This topic came up as a team building exercise when we were tasked with looking in our fridge/freezer to see what the most expired item was. Do you still have a piece of your wedding cake? Or that ingredient that you used in one obscure recipe that never turned-out years ago?

  1. The Sentimental Hoarders: Picture an office filled with mementos, old files, and treasures from the past. The sentimental hoarder leader clings to these objects, believing that each holds some hidden value. Similarly, they form emotional connections with their team, fostering loyalty and strong bonds. However, when it comes to change, they may struggle. Letting go of outdated practices or personnel becomes a challenge, as they fear losing the familiar and disrupting established relationships.
  2. The Agile Purgers: Step into another office, one with a minimalist touch. The agile purger leader believes in streamlining processes and shedding unnecessary baggage. Their focus is on efficiency, adaptability, and embracing the new. They make bold decisions swiftly, restructuring teams or letting go of outdated practices without hesitation. While they excel at managing change, their laser focus on progress may sometimes overshadow the importance of maintaining emotional connections with their team members.
  3. Striking the Balance: Just as there are shades of gray between black and white, the ideal business leader finds the balance between hoarding and purging tendencies. They cherish the sentimental value of the past, fostering loyalty and maintaining strong relationships. However, they also recognize the need for change, constantly seeking opportunities to innovate and improve efficiency. They understand that letting go of outdated practices or individuals, though challenging, can pave the way for growth and success.
  4. Self-Reflection and Growth: Now, let’s take a moment to reflect on our personal hoarding or purging habits. Are you more inclined to hold on to objects or ideas, fearing the loss of something valuable? Or are you agile and adaptable, ready to purge the old and embrace the new? Understanding our own tendencies can help us become more effective leaders in managing change within our organizations.

The ideal business leader might find a balance between being a hoarder and a purger. They recognize the value of sentimentality and relationships while also understanding the importance of change and growth. They know when to let go of outdated practices or personnel while preserving the core values and culture that make their organization unique.

So, whether you find yourself aligned with the sentimental hoarders or the agile purgers, it’s important to find a balance between sentimentality and adaptability to foster a thriving environment that embraces innovation while maintaining strong relationships. But it does take reflection, after all, who knows what hidden treasures or valuable lessons we might find by sifting through the metaphorical fridge of our professional lives?

~Cherene Kambeitz, Marketing & Communications Director – Levvel inc. Reach out to