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Organisational Development in the Leader’s Shadow (Part 4): Everything would be fine like it was

If we need a motto for Supporter decision-makers, the most appropriate versions all cluster around immutability. After all, this type can put a lot of energy into the business, they do the most work, and all their success is down to hard work, constantly learning processes so that they can then routinely bring them in over time. Not surprisingly, then, if we want to identify the personality type for whom a major crisis is a minor horror, we have to go with the Supporter. Many people are also concerned about what the managers of businesses that have emerged from the pandemic will do now that they have a generally stable and large workforce.

General Supporter Development Principles

For the Supporter type, the development is clearly growth in scale. Because they are fundamentally people-oriented, building their success with people, size is in most cases about headcount. They are the ones who over-provision in all cases, and it is not uncommon to employ up to 125-130% of the required workforce. It is very important to them that their employees feel good, and they tend to identify this good feeling with variability and predictability, which is true for most of the staff they receive. Another important aspect for them is the definition of progress. Supporters are basically not seen as really “cool” characters in childhood. They tend to be quieter than their peers, so louder, more assertive ones will drown them out. They are not particularly successful characters at school, being recognised more for their reliable work and good behaviour. They do not get much recognition, because even if their results are better, their ‘self-marketing’ is very poor, so they tend to be praised by others. Why is this important for their development as adults? It is because they also want to exploit a sense of childhood inadequacy by portraying their company’s development as a corresponding success. In a supporter’s company, the phrase “five years ago we were this many…, now we are this many…” is bound to be heard, which shows that success is measured in numbers, even if it sometimes goes completely against the profit side. No wonder, then, that companies run by top managers with a Supporter persona tend to look much better from the outside than this paper shows. This dichotomy, the “scale focus” and the associated success complex, very clearly defines the future of Supporter decision makers.

2022-2028 – The evolution of Supporter

They have certainly had to abandon their traditional principles, as the pandemic has created processes that were completely unknown even to professionals. The Supporters have lost ground, and the sooner they find it, the more effectively we can work with them. The cornerstone of progress will be for them to dare to make decisions, to dare to move forward, because if they don’t, they will be quickly lost. They are not very strong strategically either, so they definitely need external support, and you cannot make it an ego issue, because then it is already wrong. However, let’s not forget that we are talking about the most persistent character, and they are not afraid to go in a new direction if there is one they will accept. Fear is inherent in their character, and in peacetime, such a company over-insures itself, but there is no possibility of that now. You have to go forward, you have to take risks, but that’s okay. Whether he can then work through his fears and come up with a love of family worth working for, and even outside help, remains to be seen.