“If it can be done, we’ll do it, but can we work out some practical details?”
Leadership Type –
Coordinator, Monitor, Organiser
Value Drivers –
Efficiency, Timeliness, Consistency, Uniformity
Theory of Effectiveness –
Control and efficiency with capable processes produce effectiveness
Improving Systems, Structures, Standards
Illustrative People –
Problem Solvers, Engineers, Professionals
Anchors are often described as practical, systematic, well organised, loyal and conservative. They tend to be endowed with copious amounts of common-sense and they’re down to earth, self-disciplined, trustworthy and reliable. They are efficient and can generally be relied on to deliver on time. Anchors are most happy when they are introducing structure or implementing procedures. They see themselves as system builders and people who create order out of chaos. They turn the team’s ideas and concepts into practical actions and plans. The Anchor is task-oriented and focused on work. They show great commitment, and are motivated and energetic. Anchors enjoy nothing more than the feeling of accomplishment from getting the job done.
In the workplace Anchors generally plan, organise and coordinate human resource inputs, and monitor logistical and practical arrangements. Their emphasis is on project management, the formulation of tasks and relations between projects.
The Anchor is expected to bring assignments to a successful conclusion and to have a continuously high productivity. This will usually mean that subordinates must be motivated to increase production to achieve goals. Stereotypically, Anchors often have a strong desire to have some sort of goal. However, they must ensure that their subordinates do not get exhausted because of the high effort they require of them.
The Anchor maintains the structure and flow in a system. They are focused on tasks such as relieving workload, organising and coordinating efforts of the staff, dealing with crises and technological, logistical and administrative issues. They also seek to ensure that everything goes according to plan, anticipating any matters that can go wrong.
The Anchor seeks efficient rules and regulations. They manage the procedure handbook and the procedures within which rules can be adapted. They expect cooperation from the process owners, as it is their rules they manage so they should be intrinsically motivated. Anchors are stable and restrained individuals that like clear rules concerning meetings and formalising agreements. The agenda, minutes and tasks must be in order, as problems will arise if there is too much room between formal and informal rules. Performance indicators and formal management information are important sources of information.
The Anchor takes what the other personas have suggested or asked, and turns their ideas into positive action. Anchors are practical thinkers who get things done. They turn concepts and basic ideas into plans and workable strategies. Anchors then carry out those plans systematically and efficiently.
Anchors are generally highly disciplined and self-controlled individuals who are able to disregard their self-interest to focus on the needs of a team or an organisation. Although they normally prefer established ways of doing things, they can be persuaded to change if it is proven that it would yield positive results.
Anchors are usually the backbone of a team since they implement workable strategies to ensure the team completes tasks quickly and effectively. These practical and diligent team members are the ones who ensure that goals become tangible successes.
Anchors are motivated by their loyalty to the team, which means that they will often take on jobs everyone else avoids or dislikes. In an Anchor’s world, support is key. Every team needs a person whom they can rely on: a person that they can count on to handle almost any task, because things always come up that take your attention away from the initial project or mission at hand. That volatility can take up time, and a team needs people who can carry through any project and deliver on the goals established.
Independent and motivated, Anchors appreciate the same in others. They love working with self-motivated people. People who actively seek solutions, uncover flaws in procedure, or develop new ways of thinking or working excite them. Because Anchors are so laser-focused on what’s in front of them they don’t like to fantasise or think about how a project could be different. For Anchors, everything needs to be done by the book and focus given to putting well thought out plans into action.
Anchors work well with Pioneers and Directors as they help mobilise plans and keep them on track.
Anchors tend to avoid conflict. But expect an Anchor to call you out if they feel that you’re not adequately doing your job. Anchor’s may come across as very rigid, but that’s because they believe you should just do the job and not expect anything extra in return.
For an Anchor, the joy is in the process, and Anchor leaders want team members that feel the same way. The Anchor likes rules and regulations, and see the handbook as the bible. They expect cooperation from the process owners, as it is their rules that they manage. This can sometimes lead to conflict with more free thinking personas like the Pioneer and Broker.
Anchors may resist change and come across as closed-minded and inflexible. They will often have difficulty deviating from their own well-thought-out plans. In other words: if it ain’t broken don’t try to fix it! The main pitfall however of the Anchor is their drive for perfectionism. This can lead to a possible danger in that the Anchor can get stuck in fixed patterns which could hinder progress and limit output.
While Anchors are great assets for co-workers who need to hand off projects for completion, their can-do attitude may leave them overloaded and overworked, or morph into a workaholic, can’t-do-enough attitude.
Anchors may have a tendency to grumble when things aren’t going to plan, which can be demotivational for people who have somewhat lower quality standards. By being resistant to change, they can on occasion be slow at delivering their own outputs.
How to get the best out of Anchors
Anchors should be encouraged to avoid obstructing change. They should also be reminded that unconstructive criticism of other team members’ ideas is unhelpful to the overall cause.
Anchors should be coached to strike a balance between perseverance and adaptability, and to focus on their strength for clarifying objectives in practical terms. They are, after all an invaluable member of any successful team.
Another danger is that the Anchor continues to strive for perfectionism without recognising that on occasion it is more than sufficient to deliver on time something that is fit for purpose, say when a prototype needs to be delivered. Knowing of course that there will be many iterations of the product prior to launch. This is particularly important when dealing with Pioneers, to ensure that nothing gets lost in translation when putting their vision in to practice.
Anchors also need to be reminded of the dangers of becoming overloaded and overworked, and the impact that can have on them personally, as well as the team as a whole. Sharing stresses and concerns is all important, which is why having a Mentor around is helpful.
Anchors are best utilised by take-charge Directors. Anchors also excel at putting the Achiever’s solutions into action.
You’ll find Anchors in all sorts of careers, but the careers they most favour are listed below.
Bookstore Owner or Employee
Career in Art Education
Career in the Non Profit Sector
Comic Book Artist
Non Profit Sector
Professional College Student
Professor Of English
Race Car Driver
Record Store Owner or Employee
Social Services Worker
Special Education Teacher
Special Education Worker
Stay at Home Parent
Video Game Designer
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Pioneers enable change and adaptation, and pay attention to the changing environment. They spot important trends, express ideas, anticipate change, and manage uncertainty and risk.