Have you ever come across a personality profile or assessment that helps put someone you know into a cute little box? And it is in this box where you come to understand how this person ticks?

Well, I found this cute little box that describes my boss to a ‘T’. This concept is known as an ideator. It is as if this word gave me complete and utter clarity into her world.

I’m changing Sharlene’s job title to Founder & Ideator.

Sharlene Massie is an ideator, a person who fills my inbox full of ideas, concepts and visions. Her mind goes beyond entrepreneurial drive and right-brained creativity – she takes things to a whole new level.  This is probably why her business has survived a flood and countless economic downtowns.

Sharlene has a unique ability to come up with myriad ideas that range from little puzzle pieces to blue sky concepts. And just like her spin classes, her mind is in constant motion, thinking and creating. You can see the cycle begin as your inbox goes ‘ding ding ding.’

Ideators are unique thinkers and this is part of what drives their success. They have the ability to step back, problem solve from a clear lens and strategize in ways that go above and beyond. They break norms, have a creative spirit and energy and live outside-the-box 24/7.

Being an effective ideator

Sharlene has mastered the art of ideation. She knows when and where she does her best thinking. This is probably why she uses the hashtag #ThoughtsWhileExercising. She stays connected because she captures her thoughts and ideas the moment they occur. The email that comes through at 5:00 am might not make sense to you but can be explained in greater detail later. And while I make it seem like her brain is spilling over with ideas, she knows when to take an ideator hiatus to keep her mental game in check. She is a strong believer in time blocking which definitely helps my inbox.

The black cloud for ideators

A successful ideator needs a strong team of implementors; a small army of doers and executors to manifest the countless ideas that come blazing their way. Without this army, an ideator stops ‘ideating’. The brain becomes flooded and the outlet to offload becomes blocked. The ideator loses momentum, excitement and enthusiasm.

Sharlene relies on her team to take her ideas and run with them. She then puts trust in their aptitude, experience and understanding to bring them to fruition. Sometimes Sharlene’s ideas manifest as originally thought out while other times, her ideas are tweaked and adjusted by the team.

One word describes it all

It is fantastic when you can come to understand the inner workings of people, especially your superiors. The insight shines a unique light into the world they live in and helps you become a better employee. While I know where Sharlene sits on the DiSC assessment, this one word seemingly says it all.

“The best way to support an ideator is to let them ideate.” – Denise Ebata

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