We all like simplified models of the world — especially when it comes to people. Tom is a people person or a task person. Susan is a big picture or a detail person. It is true that we all have strengths that can be polar opposites of each other. Most people who are great at seeing the big picture are not great at making the day-to-day stuff work.

The problem occurs when we apply this simplistic view to the organization as a whole. The hard truth is that leaders must figure out a way to assure that two opposite kinds of capability co-exist in balance for the organization to be effective long-term. These opposites are 1) the relationship skills required to genuinely care for people and build the openness and trust required for people to work together effectively. And the other dimension is 2) the process dimension where there is a focus on organizing the way things work in a consistent, efficient and high-quality way. 

Leaders who are great at building relationships but can’t deliver order get people initially excited, but that excitement turns to disillusionment when the organization cannot win. In contrast, leaders who are masters at the detail required to make things work efficiently but can’t develop strong relationships creates a bureaucratic, lifeless organization that loses the engagement of heart and mind.

Like so many things in life we need to focus on AND not OR to thrive. The Bible talks about this very idea when it says we must speak the truth (hard core) but (AND) in love. One without the other will not last. 

Be encouraged, you can do this. You were built to lead yourself and others.

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