R. Meredith Belbin (born 1926), a British researcher and management theorist, has created a typology consisting of 9 types or roles and based on observation of human behaviour. His aim was to determine the best possible team composition for business
One of the roles, the "shaper" stands out as typical for the Aries / Mars type. Here is a short description of the "shaper": Outgoing, highly strung, dynamic and thrives on pressure. Possesses the drive and readyness to
overcome obstacles and challenge inertia, ineffectiveness, complacency and self-deception. On the other hand this type is also impatient, easily annoyed, prone to provocation and often offends people's feelings.
Belbin invited business
people to participate in his research. He had created a kind of team Monopoly game called "Teamopoly", which simulated business life, where competition plays and important role, and a manager often has to make crucial decisions under time pressure. He then
observed the teams in order to identify the most succesful team compositions. The result was 9 different roles. One of the most important observations in Belbin's research work is that a winner team consists of people, who are as different from each other
as possible, because such teams avoid unnecessary and fatiguing rivalry.
When Belbin invited business people to participate in his research,
the "shapers" never showed up. Nevertheless he observed plenty of succesful "shapers" in real business life. Belbin concluded, that the "shapers" don't care much about teambuilding!
There is a logical explanation for this contradiction:
That succesful managers don't care about cooperation. Organisations tend to slow down in a kind of inertia and lack of will to make necessary but unpopular decisions. For example, if corruption or nepotism occurs in an organisation, the organisation will suffer,
and the correct thing to do is to ”clean up the mess” by sacking the responsible people. But such a necessary action will not be conducted, if everybody is preoccupied with maintaining a good atmosphere of cooperation - or even worse: If everybody
somehow has shares in and is responsible for the lack of productivity and competitiveness. In such a case, which is not uncommon, you need a dynamic leader, who can assess the situation at a glance, and who is not afraid to make the necessary decisions. It
is obvious that this kind of business manager is more needed in private businesses and less so in the public sector, because there is more competition in the private organisations than in the public ones.
The typical "shaper" is extroverted,
dynamic, energetic and restless. When he / she encounters an obstacle, he / she always finds a way to overcome it - if necessary by breaking written or unwritten rules! The shaper is intuitive and usually understands the problem at hand in a split second.
The "shaper" is more opportunistic than conscentious, he / she is fearless and resilient, devoid of any kind of embarrassment or timidity.
The "shapers" exhibit a strong performance need. Such an attitude is both a strength and a weakness.
These people are impatient and stubborn, their temper is short, and they are easily provoked. Their aggressiveness often causes others to respond in the same manner, yet they don't give up, instead they persist, as if they enjoyed the fight - which may very
well be the case. What they desire above all is to win, and whatever is to be learned from the process is secondary. Only when the game is over they start to pay interest in the wellbeing of others and what can be learned from the experience.