In my early working years I came across a manager who had a peculiar way of dealing with recruits. When a team member was on board, she allowed that person to do… nothing. After several days you could observe one of the following patterns:
Pattern 1: Passive
The employee waited for instructions, for work to be handed over. After a long enough period, when frustration levels became unbearable, the person started complaining and often quit.
Pattern 2: Active
After a short period of time, one could observe the “active” employee talking with other team members — gathering knowledge, building a network, setting up tools. It happened once or twice that the newly recruited person excelled in a given area in less than a month.
Two behaviors, one setting, two outcomes: one of disillusionment, second one — of confidence and strength.
Everyone has to find his or her place in this world. Still, if I were to choose a project team member, I would certainly opt for the “active” type.