The Sloth, The Hippo, & The Squirrel
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
When I first left school, I completed an electrical engineering apprenticeship with Fords Motor Company at their famous Dagenham Branch/training centre (Still to this day, one of my proudest achievements). So naturally, I spent the first 14 years of my work life in the recruitment industry... (Probably one of my biggest regrets. Don't ask.) Anyway, during my time as a recruiter, I got to observe a lot of people and learn a lot about people's behaviours at work. Since becoming self employed and changing industries, I also got to observe a lot of networkers. I've come to the conclusion that there are 3 kinds of people in the world. The Sloth, The Hippo, and The Squirrel. The Sloth is someone that does the bare minimum. They'll be the ones who do enough to keep their job, they fly under the radar most of the time and only really wake up if they sense danger or they need to go for a coffee/pee break. The sloth, in my opinion, isn't a team player and after a period of time tends to be the first to go if there are cut backs and are usually resented by their fellow team. They may be the nicest person in the world, but in the work place, they just ain't pulling their weight.
The Hippo is the plodder of the group. Now, many of you will take this as a negative. Absolutely NOT! I am a hippo and i'm very proud of this. Have you ever seen a hippo plod along? Those bad boys start off on a mission and they don't let anything get in their way. They just keep charging along until they hit their goal. Then they chill out and wait for the next assignment. Hippos are the bread and butter of any work team. They get things done, they are quite social so usually bond well with others and they can pick up some serious speed when needed.
The Squirrel is the go getter of the team. They get excited by the new and shiny, they chase after their goals and flit around all over the place. They are usually seen as the most dynamic of the group, are great at socialising and networking but they tend to get distracted easily, need constant new things to chase or they get bored and lose interest in things.
If I was going to hire someone it would be a hippo. If I was building a team, I'd have a heard of hippos and a few squirrels. A group of people that will keep pushing the company forward and a few that are dynamic enough to bring in new business.
Ideally we'd all be HippoSquirrel Hybrids with a tendency to "sloth out" on our days off. I'm not sure i've quite mastered mixing all 3 together perfectly but it's a goal of mine. In the mean time, I'll just keep Hippo-ing along. I'd be interested to see what you think and even better, what you ARE!
Until Next Time,