“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” – George Carlin

I am sure there are other metropolis’ that fit this description too, but living in Atlanta affords the commuter the luxury of encountering some very interesting drivers.  I’d love to hear your other examples, but on any given day here are 7 that I am sure to come across:

  • The Beginner (aka The Tourist) – new to driving, or maybe even just new to the area, they are still trying to figure out the traffic patterns, and at times make you scratch your head and wonder what they were thinking. Like stopping in the middle of the interstate and trying to go in reverse because they just missed an exit (yes, I really experienced that).
  • Too Slow – you know this type, characterized best by the tortoise in the old fable the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race.   Asking them to do anything at pace would be like speaking a foreign language to them … they wouldn’t understand.
  • Too Fast – the other character from the fable. Does everything fast to the point of being reckless at times.  Reacts quickly to the environment around them, but doesn’t necessarily think through the ramifications of their actions.
  • The Weaver – darting in and out of traffic the main focus for this type is to be in front, not matter the cost. And this generally means they don’t really care who they piss off, or take out, along the way.
  • The Entitled (aka the Maverick) – might be a stop sign, or a no turn on red sign, or maybe even a lane designated for high occupancy vehicles. It doesn’t matter, because to this driver the rules don’t apply.  To quote from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean … “the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.”  Erratic and unpredictable, especially when they are not getting what they want.
  • The Curmudgeon – everyone makes a mistake every now and then right? Doesn’t matter to this driver because they will never extend you grace! They will complain and yell about anything and everything when they get the chance!
  • The Snow Bird – having grown up in Florida, I experienced this one a lot, but you see them everywhere. Do I really need to describe them?

By now, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Product Management or Leadership.  But change the context a bit from driving to being in the corporate workplace … aren’t these the people we have to deal with on a day-in/day-out basis?