Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

How Do Scorpions, Foxes, and Wolves At Work Relate To Idolatry?

Chapter 4: Who To Trust At Work Part 17

The chapter primarily describes a way to categorize people into Scorpions, Foxes, and Wolves to help you determine another persons motivations and by proxy their values.

Motivated by Strength Weakness Suggested Approach
Scorpion Strict set of ideas Execution & vision Inflexible, polarizing Avoid or exit situation
Fox Self advancement Talking, motivating Poor execution Force them to do more
Wolf Getting it done for self, company, ideas Execution, relationships Too trusting Cooperate, partner

So what does all this have to do with idolatry?  As a reminder, I’ve defined corporate idolatry as the adoption of a value system that puts the company ahead of all else, including your family and your own well being.  And as we saw in Chapter 2, idolatry is defined by actions that do not put people first, and is something one can adopt for personal gain or by mistake.  So really, the SFW system is something to help you determine the degree to which a colleague is following people-first values, and if they are not, trusting them could lead to an increased risk of corporate idolatry.

Lets review some of the stories – Vijay early in his career was misled by a scorpion to submit an incorrect method for tracking inventory, which eventually cost him his job. Had Vijay recognized that it was a Scorpion was making the request, he would have been much less likely to comply and could have avoided the issue.  Plus, Vijay mistakenly thought the company had a value system that would reward people for doing the right thing, when in fact it kept the dishonest person.

We met Liz and Jack who did not recognize the spoor of a Fox, which had negative career consequences, and Harry who did identify a fox and proactively removed him from the organization.  Of course understanding the values of the people you work with is only part of the issue.  In the next post, we’ll meet Jill, someone who masters a fox but remains in a difficult situation.

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