One Good Business Thought – To use a microscope or telescope?

Working in a very large company as I do, I sometimes get bewildered by the decisions and thought processes of Executive Management. I’ve been around long enough to understand that as a person grows professionally and gets promoted their level of attention to details has to lessen due to the ever increasing amount of information they must filter in order to come to a decision. Great leaders have to balance the abstraction of information and the ability to dive into the details to make great decisions.

At my company we use instant messaging as an everyday tool. Sometimes during those little conversations a good thought submerges.

Co-Worker > that’s such a great document herschel
Co-Worker > always impressed by your organizational skills
Me > if only other people were so impressed
Me > I enjoy organizing
Co-Worker > everybody enjoys the grand things
Co-Worker > nobody likes the details that make things work
Me > I don’t mind the details… I mind the people at the top who make decisions based on 10 layers of abstraction
Co-Worker > or on white papers
Co-Worker > 🙂
Me > A real executive has to be able to understand the details without being consumed by the details… it’s like a telephoto lens… some pictures are cool very close up like taking a picture of a humming bird… but, what’s better is the hummingbird amongst a grove of flowers…
Co-Worker > ha yea good analogy
Co-Worker > there is also a good one from a book I’m reading
Co-Worker > “the art of the start”
Co-Worker > its about entrepreneurs
Co-Worker > but basically applies to any leadership position
Co-Worker > says… the trick is to carry a telescope and a microscope
Co-Worker > but the bigger trick is to know when to use them

The one good thought in that conversation is that when you are in charge of a large organization you have to be able to understand and dig for details, but you can’t be consumed by them and as my co-worker put it you have to know when to use your telescope and microscope.

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Filed under All Posts, Business, Ethics, Personal

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