I love quad charts: Employees Edition

I know people who have a lot of energy, are generally positive and gregarious. It’s nice to be around those people. But sometimes when I work with an analyst like that, their work is sub-par. I appreciate their energy, but you’ve got to be on point here. Our clients are investing a lot of money and we can’t just try again if something gets screwed up. 

Similarly (and I would put myself in this category), there are people who are great at what they do, but not that proactive. They do the work they’re given — usually well. But they won’t be the ones to drum up new work or readily volunteer their services.

So, we have “willingness to try” and “quality of work”… and here’s what I think happens when you intersect these two characteristics:


People in the top left should prefer a “numbers game” environment. They might have a low success rate, but know that a bigger N means more business. In the lower right you’d expect people who are averse to failure. They’re craftsmen who spend a lot of time of a few things because they don’t do a lot, but want to make sure they do it well.

This seems to make sense in my head. Salespeople should occupy the top left quad (willing to try, but low quality of work) because it leverages their willingness to meet people and make promises, but deemphasizes the fact that they might not actually be able to do the thing they’re selling.

For me, I life in the lower right can be pretty sweet. Call me when you have a project. (Or just email me.) I have a ton of pride in the work that I do and I’m pretty good at it. But I have a tougher time finding people who are willing to pay me for what I do.

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