I work with Jeff Shinabarger. I’m our community manager. I am 100% operator. I’m a do-er. I get a huge kick out seeing things get done. If I start a day with a list of things I’m hoping to accomplish I’m most fulfilled if I can finish the day having also finished my list. I don’t have very much vision. I’m a little short-sighted. I can see all the tasks that make up a vision, but it takes me a long time to have those individual tasks add up in my mind to make the whole. My need to be responsible and to accomplish tasks typically takes precedent over people. No offense, but it’s why sometimes I choose to respond to 12 emails before I’ll return your call.
Jeff is 100% visionary. He dreams big! He dreams things other people are too scared to even think. And then he decides to start them. He has a vision of what the outcome is going to look like and wants to see it become a reality. He weighs risk and is really comfortable with the risky side outweighing practicalities. And when he does, he dives in head first. He doesn’t see the work involved in his dream, he sees the world being made right.
Jeff and I need each other. I need his vision and he needs me to implement it. We work great with each other for these very reasons. We also experience a lot of tensions within our individual strengths. I can’t picture what he sees to be able to envision the goal and he can’t see the details necessary to accomplish his dream.
The meetings I have are drastically different from the meetings Jeff has. He is typically meeting with visionaries, painting pictures of world change, and helping move past obstacles that get in the way of going after what they’re dreaming about. My meetings are with operators on their teams who are [right along side me] getting mired in the details and trying to differentiate what’s most important, and how to set priorities to be able to make the visionary’s idea happen. For this reason, Jeff and I decided that it might be helpful to have a series about working successfully with a visionary.
Typically in start-up mode there are 2 people on the team. The visionary and the operator. There is a huge mutual respect for one another as well as some moments of intensity based on what each sees as the priority and goal.
This is the first post in a series we are creating.
We’ll talk about things like:
-What are the best ways to communicate?
-How do I say no for me, but not no to the idea.
-How do I define my role?
-How do I prioritize?
-What rhythms will make me the best operator I can be?
-How can I best serve my visionary to be able to move to success?
-What are some ways to handle the stresses accompanying keeping up with a fast paced visionary?
And I’m sure there are a whole lot of other things that will crop up in this discussion. Let me know what you’d like to hear about, and I’d love to engage with it. Jeff and I don’t have everything figured out. Our organization is a work in progress, but we’re learning together what it looks like to dream and implement ideas and would love to get to talk about roadblocks you experience with the visionary and operator in your life.