Business Leadership: The Art of Thinking Big & Acting Small


Many people are technically proficient in performing a skill.  There are just as many who easily grasp that skill’s strategic value and tactical purpose.

But you rarely meet both traits in the same person. 

When you do, it’s usually someone doing a curiously excellent job in their work area.  Learn to imitate the intellectual veracity and discipline for execution you observed.  From personal experience, it is easy to imitate one trait; painful to imitate both, but good for you.

It is good for you because it forces you to make better decisions.  Strategists err by not knowing how to actually get the job done; technicians err by not understanding the broader context and long-term implications of their work, so they don’t learn how to do excellently.

Business leaders, responsible for strategic direction, also need to be able to execute, perhaps as well as anyone beneath them.  It’s true that no one can do everything, but everyone can maintain a practice of constantly specializing in at least one skill area.

Imitating good examples keeps you sharp, but it also keeps you humble.  Nothing reminds me how much room for growth I have like trying to be well-rounded.  Leaders get lazy and sometimes become full of themselves when they have others below them to do their bidding.  Getting your hands dirty and honing a technical skill reminds you how much you depend on others to get the job done.

Mastering the art of balancing both conceptual and technical excellence doesn’t make you a good leader, but, stay honest, and it is fairly likely you’ll become one.  Think big, act small, and it’s difficult to avoid becoming an effective business leader.

 

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