Saturday, May 25, 2013

Which Kind of Leader Are You?

Be honest.

Do you see the donut? Or the donut hole?

I see the hole. Definitely. Always have and probably always will. That’s who I am.

I happen to think that it makes me good at what I do, but others have disagreed. Whatever.

While I can see what’s there, I’m more intrigued with what’s not there. 

In other words, I appreciate what’s working, but I’m motivated by what isn’t.

Now, my experience is that some of those who naturally focus on the donut often sometimes get a little impatient when someone like myself wants to talk about the hole. Here are some of their objections to this practice:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“Why so negative?”

“Don’t go looking for trouble—you might find it.”



If you are happy munching on your donut, content to focus on the moment in the moment, I’m happy for you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying your sweet treat. But as for me, I enjoy thinking about what’ll happen when the treat is gone. Will you have a stomachache? Will you need to see the dentist? Will you discover, after buying that yummy-looking donut, that you have no money left for lunch? Those are the questions that interest me.

Organizations, teams, or decision-making groups of any stripe need those who value the donut as well as those who enjoy sticking their fingers in the hole.

So stop being a naysayer about the supposed naysayers and just accept that sometimes it’s good to head trouble off at the pass. Sometimes it’s good to plan how you’ll manage a possible conflict. And often it’s good to think in advance about potential roadblocks. And be thankful that some of us are gifted at and delight in this type of thinking.

You say, “Nobody wants to work with someone who’s always poking holes in things.” And I say, “No, they don't. But I'm not creating the hole. The hole is already there.”
It’s a fact. It’s an imperfect world, things don’t always go as planned, and people don’t always get along.

After all, if they did, YOU wouldn’t be making such a nuisance of yourself right now. Would you?

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