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Business Chemistry

Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships

By Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg
15-minute read
Audio available
Business Chemistry by Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg

Business Chemistry (2018) examines the tensions and pitfalls involved in our working relationships. Packed with tips and tricks for clicking with even the most challenging coworkers, these blinks are your essential guide to making meaningful workplace connections. 

  • Stressed-out workers struggling with their boss
  • Team leaders seeking fresh insights
  • Psychology buffs looking for a new perspective

Kim Christfort holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has over eighteen years of management consulting experience. She currently leads the Deloitte Greenhouse team, a group that specializes in enhancing teams and accelerating progress. 

Suzanne Vickberg is a psychologist and researcher who holds both a PhD in social-personality psychology and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU.

 

© Kim Christfort & Suzanne Vickberg: Business Chemistry copyright 2018, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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Business Chemistry

Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships

By Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Business Chemistry by Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg
Synopsis

Business Chemistry (2018) examines the tensions and pitfalls involved in our working relationships. Packed with tips and tricks for clicking with even the most challenging coworkers, these blinks are your essential guide to making meaningful workplace connections. 

Key idea 1 of 9

The Pioneer is an energetic freethinker who trips up on details. 

Do you work with someone who’s full of big ideas but fuzzy on the details? Perhaps your boss is always talking about her vision for the company’s future but pays far less attention to making her vision a reality. If this sounds familiar, then you have the pleasure – and the pain – of working with a Pioneer.  

It’s easy to spot a Pioneer working style. The Pioneer is the most energetic person in any room, and never afraid to jump in with a suggestion or five about which direction the team should take. The Pioneer is bursting with creativity and original ideas, but don’t expect her to read the meeting agenda that you carefully crafted. Why? Because Pioneers finds structure extremely boring. 

Often exhausting their listeners, people with this working style jump from one idea to the next, making spontaneous decisions and rarely stopping to consider whether their brainstorms will actually work. Furthermore, Pioneers’ disinterest in detail means that those around them are forced to pick up the slack. They might have the vision, but they’ll leave it to you to turn it into a reality. 

Nonetheless, Pioneers tend to be highly successful. In fact, evidence suggests that this is the most prevalent personality type among CEOs. A classic example of a Pioneer is British explorer Ernest Shackleton, a legendary leader who pursued his outsized dreams with boundless amounts of energy. 

In 1914, for example, Shackleton put together an expedition that would sail through a thousand miles of the uncharted Antarctic. Although you might think he’d be short of volunteers for this risky mission, Shackleton’s reputation as a fearless leader and his infectious thirst for adventure ensured that thousands of people applied to join his expedition. 

Perhaps predictably, Shackleton’s grand vision didn’t quite come to fruition. It wasn’t long before his ship, The Endurance, became trapped in the ice, leaving the crew stranded. Undeterred, Shackleton came up with creative ideas for keeping up morale, including talent contests and evening sing-alongs. 

When it became clear that the expedition needed rescue, Shackleton brainstormed new ideas, eventually using his indefatigable energy to row eight hundred miles solo across the ocean in a dinghy to find help. That’s the thing about Pioneers – their ideas may not always work, but they’ll always sail from one adventure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm. 

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