The Synergist Chapter 4

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Chapter 4: The Processor: Not so fast. Where’s your requisition slip?


In this chapter we got a further insight into Brianna’s life. She likes order and process. She feels comfortable when her day is mapped out and her files are organized. She struggles with improvisation and surprises. She’s a typical Processor.

Processor’s aren’t often as visible as the Visionary or Operator but they play an equally valuale role in the success of any group, team or organization. They bring consistency, scalability and accuracy and an objective perspective.

On the other hand they have a frustrating tendency to overanalyze, are risk averse and generally start from a stance of ‘No’.

The resources for this chapter will help you get the most out of your interactions with a Processor.

Use the links below to click through the resources.

Chapter 4 Resources

cartoon: External Resource: When Processors Take Over

Great cartoon strip from the Dilbert archives on what happens when there are too many Processors in an organization.

Click here to view

Worksheet: The Processor

We have a series of exercises covering the key themes of the chapter including; characteristics of a Processor, their strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with a Processor as a peer, boss or direct report. They’re great to do on your own but even better to do them in a group.

Click here to download the worksheet

Activity: Getting Through the Process

We have three scenarios to put yourself in the position of working with a Processor as a peer, boss and direct report. How will you handle it?

Click here to download the activity

Flashcards: Working with a Processor

Three flashcards for dealing with a Processor in different situations. Cut them out, put them in your purse of wallet and pull them out when you need help with a particular situation or person.

 Click here to download the flashcards

Case Study: Where have all the Processors Gone?

It’s hard to find a good, single, stand alone case study for a Processor. It’s not that they are less common than Visionaries or Operators. It’s just that by the very nature of who they are, they eschew the limelight. They prefer to work behind the scenes making sure the systems and processes are in place to allow good organizations to become great organizations.

So rather than devote a case study to one individual, this study will look at four examples of a Processor in four very different circumstances, each with their own lessons.

Click here to download the case study.


You’ll find a growing selection of Processor related postings from Les’ regular blog here

External Resource: Buffett – The Making of An American Capitalist

In his early days Warren Buffett was a Processor through and through. You don’t get a reputation as the world’s greatest investor without the attention to detail and process that a Processor naturally possesses.

As the activity of Berkshire Hathway evolved from purely buying stock to buying complete companies, Buffett too underwent an evolution from a Processor to a Synergist leading a full blown operating company.

This book, by Roger Lowenstein, outlines that journey and provides some great insight into the mind of one of America’s greatest business leaders. Well worth the read.

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

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