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How “Lion Tamer” Personality Types Deal With Career Change

career change typeEarlier this week I posted about the 5 kinds of Career Change Behaviors. Over the next several posts I will be highlighting each of the five.

You can read more about each in my book, RINGMASTER.

Today we start…with “Lion Tamers.”


Lion Tamers often find themselves center stage and having to figure out which lion to focus on. In this metaphor, the multiple lions a Lion Tamer has to manage represent the multiple changes that need attention within an organization at any given time. Effective Lion Tamers don’t get distracted with all the changes roaring for their attention. They know focusing on a project and developing structure around the change is most effective. And while developing structure around acts of change, Lion Tamers can keep an eye out for what’s happening around them. In other words, Lion Tamers are great at looking at the big picture while also taking ownership of projects to meet the larger objective.

The Lion Tamer Personality

Lion Tamers are more comfortable being active. They get frustrated when there are no clear action steps for them to take. They hate standing around listening to the lions’ roars of change!

How Lion Tamers Deal With Change

Lion Tamers deal best with change when they have a role in developing and controlling it. When asked to make a change happen, a Lion Tamer’s first tendency is often to create a process or a framework. Denying them the freedom to create structure around the change will likely make them lose interest in being part of the team, and you can forget about them leading the charge around the change. The point is this: All Lion Tamers require is a small window of time in order to put some definition to the situation and build the structure that helps them begin.

To create an action plan, Lion Tamers want to understand the big, overriding objectives and goals. If they have these, they will tend to see the glass as half full and make the best of the situation, even if they are not completely sold on the need for change.

I’m sure you’ve noticed at the circus that Lion Tamers always use tools like whips or stools. They use these tools to develop and implement steps of action. The same thing goes in the workplace (minus the whips and stools, of course!). Workplace Lion Tamers are very strategic about which professional tools they use to manage change. This means that when asked to direct an act under pressure or in fearful circumstances, they’re prepared to succeed.

When Confronted With Unexpected Change, Lion Tamers Are Likely To…

THINK: “I need to create a foundation and plan action steps.”

SAY: “I have some questions about the big picture here… ”

DO: Plan and define.

The speed with which they process most changes: Quick.

When faced with RISK, they will: Need a moment to plan.

How Managers Can Utilize And Encourage Lion Tamers:

Explain the objectives and give them a project right away that will empower them to contribute toward these goals. If they are taking action, they feel more in control of the situation.