Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Fear the Weasel

Laugh, learn, cringe. Seldom does a book evoke such a combination of reactions. But that's what I got from the book "Warriors, Workers, Whiners, & Weasels: Understanding and Using The Four Personality Types To Your Advantage," by Tim O'Leary. I also came away with a better understanding of Weasels.

The book is an easy and fun read -- O'Leary's style is very comfortable and entertaining. The book is also loaded with great stories and examples.

What's your "W"?

The gist of this book is that each of us fits in one type within the "circle of life." In O'Leary's model, they're all defined by a "W" word. Here is how I paraphrase each of these types in the book:

  • Warriors - People who drive people to do things (and get results themselves). High ego, high integrity, highly competitive.
  • Workers - The people who respond well to the warriors to get things done. Point-and-go, get things done people - supporting cast that help the movie stars do what they do.
  • Whiners - People who have lots of excuses for not getting things done, and it's never their fault. Organizational cancer.
  • Weasels - Sneaky, two-faced people who never take responsibility for their immoral / amoral ways. High ego, low integrity - wolves in sheep's clothing, often deluded into thinking they are Warriors.

The book helps you determine your type (I'm a Worker), and has some guidance on how to deal with other types and maximize the value of your type - assuming you are a Warrior or a Weasel, at least.

Well Worth the Read

This is a fun read, particularly if (like me) you've worked with or for Weasels and don't quite know how to deal with them (for Warriors, I think this is easier - but not for us Workers, who tend to be more on the 'keep the peace' end of the scale). O'Leary's office is a few blocks from mine in Portland, Oregon and I wonder if we happen to know some of the same weasels.

Some of my favorite sections:

  • "The Way of the Weasel: Four of My Favorite Weasel Stories" (this alone is worth the price of the book!)
  • "Get Over It! Five Rules to Live By to Avoid Being a Whiner"
  • "The Weasel Tax: The High Price We All Pay for Rodent Infestation"

And, if you have your own weasel story to share, you can do so at "" - an irreverent companion blog.

O'Leary's own blog is a more reverent resource, if that's more your style - check out his recent post on "The Whining Effect" for a taste.

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