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Which Type Of Worker Are You? Settler Or Pioneer?

Which Type Of Worker Are You? Settler Or Pioneer?
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In order to make the best of your natural strengths in the workplace and also to understand other people when you are in a recruitment position, it is important to acknowledge that people vary in terms of the way in which they approach their work.

In this article, we will take a look at two types of workers: Pioneers and Settlers. Once you have a grasp on what motivates each type and how they can play a role in a company, you will be well-placed to not only understand yourself but also to put together a well-rounded team if and when you are called to take on a leadership role.

Pioneers: The Innovative Risk Takers

Pioneers are often company CEOs, founders and team leaders. They are driven by the prospect of making a difference to the world around them and like to play a part in designing new products and services. They enjoy the prospect of building up a company from scratch or making their own unique vision a reality. They like to take risks and reason that even if their initial idea does not work out they have plenty more opportunities to succeed.

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In general, they prefer to work quickly, welcoming challenges and living up to the high expectations placed upon them by other people. These people may often be highly-strung and occasionally volatile.

Pioneers are a vital ingredient for any new start-up or product line. They love the experience of discovering how a company’s range can best suit the needs of its customers, and they are willing to take risks and break new ground. Overall, they are a valuable source of energy and are invaluable in launching new ventures. A typical pioneer places value on creativity and may well come from a liberal arts background.

Settlers: The Strength Behind the Success

Settlers are useful once a company has been established, a few prototypes or products have been developed, and the next objective is to scale the business. Rather than being driven by innovation and new ideas, settlers tend to naturally focus on increasing product reach, boosting sales and developing the image of the company as a whole.

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They take a longer-term view compared with pioneers who can be guilty of pursuing short-term excitement without considering how to measure a company’s success. On the other hand, they can lack imagination and be slow to suggest paths to meaningful change.

Settlers usually feel more comfortable with data and enjoy the application of numbers to predict growth. They may take great pride in interpreting customer feedback and using it to make suggestions regarding new products or services. These employees often come from analytic backgrounds. For instance, they may have studied math, engineering or finance at college.

Who is Better?

As you can see the characteristics and strengths of Pioneers and Settlers are very different. It makes no sense to speculate which is “best” as they each bring their own talents to the workplace.

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Hiring a team made up solely of Pioneers is likely to result in a set of grand visions without the necessary momentum and planning to sustain an organisation. On the other hand, hiring too many Settlers may mean that you sacrifice innovation even if you can rely on them to keep a project or company “ticking over.”

It is also important to realize that many successful people are highly adaptable and are willing and able to develop their skills in a range of domains. This means that a person who otherwise fits the description of a “Settler” may well be able to succeed as a CEO for instance.

Conclusion

Whether you are a Pioneer or a Settler, take pride in your unique abilities. Whilst the ideas generated by the Pioneers may make them appear especially creative or innovative these ideas are of no use without Settlers to help a company reach an increasing audience and spur on profit!

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Equally, whilst Settlers should feel proud of their ability to forecast growth and maintain a company’s success, they may do well to take a lesson from the Pioneers and take a few more risks from time to time. Broadening your skills base and remaining flexible in your behaviour is a great way to gain more interest and enjoyment from your role.

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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