Earlier this month I listened to Les McKeown talk about visionaries, operators and building a successful business.
A visionary’s mind is busy creating all the time. New visions, thoughts and ideas are popping up so quickly that often things never make it to the marketplace because another new something came along and took the attention away. Visionaries struggle with completing tasks while Operators are just the opposite. Operators tend to be the type of people who focus on the details and work incessantly to complete projects and tasks. They themselves have new ideas and visions for their own businesses, but they are driven to complete one project before starting something new.
One is not better than the other – the mix is the key.
Les likened visionaries to squirrels who are easily distracted by all of their new or constantly changing ideas (or acorns!) and heading off the current path to jump on a new one (or run up a different tree!).
The visionary squirrel runs all over the place from one idea to the next with a lot of energy and all of the best intentions but has trouble getting things done. Often the new idea or offering never gets created because they just spotted another ‘acorn’ on the left – then the right – and ‘oh over there’!
For Operators satisfaction comes from getting things done. The responsibility of owning the creative and production process for a new idea or product is a ‘turn on’ for Operators. Completion is the ultimate satisfaction!
It was not hard for me to identify with one of these roles. I am most definitely an Operator. But, I did have an Ah-Ha from Les’ chat.
I realized that Operators have squirrels too – but our squirrels run in straight lines. We are always looking ahead, identifying what is coming up, assessing the needs and planning. Straight line squirrels are not as easily distracted by the acorns on the left and the right – we are looking at the big mound of acorns straight ahead!