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The Trail Blazer CoreDrill: Forging new Paths

Jeannie was a new intern and the youngest member of the operations team. So everyone assumed she was shy or a bit timid to speak out until she had learned the ropes of her new job. When I looked at her talents I encouraged her team leader to intentionally ask Jeannie for her thoughts or perspectives during their staff meetings. Every time he did this she would pause briefly and then respond with some excellent insights or clarifying questions that greatly contributed to the team’s project. “She brings more to the table than what we expected from an intern. How did you know she wanted to be asked questions?” 

I didn’t know Jeannie, but I knew that she was a Trail Blazer and just because they aren’t talking doesn’t mean they aren’t processing the discussion at a deep level. Asking her to contribute was a great way to onramp her internal talents. Sometimes they may have to be invited into the discussion if it’s something they don’t feel strongly about. But they will usually have something good if not profound to say.

When your CoreDrill shows all your talents in the Reflect and Energize quadrants you are in the elite 7% of the population known as Trail Blazers. Whether you are energizing a new frontier of endeavors like Lewis and Clark or reflecting on new intellectual explorations and discoveries like the Starship Enterprise you bring a unique internal function to the party. 

The lack of external talents can have the same Clueless Blueless wake that we see in Forces of Nature and mobilizing others can be time consuming and draining. Once a Trail Blazer has figured something out, they want to put it into action and may not take the time to rally buy-in from others. Patience is not a natural virtue with most Trail Blazers. That is why they are best in roles as individual contributors or point persons that research, innovate, or plan ahead for the rest of the team, family, or business. 

With 5 talents distributed between 2 CoreClarity quadrants, we can gain some extra insight to the Trail Blazer performance and brilliance. If they are weighted in the green with 3 or 4 Reflect talents they are likely to take more time to process and think before they speak or act to ensure better quality results. If they have 3 or 4 talents on the Energize side they may put thoughts into actions sooner and can sometimes propel plans or ideas into motion like a volcano spewing lava. In either case it is important that Trail Blazers be intentional to get help from others to Connect and Mobilize so they are not under-communicating with some or overwhelming others.

When you are working with a Trail Blazer and you want them to be at their best remember these three tips:

  1. Don’t interpret silence as disengagement or disagreement. Ask for their thoughts.
  2. Be sure to set the direction but don’t micro-manage the course. They work best with open-handed leadership.
  3. When they are blazing new trails, let them know when they are getting too far ahead of the pack. They need to be intentional to Connect and Mobilize.

With that knowledge, and a Trail Blazer on your team, you can boldly blaze where no one has gone before!

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