Meet Mr Sea Squirt!
One of the interesting stories I came across when I was reading a book by Dr Stuart Brown (Play) was the story of sea squirt, in short the story illustrates the life of this creature where it start at young age by exploring the habitat, once reached to adulthood, it finds a secure colony established by other sea squirts and attach itself to it, once settled, the creature digests it’s own brain! the reason is that the creature decides it no longer needs to think since almost everything to survive is already there given by the supported community of other sea squirts and creatures!
It’s fascinating story for the little potato shaped creature, not so cool for humans, in my life I come across many examples of people behaving like sea squirts, exploring opportunities at early stages of their lives or career, once they get the opportunity, they capitalize what others have built and dismiss their own creativity or any opportunity for any original work, at least sea squirts have the dignity to capitalize on creatures from the same species, while human version of (sea squirts) capitalize and climb the ladder on shoulders of other well established individuals and teams.
There are ways to discover these so called (Sea Squirts) , below are few examples for their behaviour:
1- They do not poses a real or a valuable talent other than excellent networking skills.
2- They discount others efforts and maximize the value of their trivial accomplishments.
3- They have excellent suggestions and ideas but lack the commitment to take actions or do the real work.
4- They thrive on taking opportunities to shine on others accomplishments.
Here are few suggestions to deal with them as a team leader:
1- Guide and mentor them to learn how to do their work and create their own accomplishments.
2- Model the behavior of being fair by acknowledging the (real) work done by the hard working team mebers.
3- Create opportunities to develop their skills and competencies in order to create their own success stories.
4- Teach them the virtue of being ethical and considerate of others work, so they don’t take credit for work which they have not contributed effectively in.
In today’s competitive environment, we need true leaders who can inspire and lead the team effectively, eliminate personal biases and foster the concept of diversity, inclusion and equity, by being aware of the these toxic behaviors and need to navigate the possibilities to encourage a physiologically safe environment where every individual can thrive and reach their maximum potential without being threaten to be marginalized or outshined by the opportunistic team members.