7 good reasons to hire a zebra profile

Article updated on May 25, 2021

Why hire a zebra for your company?

Bringing a zebra profile into your company can be an effective solution when you’re looking for something new, innovative, disruptive and surprising.

The high-potential profile, a booster for your team!

I’m a firm believer in the importance of diversity of profiles in the workplace. The zebra, like everyone else, has many positive points and, of course, some negative ones. negative points. So why choose to hire someone in his team?

The zebra has as many qualities and faults as other employee profiles. To be a zebra is to have an atypical profile with a particular psychology. Since the blog was created, I’ve been in constant contact with zebras of all kinds. What strikes me is the common characteristics we share despite our different personalities.

photo credit @instagramjulien.tabet

If I were a company director, I’d definitely hire a high-potential profile for my team.

An extraordinary employee with genuine qualities

#1: Exceptional cognitive abilities

A zebra is someone with an IQ at least two standard deviations above the average. To put it simply, the standard IQ for a French person in this day and age is between 90 and 110, while a gifted person has an IQ of IQ of at least 125/130 . The calculation of IQ can vary depending on the country, the chosen method of analysis (the test), age, period, etc…

The IQ calculated by the WAIS IV test (the IQ test used to diagnose gifted adults) therefore analyzes an individual’s cognitive abilities. His relationship with the world, the time he takes to react to a situation and his analytical skills.

Basically, the advantage of gifted people is that they think quickly and well.

#2: Clairvoyance

A zebra is a visionary, able to spot trends and needs. They are also employees who are quick to identify their colleagues and the aspirations that guide each of them. They have a kind of natural flair that comes from their great empathy and compassion for others.

They can easily identify what’s working well in a process, a department, a situation etc… What needs to be improved, continued or stopped. They propose the necessary recommendations, and are rarely wrong. He has a very accurate strategic vision of his environment. But he’ll have trouble explaining it and sharing it if he doesn’t take the time to build his argument properly.

#3: Innovation

The zebra is definitely a driving force for innovation . His need to understand everything, his curiosity and his practical sense drive him to always want to do better! For him, it’s never good enough, never finished, never successful enough.

He always questions everything and doesn’t believe in the established order, which makes him a driving force. He’s constantly pushing teams and the company out of their comfort zones, pushing back their limits, looking ever further ahead. He’s not an inventor, he’s someone who’s going to improve what already exists!

They are at ease with projects that call on theirentrepreneurial skills! They are intrapreneurs within the company or a team.

#4: Creative AND organized

It’s rare to have this dual quality. To be both a super-creative person, with 20,000 ideas a minute, who can come up with several solutions to a problem in a very short space of time, and at the same time be able to organize these ideas, to see how to structure this creativity and make it efficient.

Gifted people think in trees. An A idea generates a multitude of sub-ideas, all linked to each other in one way or another.

This improbable but organized path is a real strength in helping teams to brainstorm, innovate, challenge themselves and also open up! Another way of thinking, another vision of a product or process. Cognitive diversity is a real strength in a team.

#5: Giving back meaning

A zebra will never accept a mission that it considers uninteresting or that doesn’t make sense to it. If he accepts a directive or a process that he finds absurd, he’ll enter into conflict with himself, and you’ll see. He will refuse the mission either by telling you so or by making you understand.

This is a profile that needs meaning in its life, both personal and professional. He has trouble with compromise because he’s too honest and authentic. But then again, it’s good for your business.

This type of employee allows you to put meaning back into your company. Why do you make this decision or that choice? A zebra will encourage you to question yourself, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If you want to introduce assertive management (expressing yourself and defending your rights and ideas without infringing on those of others) into your team or company, it will be like a guide for you, and above all it will help you to embody it.

#6 Sharing and bonding

The zebra is a raw talent. You have to be gentle with it, show it off to its best advantage, without ever forgetting its fragility. Contrary to preconceived ideas, a gifted person is not at all self-confident!

His disruptive temperament fascinates as much as it annoys, and if he finds the right tone, he’ll quickly become a leader. If you can make him feel at ease with his team or the company, he’ll share his optimism, dynamism and good humor. He is a natural leader. Zebras are altruistic and fair-minded, and like transparency, which is why their colleagues naturally turn to them for advice and/or help.

In fact, many high-potential profiles end up in consulting firms or become self-employed consultants.

The zebra will use his high potential to initiate new activities within the company, whether they be intra- or extra-company. He also knows how to encourage his colleagues to be more curious and tolerant.

#7 Commitment

His lack of self-confidence meanshe takes things very much to heart. When he’s convinced, he won’t hesitate to throw himself body and soul into his work and his mission. He’ll be one of the best ambassadors for your brand and your company.

The zebra is a workaholic. His commitment can be enormous when he believes in what he’s doing. If he trusts you and respects you, he’ll be an asset to you and your greatest advocate. His cognitive abilities give him the capacity to absorb a huge workload.

Be careful not to overdo it, however, as this is a profile which, because it gives so much of itself, is highly susceptible to burnout. You must learn to manage his energy and availability. He doesn’t have the same way of working as your other employees. It’s an oscilloscope. If you offer flexible working hours and telecommuting, you’ll keep him around longer.

And be sure to feed it intellectually at all times. Zebras get bored very quickly. Stimulate him with new missions, issues, jobs etc… It’s also a way for you to be constantly on the alert. What’s more, it will make your company’s working environment more dynamic!

Know the limits of a zebra profile before hiring it

In any situation, everything is never black and white…

The zebra’s stripes are an alternation of black and white!

A zebra is a sensitive profile. The fact that he’s always questioning himself makes him a volatile employee. If you want to integrate this talent into your team and retain it, you don’t have to be a company or a manager who :

– proposes an overly directive management style
– is highly hierarchical
– has a vertical hierarchy
– gives employees little autonomy
– does not allow for versatility of tasks or missions
– does not highlight the personalities of employees
– does not allow for learning or development within the team or the company
– doesn’t encourage exchange with others
– only looks for profitability without taking the human aspect into account

If he can’t express his potential and feels too restricted, you won’t be able to hold him back. A zebra needs to be under the direction of an exemplary, benevolent and inspiring manager(that’s all there is to it!). An overachiever will test the legitimacy of his or her superior’s authority, so it’s important to define your objective clearly before hiring this type of employee.

Personally, I’d never choosea team made up entirely of overachievers, as this would mean constant innovation and questioning! I’d favor a mix of skills, visions,aptitudes and potential, because this represents a real asset for the company.

What does the future hold for gifted people and zebras in the corporate world?

To conclude, I often read that tomorrow atypical profiles will be the corporate norm… a catchy title, but devoid of meaning.

France, champion of standard education

In our French culture, which is based on a single, linear form of education/training for children and teenagers (since there’s only one form of education in the vast majority of cases: the national education system!

An announcement that reintroduces the notion of rules and standards within the company… If atypical profiles become the norm tomorrow, then they won’t be atypical anymore, because they’ll be the norm! By definition, an atypical person is someone who is outside the norm

Gain height and learn to be aware of the World.

I work with students on a daily basis, and they’re getting better and better at using their tools, but when it comes to vision, we’re not there at all! Some of them are atypical profiles, others not. In any case, we both have a lot of progress to make in understanding what’s going on in our world. And tools alone are not enough to help them take a step back.

Taking the plunge is still the prerogative of a small percentage… Of course, it’s up to all of us to help them become better at analyzing the world we live in.

As for the zebras, the more we talk about the gifted, talented, high-potential, precocious child turned grown-up profile, whatever synonym is used, the more likely they are to find their place in the company.

You can also find more information, resources and tools on Giftedness in Mel POINASbook. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!

Le livre

Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.

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