• Liz Whitaker

A Propella Assassin at work ...

"Guerilla warfare" the Sunday Times called it and they're not kidding. Here is a beautiful example of a Propella Assassin*, one of ten Propella grid characters, top of Royalty axis but negative on Loyalty. Once provoked, they set out with intent to destroy a reputation. They can be visible or invisible, internal or external, noisy or working undercover and their weaponary potentially includes a carefully curated collection of WhatsApp messages and email trail. A Propella Assassin may also have built up a 'following' - as in Dominic Cummings well written and often controversial blog, with its thousands of followers - and could seek a public platform to voice their views.

Most of my work is showing people how to identify and partner with their Ambassadors or finding the common ground with Prizes, Trojan Horses, other far jollier characters on the Propella grid. But every now and again an Assassin emerges who saps energy and blocks progress. The most common are disgruntled partners or colleagues, especially dangerous if they move into a client (where they block work coming your way) or a competitor (from where they recruit whole teams starting with your top talent). Propella Assassins can be people whose bad behaviour evades correction. Recently I worked with a business support team on strategies to deal with an alarming number of internal Assassins, all high-performing senior fee-earners.

Ignorning an Assassin is the worst thing you can do. Our work is to use the power of personal and convert them into Ambassadors. It's absolutely possible and we always find a way, often without them even knowing it. Leaving them in a dark room, as one frustrated client suggested, is tempting but not a tactic we recommend! Propella Assassins are not born that way. They are made. Importantly we also share how to avoid creating an Assassin in the first place and how to spot the early signs of one in the making.

Thankfully Propella Assassins are rare, but you know if you've got one. Note they should not be confused with Pirates, the character on the grid that represents competitors and requires a different strategy.

More on the Assassin and other Propella characters in The Power of Personal or book a discovery session with me to see the grid in action.

*Note that the Propella Assassin is not an assassin in the traditional sense.

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