The five jerks you meet at work.


Getting things done in a work environment can be difficult. We run into all sorts of roadblocks (process, hardware, legacy, scope, costs) even before we think about the most unpredictable of elements, people. Interestingly, people can be facilitators of getting things done and hindrances all in one day. They can shift within one conversation from helping to hurting. I’ve boiled down the five types of hindrances that we see at work. I’m confident in these archetypes because, at some point or another I’ve been all of them:

The “no” guy:
Everything with them starts with no and usually ends with no. Nothing will stop the no. He will pound you with no until you can’t take no ‘Mo!

The “metrics/stats” guy:
New on the scene, the metrics man avoids making decisions or taking actions because there are no stats or metrics behind an idea. Here is the thing with metrics man… innovation or change has no metrics because you didn’t do anything yet. Metrics guy is the ultimate cover your ass man.

The “we need X” guy:
With “we need” there is always a resource that is missing that prevents us from completing our task. We need another developer, chair, projector, hardware, coffee or sandwich. “We need” needs to accept that the need isn’t coming and start finding answers to the need.

The “what about X or did you think about Y” guy:
The questioners and tackers on try to filibuster progress with increasing scope and finding issues before we even start handling the problem we’re started with. Overthinkers are needed but not at the hindrance of shipping.

The “we thought of this already” guy: (This is my deadliest sin)
Saying out loud you thought of something already when you have no visible product shipped of that idea means nothing. All it does is slow down conversations and serves the blurters ego. The “already” guy wants everyone to know that they know things.


Have you meet a jerk or committed one of the five jerks moves?

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