Management Style as per “Starter Types”


Managing people is the most arduous task as no two individuals are same. In an organizational set up this is all the more crucial as it impacts the productivity & the performance. Managers can help their team members to become more efficient and brilliant, which is the secret to a great ensemble. Each individual at workplace requires varying doses of Supervision & Motivation to help attain their optimal performance levels. Identifying who belongs to which quadrant in the “Starter types” can be helpful. Should not be an exact assessment but a fair understanding enables the managers to devise suitable team management strategies.

Colloquially, there are 4 types of “Starters” (in automobile parlance) which has parallels in human behavior & psychology too- Push/ Pull/Kick/Self.

Management Style

Employees with Low motivation& High supervision falls into the quadrant of “Push- Start”. Since they are low on morale these type requires a higher degree of supervision. Managers should probe for the gaps in non-performance, and discuss the concerns with them, be it in professional or personal space – this strengthens the bond and employee feels more assured. Generally, the “5 Why’s” approach helps in uncovering the root causes which is bugging the individual. This probing technique can reveal some surprising facts which helps in resolving some deeper concerns. Financial incentives or perks can be a good short term strategy too.

Employees with High motivation with High supervision, fall in the “Pull- Start” Quadrant. Passionate, knowledgeable but generally confused & indecisive. They will often require directional supervision to clear their foggy mind.
They have zeal to perform, but lacks clarity of thought. Managers should lead them by example & demonstrate actions in live situations. With increase in confidence they deliver consistently in that same role. Efforts should be made to shift these employees to “Self- Start” quadrant over a reasonable period of time.

Self -motivated workers are aware about their goals and don’t just depend on extrinsic motivation. They understand their roles and responsibilities well, and knows what’s best for the organization rather than just themselves. They keep a long term vision and not only a short term to-do list.
Employees under “Self-Start” quadrant are aware about the larger goals in both their personal & professional pursuits. They require less supervision but more recognition & appreciation. They generally perform at their best when they are empowered to take decisions. They shine when the spotlight is on them.
Self- starters need to be recognized as they are psychologically at the apex of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is “Self-Actualization”. Engagement with appreciation is an aphrodisiac for them!

Employees in “Kick start” quadrant are those who have lost all desire to perform & are merely counting days. The management has failed to derive any benefits after necessary counselling or training. Such employees need coercive measures & constant threats to make them act. This can be a result of several factors like lack of any aspirations, not loving their work, attitude of blaming the circumstances or they are at the declining stages of their career.It can be a case of wrong hire too. It is not worthwhile to invest too much time & resources on them, if no visible improvement, then role change or separation are the other plausible options.

A high performing team is the ultimate differentiator in the days where every other element can be replicated within a short duration. Each individual is unique & distinct in terms of their traits or behavior. Therefore, understanding these nuances is an important guidance in effective people-management.

(With inputs from Parul Verma, IIM-Rohtak alumna)


About the Author:

Shivaji Mohinta is the Country Head of Greenlam Industry Ltd & a certified Life Coach. He writes on real-life business lessons, personal transformation with mindset shifts, behavioral lessons for success especially for young professionals & start-ups & powerful habits for an achiever. He can be reached at Mobile: 8527535691/9437388003


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Pragativadi and does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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