Dialogue Classic – Some psychologists might just have found the perfect leader profile


Rare individuals that fall on the cusp of two personality types look like the best people to lead companies through gainful change, writes Ben Walker

Nathan Ott is a big-name recruiter in London – a place where, in many sectors, there are more professional vacancies than there are suitably qualified staff to fill them. Shackled by the tight labour market, Ott’s clients wanted to know whether they had hidden gems in their organization that they were underusing – and, more’s to the point, how to identify them if they did.

Ott hired expert psychologist Dr John Mervyn- Smith (pictured) to create an index that would identify game-changers – the sort of characters who have it within them to think imaginatively about how to create the future for their organizations. These people have the passion – often to the point of obsession – to push through their changes, often in the face of institutional inertia or outright resistance.

The trouble is that many pure-play game-changers are often somewhat asocial. They have the ideas and the obsessive determination, but not the people skills to bring others with them.

But a few change-makers fall on the cusp of the game-changer character type and the playmaker character type. These people are radical and passionate – but they are also engaging and easy to work with.

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“They are quite rare,” Mervyn- Smith told Dialogue at the launch of the Game Change Index yesterday. He added that while game-changers often struggle to fit into corporate frameworks and loathe business clichés and jargon, game-changers with playmaker characteristics are more pragmatic – and are more willing to do what is necessary to push their changes through.

For more information visit www.thegcindex.com