Yo—you need a problem solver? The Systematic Thinker has you on lock. These people excel at making the plan AND making sure the plan makes the best sense for everyone on the team. They are the people with the answers, they know the ins and outs of the company—their name ends up all over the place because they make it their personal goal to make the company’s goals achievable.
Every company needs these people like Batman needs Alfred. They’re going to make sure your machines work, you have a good way to assure quality, and they’ll be able to tell you, with examples, all the times your ideas weren’t fully formed before you pushed them to market. If you don’t have a systems person (or you’re not utilizing them for their incredible attention to detail) get one. They’re masters at efficient growth processes and they will find mistakes that are costing you money—INVALUABLE.
The Systematic Thinker in Management
While they can do well in managerial roles, that needs to be their primary focus because Systematic Thinkers are DETAILED.
Their teams tend to run like factories, everyone and everything has a place, procedure is the top priority and everything is in its place—quality assurance is guaranteed. They place such a high value on systematic work that their teams are best suited to be non-creative/operations based.
What they Love and Don’t Love
Typically, these Thinkers are at their best when they have the ability to focus—give them data, spreadsheets, processes, quality assessments and let them roll with it. They love to see the finished product and make sure that it’s running smoothly.
They don’t do especially well in innovative or creative roles because they will fall back on “this is what we’ve always done and it works” thinking. They also can have a tendency to BE a workhorse when they have too many responsibilities because they’re so detail oriented.
When their work isn’t going well they probably won’t say anything so look for indicators like super long hours and general “no” attitude. Because they’re detail oriented and they thrive on perfection, a Systematic Thinker that isn’t in their element will be working on overdrive.
A tell tale sign that burnout is on the way is that you notice they’re stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed with the little things. They’re often one of the first team members to experience burnout because they’re not a natural workhorse but their obsession with details can cause them to work like one.
Empower the Systematic Thinker
Give them tasks that are suited to their propensity towards detailed work—quality assurance, editing, and optimization should fall to this group of people.
Make sure they’re part of growth meetings and decisions—change is hard so they’ll appreciate it and so will your team. They’re very realistic about what is possible so put them in a checks and balances role with the innovator’s ideas BEFORE the plan goes team-wide.
Pay close attention to the feedback they give you—they may not be the best at communicating, but they probably have data/examples to explain what they mean. Give them direct, actionable feedback—and unless it’s a real problem, leave their personal appearance, team participation, and attitude out of the conversation.
Other Types of Workers and the Systematic Thinker
The Workhorse and the Systematic Thinker work really well together because they both tend to put their heads down and get their groove. They can get a lot done together and the Systematic Thinker will always find a way to help the Workhorse get more out of their work process. Watch out for resistance, if they create a united front it’s probably for a good reason.
The Innovator and the Systematic Thinker are going to be the pair that give each other shit, but love each other. They’re both diametrically opposed but brilliantly suited for checks and balances—and they know it. They can get under each other’s skin (the Innovator thinks the Thinker is stuffy, and the Thinker thinks the Innovator is messy) but they’re a great team for driving sustainable growth in a company when they’re both thriving—and they can help each other learn a lot.
The Leader is the Systematic Thinker’s favorite person on the team. They know how to approach them, and what to say to pull them out of their own head. They don’t work very often together but they always include each other in problem solving conversations because they know that each has a unique perspective. Because the Leader knows how to talk to the Systematic Thinker, they will often bridge the gap between the Systematic Thinker and upper management, bringing issues to their attention that the Systematic Thinker wouldn’t want to bother them with.