The Warrior Wizard Approach

Imagine that you want to do superb work. How can you identify where this may be possible? One approach is to focus on a specific activity where you show warrior qualities and also add a touch of wizardry.

There are many ways to describe different kinds of workers. One view is that people may be warriors, warrior wizards or wizards. There are, of course, several other kinds of workers.

Warriors love to work hard. They are duty-driven and want to achieve the desired results. Such people are vital in teams. They deliver high professional standards and provide a platform for others to perform at their best.

Warrior wizards also have a strong work ethic. They sometimes go further, however, and add that touch of magic. They have the talent, application and imagination to make creative breakthroughs. They also have the ability to deliver peak performances.

Wizards may be brilliant in their specific area of expertise, but they may not always show warrior-like qualities. They can provide insights and perform superb work on occasions, however, and in this way make a positive contribution to organisations.

Some people may be wannabe wizards. They may have a high opinion of themselves but seldom put in the work required to deliver the goods.

Different people demonstrate the warrior wizard qualities in different activities. They may be fixing technical problems, playing a sport, performing on stage, finding solutions to specific challenges or doing another activity.

What is the specific activity where you may demonstrate some of these qualities? This may only be for a few moments, but it can highlight where you have this ability. It may an activity where you prepare properly, put in the hard yards and then produce something special.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

David Beckham showed these qualities during his football career. Whilst being more talented than the majority of players, he was not considered to be as gifted as the world’s top players.

Showing a strong work ethic, he developed his abilities and made great contributions to teams. Sometimes he also produced moments of wizardry – such as scoring goals with wonderful free kicks.

Kelly Marks shows these qualities when educating people how to work with horses. She is known as a Horse Whisperer but is actually a specialist in understanding horse psychology and behaviour. She finds solutions that benefit both horses and humans.

During her riding career she won on the flat, over hurdles and was in the Ladies British Team. In 1991 she stopped using the whip in races as it ‘just felt wrong’ whipping a horse whether racing or not.  

Kelly then had some of her biggest successes riding in races. These included winning the most valuable ladies handicap race of the year at Newbury. She retired from competitive tournaments in 1995, immediately after winning the Ladies European Championship.

During the 1990s I saw her assisting her mentor Monty Roberts during the process of working with horses. At the time I was working with a leadership team that wanted to explore new ways of learning. Bearing this in mind, I asked Kelly to run a practical day on how to connect with and lead horses.

The leaders learned from watching Kelly do a join-up with a horse. She explained that is was important: a) to be clear on the goals; b) to communicate clearly with the horse; c) to encourage the horse to want to follow them.

Kelly then invited each person to go into the ring and get a horse to follow them. They learned from the experience, which also provided lessons they could apply back in their work.

Kelly is a warrior wizard when coaching people who want to work with horses. She has strategic intuition in this activity. She has the ability to see to the heart of the matter, try multiple strategies and then do what is required to achieve the picture of success.

There are many ways to do fine work as in individual or when leading a team. Sometimes this depends on the kind of work you want to do.

People who work in certain caring professions, for example, are often prepared to spend a lot of time helping people who have social problems. This calls:

For providing a supportive environment;

For having the skills and patience needed to help troubled people to achieve their goals. 

People who work in other kinds of teams or organisations may work best with those who are motivated to achieve certain goals. This highlights another model which seems rather tough but, at times, it may be necessary to take this approach.

Superg teams often get the right mixture of warriors and warrior wizards. They do not employ people who want to keep complaining.

Different people may use different terminology to describe these individuals. One football manager I worked with expressed this approach in the following way.

“Every good team I have built has had at least 70% soul players. Such people embody the spirit of the team.

“They have a strong work ethic and can always be relied on to deliver high standards. Sometimes that can also develop their talents to become star players in certain areas.

“My successful teams have also had around 30% star players who are also soul players. They are prepared to sweat and sometimes add that extra touch of magic.

“I never employ semi-detached players who are on their own agenda. Such people take energy. I work with people who want to use their strengths to help the team achieve success.”

Let’s return to your own work. What is the specific activity where you may have the ability to be a warrior wizard? How can you build on this ability in the future? What may happen as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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