Living in Colorado it is not uncommon to see rock climbers scaling the face of mountain cliffs in the Rockies. What you don’t always see is the Belayer, the person who controls the rope attached to the climber, ensuring that if they slip or fall they are protected. The Belayer and the rope provide a literal lifeline to the climber should anything go awry. It is also a great visual for the first of four CoreDrills that have talents in three of the four CoreClarity categories, also known as tri-quads.
Life Lines are individuals whose Top 5 talents align in the Connect, Reflect, and Energize quadrants with no Mobilize. The highest percentage, almost 30% of the people in the CoreClarity database are Life Lines because 28 of the 34 talents are in these quadrants and many of them show up at a greater percentage than talents in the Mobilize quadrant.
When working from their Top 5 talents Life Lines show up as the reliable support system you can count on to “getter done.” Their dominant quadrant will often dictate where they rally their focus of attention and productivity. Life Lines who are energized by Connect talents are true blue bungee cords to people, giving care to others or fixing or improving relational connections. Life Lines heavy in the Reflect quadrant may focus their support around research, problem solving, creative thinking or other intellectual processing. They will look very different from a Life Line whose talents are weighted in the Energize category as they will be all about action and outcomes, taking care to make sure activities or events are started, moving along, and eventually accomplished.
Some of the best leaders I have worked with are Life Lines, which dispels the notion that having Mobilize talents is essential to being a good leader. Life Lines are natural servant leaders who will get under the rock with those around them and model by example what they expect from others. They often say “I don’t ask my people to do anything I myself haven’t done.” When Life Lines are leaving a good wake they want to make sure others are set for success. When their head hits the pillow in the evening and they know their actions that day have helped someone else they will sleep sound with a sense of fulfillment.
People with this CoreDrill are often the life blood to a team. A manager recently told me that after going through CoreClarity he notices all of his “go to people” that he heavily counted on were Life Lines. That said, there are times when people with this CoreDrill can feel under-appreciated or dumped on as they will continually grind on doing things others avoid. Especially for those with Responsibility Standards, Relator Rules, and Achiever Expectations, this can lead to the rough wake of feeling overworked and undervalued.
A rock climber is standing or climbing on the strength, care, and sweat of the lifeline of the belayer. So it is important to give your Life Lines their own belay line of encouragement, affirmation, and support.