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Steady Eddie vs the Blue Flamer . . . and Why You Need Them Both on Your Team

Every company has them, the Steady Eddies and the Blue Flamers. But not every company is smart enough to treat them with the respect they deserve. A company without the right mix of both is not functioning optimally.


The Blue Flamer


You’ve seen her. Prepared for anything that comes her way; she often has the answer before you’ve even thought of the question. She is smart, savvy, confident. She is certain of her path and it is UP, with a blue streak.

She is the one who will help guide your company into its next chapter. Leader, thinker, calculated risk taker, strategist. She is always one step ahead and is a shining example to everyone around her.

But be aware, if you can’t or won’t provide her with the growth she expects (and deserves), she won’t stick around. There will come along another company that will gladly put her in the right seat.

Treat this employee well, you don’t want to lose her.




The Steady Eddie


She is the one who will execute the strategies that will take your company to the next chapter. She follows your lead and is a shining example to everyone around her.

But be aware, if you overlook the contributions of a Steady Eddie, you’ll crush her spirit. The work will still get done, because that’s who she is. Going that extra mile, however, will begin to wane.

Treat this employee well, you don’t want to lose her.




The Right Stuff

As a manager, there is nothing more frustrating than having to fight to keep an employee that falls into either one of these categories. Trust me, I’ve been there.

“Karen” was a 15+ year employee. She knew where records were archived, she found better ways of doing things within her job parameters, and she knew the intricacies of balancing the most difficult of accounts. Her work was precise and on time. Always.

When a round of layoffs were imminent, Karen’s name made it to the list. After 15+ years she was, after all, highly paid for the role she was in.

Yikes! Yes, I suppose if you looked purely at her title and responsibilities, she was highly paid. But there’s one bullet on every “Job Duties” list . . .

“Other duties” is where Karen spent the vast majority of her time. That’s where her value shone. She gladly handled whatever task came her way, and I could rely on her unconditionally.

Thankfully, clearer minds prevailed and she remained on the team. She went on to become one of the go-to people for our data migration to a new ERP system. Sexy work? No. However if you’ve been through an ERP implementation, you know that you live or die on data.

But that’s a tale for another day.




The Moral of this Story

Building a team without the right mix of Blue Flamers and Steady Eddies can be dangerous. You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t get it right. They may not always see eye to eye though. Your job is to ensure they work well together, to help them balance off their strengths and weaknesses, and to understand what the other brings to the table. Because what they each bring is invaluable. Everyone wins when you find the balance.

Treat these employees well, you don’t want to lose them.  


A Blog by our Sally Banek, CPA, CMA

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If you’d like to read more, you can check out my other articles by clicking here, and follow me on Twitter @SallyBanek1. I am a BlogPoet at BlogPoets.com.

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