5 Tips for Managing Thinkers, Doers, & Be-ers


Today’s organizations are full of thinkers, doers, and be-ers (I’m choosing to hyphenate “be-ers” so that it doesn’t get confused with beers). Leveraging these talents on teams can be a challenge, and frankly many leaders don’t do a good job of balancing the gifts that each brings to the team.

First a few definitions:

Thinkers. These are your strategists, big-picture folks, and employees that pose great questions. Their input is valuable, however, it doesn’t necessarily translate into action or any tangible change/value-add.

Doers. These are your implementers. They have a preference for action, details, making things happen, and change. Doers complement the thinkers in that they can translate ideas into real positive change.

Be-ers. The be-ers are the calm during the storm. They are the group harmonizers and can keep a team grounded during times of change.

Tips for Managing Thinkers, Doers, & Be-ers

1. Keep the brightest of the thinkers around, and trade the dull thinkers in for more doers and be-ers.

2. Keep the doers engaged. Give them concrete deadlines and clear first steps. Team them up with a thinker and a be-er.

3. Pair Be-ers with doers. Be-ers can help slow the doers down so that they are more reflective in the actions that they take, and so that they understand the impact of their actions on people.

4. Recognize the be-ers for the value that they bring to the team. Be-ers often don’t get a lot of recognition because they didn’t lead the development of strategy and they didn’t drive the team to the finish line. However, the be-ers enable effective and sustainable change.

5. Talk with your thinkers, doers, and be-ers to determine what they think their greatest strengths are. Align their projects with their talents, and help them grow their strengths through training, coaching, and/or stretch assignments.

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