And when it’s all over, what do people really remember?

The little moments? Or your career as a whole?

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