Dreamers and Pragmatists

seeing things near
There’s a trade-off by being near-sighted or far-sighted. What you focus on leaves something else out of view. From April Schultz’s Flickr photostream

I love hanging around big picture people. Maybe it is because that’s where I feel most comfortable – my mind likes to think big. If you show me what you are doing, I can show you how to make it bigger. It’s just natural and exhilarating.

On the other hand, there are always the demands of today. What can work right now is important. Practical thinkers can see what will work and focus on those things well. They execute and get things out because it is tried and true. They can even make what works better.

You have a natural way of thinking, and your built-in psyche will pull you in a certain direction. You may be idealistic, practical or somewhere along the continuum.

At some point in your career, you can see your tendency. You may be such a dreamer that you fall in love with ideas at the cost of driving your cash flow.

On the other hand, if you are so myopic and insistent on doing things the way they have been done more efficiently while everything around you is changing, then you will suffer the consequences of obsolescence.

Either way, you have a blind spot. Dreamers can live in their dreams without waking up to reality. Pragmatists can assume the world will only work one way and not imagine anything different.

Having worked thousands of hours with business professionals, I don’t put much stock in your ability to change how you think.

But I do believe you can recognize what is happening and learn to “cheat” yourself. You may often need to do so because life presents a variety of challenges. Of course you can game things your way by putting yourself only in situations that play to your tendencies. But sooner or later, business and life require the dreamer, the strategist, and the pragmatist.

Look around. See how reality has been responding to your blind spot. Being clueless on who you are, how you think and what you tend to do won’t fix the problem. Better to cover your blind spot.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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