Before beginning this survey, take a deep breath, and try to avoid any distractions. Now imagine yourself outside of your current life situation: Ignore your job, your career, your current feelings for today. Ignore your home, your family, and your friends. Just imagine that you have the opportunity to start your life, beginning today, completely fresh and new. If there were no other factors influencing you, no hindrances to your success, no worries about finances or other stresses–in other words, if money were not an issue, and you could simply do whatever you loved–what would you want to do with your life?
What do you love doing the most? What would you do if you had no bills to pay, money simply didn’t exist (therefore businesses, and finance don’t exist) and you were in perfect health? What field of study would you work in, regardless of whether you took the education to work there? Once you’ve imagined yourself in this ideal situation, keep that image in your mind while you answer the following.
Each question is on its own line. You may choose from one of four bubbles. There is no “middle” answer, as you must choose one way or another relative to the scenario you imagined above. Identify in the bubbles which side you naturally lean towards in the context of this ideal life situation. Mark only one circle in each row that most describes you when you are able to express your strengths and talents.
Don’t Forget: for every question, imagine yourself living in the ideal world you’ve envisioned.
HYour answers indicate: Hare
Motto: “Don’t bother me with the details.”
Summary: Idea Machines. Creators.
Description: The Hare generates the concepts and ideas. They like to reframe the problem and look for solutions that may be unusual, unique, and/or outside the boundaries of traditional thought. Hares are good at exploring alternatives and perceiving the “big picture”.Hares want freedom from constraint, and when a rule exists they may break it. They may act impulsively, letting their feelings guide them. They derive satisfaction from the process of creating,discussing concepts and ideas, and overcoming obstacles.
When everything is in its place, the Hare may become restless, get impatient and have a tendency to move from one subject to another.
Contribution: Fresh, original concepts that go beyond the obvious, and are not constrained by fear of failure.
Weaknesses: Because the Hare enjoys generating ideas, they may move from one idea to another without stopping to evaluate the consequences.
If left alone to refine concepts, they will solve the problem within the problem within the problem, and eventually lose sight of the objective.
Instinct: Reframing problems to achieve breakthrough solutions, moving in new directions, examining possibilities without regard to risk.
- Thinkers, with new behavior, Hares easily solve problems and come up with new ideas. They see the larger context of a situation, and the variety of options available. Some of their ideas may seem outlandish, but many are potential home runs.
- Hares break rules. Just because a procedure has been followed the same way for years does not mean a Hare will do things that way. Life is one big brainstorming session for them. They enjoy stream of consciousness conversations, often changing the subject as new thoughts occur. These people see life in terms of solutions. They love the creative process. The ideas never stop for Hares, but they can find it hard to choose one and follow it through to completion.
- Hares despise details. They can invent a revolutionary theory, but will rarely get around to balancing their checkbooks.
- Hares do not want to hear about the holes in their ideas. They get upset when traditional people point out the drawbacks to their breakthrough solutions. Often, Hares enjoy having an idea and handing it off to someone else. They like to see their brainchildren come to life as long as they do not have to deal with the details themselves.
- Hares sometimes find themselves categorized as dreamers, people who convey a sense that the sky’s the limit. Hares may also come across as pragmatic idea people who find obstacles challenging rather than defeating. Without Hares, we would still be sitting in caves somewhere, without so much as a fire or wheel to our names. As Hare Frank Zappa once said, “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Albert Einstein also lauded the importance of out-of-the-box ideas when he asserted, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
- Hares make good research and development people, inventors, consultants, litigation attorneys, and advertising writers.
OYour answers indicate: Owl
Motto: “What you need to do is…”
Summary: On their way to the future. Advancers.
Description: The Owl recognizes ideas and new directions in their early stages and develops the means to promote or advance them. When presented with an idea, they think of how to get it implemented, using insightful planning based on past experiences and successful methods. The Owl may initially respond to ideas with skepticism, but will let accepted norms and their feelings guide them.
They derive satisfaction from instilling a sense of purpose in the team, and promoting that purpose with single-mindedness and determination. Their actions are directed to achieving objectives by the most direct, efficient means, and they are not inclined to let rules and boundaries discourage them.
The Owl is able to focus on many things at once, and may move from one subject to another. They enjoy respect and influence.
Contribution: Energetically promoting team objectives. Recognizing the value of a new idea or trend, and actively carrying it forward.
Weaknesses: If left alone or working only with someone with a strong conceptual approach, the Owl may move ahead to implement concepts that aren’t completely thought through, ignoring danger signs and realistic barriers to successful implementation.
Instinct: Choosing the highest priority ideas, and moving swiftly to see them implemented.
- As people who think in practical terms and are natural doers, Owls know how to get things done. They can easily come up with ways to implement Hares’ ideas. These people naturally plan tactics, make key phone calls, or introduce the right people to each other. They have the ability to choose the best, most workable idea from many. Owls keep their team from wasting time and money on ideas that won’t work. They also help avoid the other extreme of failing in the market with a clone concept that doesn’t stand out.
- Owls enjoy selling an idea and putting it on the road to success.
- An Owl thinks a problem has been solved when a workable plan exists. They like to achieve goals by providing direct, effective solutions.
- Consummate planners, Owls are married to their “to-do” lists. When you tell them you want to do something, they will tell you the five most effective steps to take and give you a list of six people to call who can help you. They tend to be enthusiastic, persistent, and supportive. Owls are people of action.
- The instinct to plan a course of action is so innate in Owls that they sometimes have difficulty hearing an idea without constructing a regimen to make it happen. One Owl lashed out at her Hare C.E.O., who had been brainstorming in a meeting. “Will you make up your mind?” she sputtered. “What are you talking about?” he asked in surprise. “You’ve had six different ideas in the last twenty minutes and I’ve thrown away five almost complete implementation plans,” she explained in exasperation. “Every time you have a new idea, I waste tons of work.”
- Though Owls know how to get things done, they do not always think the original concept through completely. Consequently, they can miss obstacles and drawbacks, so they sometimes take elaborate steps to implement an idea that has a huge hole in it. Having a very detail-oriented support staff can help them succeed.
- Owls make good producers, agents, politicians, campaign managers, mortgage brokers, and product salespeople.
TYour answers indicate: Turtle
Motto: “It’ll never work.”
Summary: Protect by finding holes. Refiners.
Description: The Turtle challenges concepts under discussion. Believing that consequences matter, the Turtle will want to plan how new endeavors are implemented and prepare for surprises. They like to create order from chaos, by improving the process by which ideas are implemented. The Turtle may play “devil’s advocate” to test the soundness of an idea and try to improve it.
They prefer order, and are comfortable being methodical. They derive satisfaction from the mental exercise of the debate, and may lead others to examine the merits of an idea, using a systematic process in generating and exploring ideas.
Contribution: Making sure that the concept is thought through, and examining how it can be improved and implemented.
Weaknesses: If allowed to control the group or the process, the Turtle may lead the team toward choosing low-risk ideas, filtering out ideas that may have greater risks, but also bigger payoffs.
Instinct: Prediction of the problems caused by new or unique ideas; improving ideas before implementation.
- This is the person who loves to make rules, and can get efficiency put into any process. That is, as long as there’s an Owl/Turtle combination to do most of the detail work.
- As people whose thinking and doing focus on the tried and true, Turtles recognize the weaknesses in a plan and enjoy doing step-by-step work. Often seen as skeptics by others, they challenge new ideas. They also love setting up routines and procedures. Comfortable with proven, more traditional solutions to problems, these people view themselves as sensible and well-paced.
- Because Turtles instinctively want to make sure an idea is foolproof, they love to play the devil’s advocate and point out the drawbacks of anything new or non-traditional. They are the wrong people to turn to if you just want a little encouragement.
- Turtles make sure a concept gets executed properly in the production stages. Keen organizers, they easily see where current procedures are ineffective or not properly followed. As one Turtle-manager put it, “I can be gone a week, and the moment I walk in I see what’s been done wrong.” They can both strengthen new ideas and troubleshoot the current process.
- If allowed to lead, Turtles can focus so much on what is wrong that the rest of the team feels stifled and criticized, paralyzing significant breakthroughs. Hares often feel that Turtles are negative and uninspired. Turtles can find Hares lofty, impractical, and disorganized.
- Turtles sometimes benefit from learning to understand the value of other work styles. They can also start to communicate their observations in more supportive ways. For instance, instead of saying, “This will never work. It’s illegal in three states,” a Turtle can ask a Hare, “What are your ideas for overcoming the fact that it’s illegal in three states?”
- One Hare from the mid-west built his dream house, a half million-dollar project, with an Owl architect. He never showed his mother, a Turtle, the plans, giving her a tour only when the house was complete. At the end of the tour, she said, “It’s beautiful, but where’s the laundry room?” It took over $20,000 to tear out the existing plumbing, walls, and basement to build that laundry room. This Hare could have avoided all the trouble if he had just shown his Turtle mother the blueprint at the start.
- Turtles make good editors, accountants, tax and estate attorneys, financial planners, and managers of traditional processes.
SYour answers indicate: Squirrel
Motto: “Let’s get it done.”
Summary: Implement with consistency and detail. Producers.
Description: The Squirrel, more interested in protecting the system than being in the meeting, follows-up on team objectives, and implements ideas and solutions. They focus on ensuring the implementation process runs in an orderly manner, and achieving high quality outcomes.
Squirrels prefer proven, familiar ideas over the novel and untried. They pay attention to details, and see that plans follow an orderly process.
The Squirrel is comfortable being methodical. They tend to be cautious in trying out a new approach, and prefer to think things over carefully before acting.
Contribution: The details. Spotting easily overlooked problems before they occur, and minimizing inefficiencies and errors during implementation.
Weaknesses: If working without clear and focused objectives or guidelines, the Squirrel may lose sight of the goal and pursue irrelevant strategies.
Instinct: To finish what they start, and do things right.
- Squirrels are highly detail oriented. When a system is in place permitting a Squirrel to produce, they will implement anything and everything at their disposal to get things done.
- Squirrels love the thrill of accomplishment and results. Give them the right tools and the right environment, and a Squirrel can adapt quickly and efficiently, including pointing out inefficiencies.
- In the wrong environment, however, a Squirrel can be erratic, chaotic, disorganized and confused. They are very uncomfortable in brainstorming sessions because of this. They often cannot contribute ideas that have no purpose or focus, and will often have objections during brainstorming.
- Since they tend to approach everything quickly and with a goal in mind, they often miss key things on either side of them, and run headfirst into danger.
- Squirrels are professionally high-energy. Their character may not be energetic, but their production level is. In exchange, Squirrels need regular sustenance and support. Affirmation, benefits, rewards, and professional food to sustain their work.
- Without proper management and maintenance, Squirrels can lose focus and head in wrong directions.
- Squirrels easily pursue paths to the future, but if left alone often fail to recognize that a future even exists. They operate primarily on spontaneous instinct and quick reactions, rather than careful planning and consideration.
HOYour answers indicate: Hare/Owl
Motto: “Details will take care of themselves, let’s just get results.”
Summary: The dynamic type. Creator advancers.
Description: The Hare/Owl is an idea generator who is also a true entrepreneur. They are good at exploring alternatives and concepts, and they are also more comfortable with an insightful plan. The Hare/Owl is able to generate ideas and develop a plan, based on past experience, to promote those ideas successfully.
The Hare/Owl derives satisfaction from identifying good ideas and developing solutions and strategies to overcome obstacles to implementation. They enjoy working on multiple tasks and like to be involved with the creation and advancement of ideas.
When everything is in its place, the Hare/Owl may get impatient, ready for the next challenge.
Contribution: Development of new concepts and ideas that can be advanced within a known process or structure.
Weaknesses: The Hare/Owl may become frustrated with the details of an orderly implementation plan, and may pay little attention to the danger signs and barriers associated with implementation.
Instinct: Creating new ideas and advancing them in pursuit of team objectives.
- This very dynamic type has big ideas and enthusiastically pursues them. They network very well, have a great drive, and love to be in action. They ambitiously follow their dreams.
- Hare/Owls make very successful salespeople and entrepreneurs.
- Hare/Owls are the classic entrepreneurial type. They can both come up with ideas, promote them, and plan strategy. These people get action and innovation moving, making things happen.
- Hare/Owls can get bored or impatient after strategy is implemented. They don’t like running an organization once it’s gotten off the ground.
- Hare/Owls work well with pure Hares and pure Owls. They also achieve more if they have an Owl/Turtle to handle their detail work. Turtles can help Hare/Owls see any danger that lies ahead. Unfortunately, they inherently clash with cautious Turtles because Hare/Owls want to charge forward, not put on the brakes.
HTYour answers indicate: Hare/Turtle
Motto: “Great idea. No, wait…”
Summary: Conceptual thinkers. Creator refiners.
Description: The Hare/Turtle develops concepts and ideas to promote team goals. With the Hare’s ability to be creative and a Turtle’s caution and skill at sensing weakness Hare/Turtles can have innovative ideas, and can see what will go wrong with them. Hares and Turtles are both conceptual thinkers, so Hare/Turtles are more thinkers than doers.
Contribution: Thinking of new ways to improve upon current thinking. Hare/Turtles can make excellent inventors because they combine inspiration and perfectionism.
Weaknesses: A Hare/Turtle will often wage their own internal battle, with the unlucky soul’s inner Hare generating ideas and his or her inner Turtle killing them just as fast as they come. Hare/Turtles have their main conflicts with pure Hares, who move too fast for them. Hare/Turtles should hand-off picking ideas and strategy planning to Owls. Doing methodical work should go to Owl/Turtles.
Instinct: Developing new directions and preparing well-thought out ideas.
- Hares and Turtles are both conceptual thinkers, so Hare/Turtles are more thinkers than doers. They have a Hare’s ability to be creative and a Turtle’s caution and skill at sensing weakness. So Hare/Turtles can have innovative ideas, and can see what will go wrong with them.
- Hare/Turtles can also think of ways to improve upon current thinking. If they don’t veto their own inspirations, they can use these skills to have well-thought out ideas.
- Hare/Turtles can make excellent inventors because they combine inspiration and perfectionism. They enjoy tinkering with something until it works.
- They can make great comedians because they creatively point out problems or inconsistencies.
- A Hare/Turtle will often wage their own internal battle, with the unlucky soul’s inner Hare generating ideas and his or her inner Turtle killing them just as fast as they come.
- Hare/Turtles do well with an Owl to move them ahead and an Owl/Turtle to carry out the detail work.
- Hare/Turtles have their main conflicts with pure Hares, who move too fast for them. This combination style is used to having one foot on the brake. Hare/Turtles should hand-off picking ideas and strategy planning to Owls. Doing methodical work should go to Owl/Turtles.
HSYour answers indicate: Hare/Squirrel
Motto: “We don’t need to plan everything.”
Summary: The aggressive implementers. Creator producer.
Description: The Hare/Squirrel loves to dream up new ideas and put them into practice. Hare/Squirrels are highly motivated to develop new concepts and work efficiently to accomplish the goals.
Contribution: Hare/Squirrels have deeply passionate motives to accomplish great dreams. The Hare develops new concepts and ideas, and the Squirrel side has the strength and motivation to carry them out. Hare/Squirrels do not work well in structured environments, but prefer a setting where creativity can be explored and used in unique and inventive ways.
Weaknesses: Hare/Squirrels are idea generators with excellent follow-through, but are so resistant to structured planning approaches, that they tend to jump into action on ideas that lack sufficient planning or effective risk analysis. Hare/Squirrels tend to take action without thinking through the consequences of their actions.
Instinct: Develop a new idea or approach and take action as quickly as possible.
- Hare/Squirrels tend to shy away from planning, thinking that detailed plans will either stifle their creativity, or will be an obstacle to accomplishing their dreams.
- Hare/Squirrels will often have conflicts with Owls or Turtles, whose tendencies to plan and assess risk are often viewed as negative attitudes towards Hare/Squirrel dreams.
- They tend to be highly creative, but often in a limited capacity, such as creative only in a specific field of study. Their creativity often relies heavily on the area they are best at producing, coming up with great ideas that are very focused in a single area. They also experience tendencies towards intelligent naivety—the ability to understand and grasp many concepts, but with a fundamental flaw, in that they miss key details that are critical to understanding the concept. The result is that they often implement ideas extremely well until something blocks progress, at which point they become frustrated and confused, failing to recognize what factors actually prevented success.
- They are often offended by people with strong planning skills, especially those that make a career out of professional planning, such as Owls. The Hare/Squirrel considers planning to be “someone else’s job” and when plans interfere with their creative outlet, they often feel and act out with resentment to those involved.
- Hare/Squirrels can often be very aggressive in getting things done, which can be extremely effective in sales, particularly in a retail setting, or in creative labour intensive projects that are short-term and require minimal planning, such as gardening, landscaping, or general construction work (but not as a supervisor).
OTYour answers indicate: Owl/Turtle
Motto: “That’s policy.”
Summary: The faction taking action. Executors. Advancer refiners.
Description: The Owl/Turtle works in a traditional and liberal methodology, and carry out processes efficiently combining both the new and the old methodologies.
Contribution: They put the will of their organizations into action, wanting to do what they see as “real” work. They prefer hands-on production to sitting in meetings. Owl/Turtles do not want to innovate or lead, comfortable, instead, with clear guidelines about what to do. Production and service in companies require Owl/Turtles.
Weaknesses: They tend to resist change, but once change occurs, they institutionalize it.
Instinct: Follow the rules to the letter, deriving satisfaction from efficiently following a plan.
- Doers of both the new and the old, Owl/Turtles carry out processes. They put the will of their organizations into action, wanting to do what they see as “real” work. They prefer hands-on production to sitting in meetings.
- Owl/Turtles do not want to innovate or lead, comfortable, instead, with clear guidelines about what to do. They tend to resist change, but once change occurs, they institutionalize it.
- Owl/Turtles work best with clear, step-by-step procedures. Sometimes called bureaucrats, they are the ones in government agencies who follow the rules to the letter, deriving satisfaction from efficiently following a plan.
- Production and service in companies require Owl/Turtles.
- A West Coast telephone company going through reengineering decided to lay-off all workers who seemed resistant to change. Service response time immediately went from 24 hours to nearly 30 days. The company had gotten rid of its Owl/Turtles, the people that made service efficient. Vital to an organization, Owl/Turtles are willing and thorough. They detect flaws in new processes early. Owl/Turtles need frequent direction because they can become so dedicated to the efficiency of the process that they forget to make sure the greater goal is reached effectively. For example, in a competitive service industry success requires customer satisfaction. If the company values service over flawless procedure, it needs to provide official ways for its service Owl/Turtles to make exceptions to the rules. For Owl/Turtles, if there is not a rule allowing exceptions, then exceptions cannot be made. Giving Owl/Turtles instructions requires detailed explanations and patience, making Hares a poor choice for the job. Turtles or Owls are better suited to working directly with an Owl/Turtle combination type. Owl/Turtles make good customer service representatives, repair technicians, pilots, ambassadors, administrative assistants, data entry workers, soldiers, and comptrollers.
OSYour answers indicate: Owl/Squirrel
Motto: “The plan is good enough, let’s just do it.”
Summary: Advancer producers.
Description: The Owl/Squirrel develops methods and approaches to promote and implement new ideas. Armed with the skills to develop a plan to successfully implement a solution, and the desire to think things through and work out problems before implementation, they will work quickly to achieve the team’s objectives.
Looking for early trends and familiar ideas, the Owl/Squirrel streamlines the process to accomplish their objectives. The Owl/Squirrel prefers familiar, proven ideas, and demands a rational and orderly implementation plan.
Contribution: Promoting team objectives by setting priorities, advancing the concept and finishing the job.
Weaknesses: The Owl/Squirrel may not allow others on the team to continue to create ideas and solutions before selecting solutions and moving forward with an implementation plan and process.
Instinct: Advancing new directions and developing detailed implementation plans.
- Owl/Squirrels’ greatest strength is also their greatest weakness: they are great at planning an idea and putting the time and energy into the idea to get it done. This allows Owl/Squirrels to think logically and rationally about a project before beginning it, planning out all of the options, and then seeing them through to completion. However, this also results in very premature development, often because of incorrect assumptions or missed details.
- While Squirrels and Owls independently are very focused on details, the combination of both roles creates a natural conflict in the planning phase. Often, the Owl/Squirrel will plan until they believe the plan to be complete, then immediately put it into action. The Squirrel drive to start a project tends to conflict with the Owl’s inherent nature to plan it fully, and thus the Owl/Squirrel proceeds with the action before the plan is complete.
- The ability to both plan and implement is effective in many management positions, as it carries with it an inherent ability to lead and direct people while also having the strength to acknowledge skills and abilities for what they are. Owl/Squirrel managers can truly understand the nature of the work they are managing, and are well respected by those they manage.
- Owl/Squirrels will often experience restlessness, anxiety and hyperactivity, especially in professional environments. They tend to experience extreme emotional behaviors, often moving from periods of extreme happiness to extreme sadness in a short time frame, although their hyperactivity often results in a consistent expression of their emotion regardless of how they are feeling. This is usually either consistent happiness and energy, or consistent depression and moodiness.
- Owl/Squirrels tend to be highly sensitive to the moods of others around them, and can be easily encouraged, or easily discouraged by others, although they will also spring back quickly to whatever emotional expression is most natural to them.
- If left to themselves, Owl/Squirrels will often plan and implement ideas without getting enough feedback or information to formulate a fool-proof plan, and will tend to implement plans that have several or serious design flaws. Owl/Squirrels require a Turtle or a pure Owl to work with them during planning phases to ensure they haven’t missed anything before moving ahead.
TSYour answers indicate: Turtle/Squirrel
Motto: “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
Summary: Progressive and conservative. Refiner producer.
Description: The Turtle/Squirrel works in a traditional and often very conservative environment, able to generate ideas but only within the constraints of frameworks and structures.
Contribution: They work well at taking instructions and implementing in the most efficient possible manner. They do not enjoy long discussion about future planning, concepts or dreams, but love discussion organized, practical implementation of projects and ideas. They are highly motivated to focus on an activity that has a clear purpose and direction, regardless of how much work may be involved to carry out that activity. They tend to shy away from activities that have many barriers to success as they consider these to be high risk. Turtle/Squirrels are not risk takers, but they will invest time and energy into activities that have high potential for success, and will risk greatly within that constraint.
Weaknesses: They are hesitant to change, and avoid pointless discussions. They often experience anxiety in administrative and bureaucratic matters. They often fail to recognize big-picture, long-term, or distant-future rewards.
Instinct: Once a plan seems to be in place, and obvious risks are accounted for, they will focus and dedicate themselves until the task is complete.
- Turtle/Squirrels are conservatively progressive. Always looking ahead to the next step, and preparing for each phase of a project, they move forward with a cautious optimism. They are not afraid of change, if risks are addressed, but will shy away from changes that do not suggest a fast-turnaround on results.
- Turtle/Squirrels believe that there should be relatively immediate results in projects, and are often dissatisfied with long term projects unless they are given a systematic list of milestones that they can work towards.
- They are highly focused on details, and rely on structure and organization, since a well organized plan can provide measurable, discernible results at regular intervals.
- They can spot obstacles and potential problems very quickly, and adapt well to changes in plans that will address those obstacles. As long as they are following a good plan, they are content to continue moving forward indefinitely.
- Their greatest weakness is their inability to plan optimistically, relying on well-established plans as their guide, rather than reinventing a plan to accomplish new goals. They will always lean towards low-risk ventures, regardless of potential rewards.
- When working in a team setting, Turtle/Squirrels derive their greatest satisfaction from working with an Owl whose sole job is to address the practical and pragmatic aspects of the ideas generated from a Hare leader. Owls will natural plan for realistic risk scenarios, and will weigh all costs and benefits, producing plans that the Turtle/Squirrel can easily adopt and implement.