With Zombie Awareness month just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your strategy for the zombie apocalypse. If you’re anything like me, you’ve taken the CDC’s advice and are ready with a survival pack and family emergency plan.
But what happens if the apocalypse happens while you’re at work? Will your employees quickly devolve into an every-man-for-himself environment, or will you have a strong team that can work together to survive and see that each team member is safe?
Here are six types of people you’ll want on your team when preparing for the eventual zombie apocalypse (and, of course, who will also ensure your company has long-term success in much more than just survival):
1. The Manager. Every team needs someone who can organize, manage and rally the troops. Someone to hold the team together from project to project or as things get particularly heated when you are on the streets in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. Notice I didn’t call this person a leader (more on that a bit later), and I don’t mean manager in the way of organizational hierarchy. This could be the logistics manager or administrative assistant. You need someone who pulls all the pieces together and helps the team run like a well-oiled machine.
2. The Expert. No one knows the tools of your trade better than this person. This is your programmer, coder, scientist, technician, producer or even your founder. This team member has industry knowledge, product knowledge, special certifications and degrees, and a proven history that says she knows your product. When you step from your office into the real world (performance-wise or apocalypse-wise), this person knows which tools will ensure the greatest return and can concisely communicate why and how. That way, you and the other members of the team can use the weapons (I mean tools!) for maximum impact.
3. The Thinker. This is your analyst, your strategist or your operations manager. He knows how to navigate because he has a clear vision of the end goal and a complete understanding of past performance. This person understands that code needs to be implemented to be usable, research and products need to be marketed to be effective, and shoppers need to be engaged to become customers. Most importantly, this person knows how to get the team from the early stages to the finish line. Often, this person is the voice of reason, while at other times, the devil’s advocate. But he most certainly knows what streets and alleys to take so you get through a zombie infested city, and he can adjust the plan when you encounter a “viral” instead of a “walker.” And that knowledge means survival.
4. The Fighter. This is the person who knows how to protect the team and takes pride and pleasure in doing so. This team member has focus and courage, as well as truck loads of trust in her team members’ proficiencies. Your fighter may be a skilled communicator who knows how to cut through bureaucracy with charisma and eloquence to clearly outline your strategy to management; this may be the visual designer or writer who prepares effective deliverables; it may be the salesperson who closes the deal. This may not be the toughest member of the team, but it is the person with a certain set of skills who is going to cut through rotted flesh to make sure you get to safety.
5. The Worker. In the zombie apocalypse, this person is your brute. He may not have the skills of the Fighter, the vision of the Thinker or the knowledge of the Expert, but he gets the job done by sheer force, strength, determination and momentum! Organizationally, this is your tireless worker, your resilient spirit who can periodically remind the team what they’re working toward and why they took it on. Don’t mistake this person for the big lug. He buys into the vision, quickly understands what needs to be done, and follows the plan precisely and passionately. Nothing slows him down in reaching the team’s destination.
6. The Leader. You may or may not already have this person on your team after recruiting the types listed above. The truth is that every type has leadership characteristics. I believe leaders surface depending on the circumstance and can come from anywhere in the group (that’s why we champion the value “Lead from where you stand” at BambooHR). Whoever emerges, he needs to be someone who can earn the respect of the team and rally them into a cohesive group. When the time comes, this person needs to jump in, roll up sleeves, and get blood on her (or his) hands, as well as be someone who will protect (or champion) any member of the group at any cost.
British Field Marshal, Bernard Montgomery said, “Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” If that purpose is surviving a zombie apocalypse (or exceeding goals and achieving success), you’ll want to make sure you have a leader on your team, whether they are assigned or rise organically.
Of course, these aren’t the only types of people you want on your team. You need a number of other characteristics you should seek out in recruiting people to round out your team. But when I’m recruiting in a world where a zombie apocalypse is looming (or anytime I want an innovative, successful team that exceeds goals and redefines success), these are going to be the first people I bring on board.
And if the zombie apocalypse never comes, I can be reassured that I am part of a dynamic team of employees who will stop at nothing to achieve success.