Being in the flow of development can be both satisfying and energizing as days and nights of excited work pile into months and series of great projects. Yet getting used to the stress and pressure of oncoming work can seriously limit ones ability to see outside the stream. Just as driving at high speeds narrows one’s focus into a smaller area to boost reflexes and reaction times, sinking into fast paced projects can rarely allow a good view of the big picture.
Stephen Covey explains it with a great analogy on the difference between management and leadership. In the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People ( a must read for everyone who works with people and teams ) he describes a team that that has to cut a road through a forest. A great manager may be able to boost the team’s performance and deliver 3 times higher speeds of progress through thick woodland. But unless there is a leader to take the time, and climb a tree to see if the effort is heading in the right direction, all of that effectiveness and efficiency may go to a complete waste.
There may be great managers in each of us, but we still have to allow the leader inside to take the time, see above every day issues, and draw the map for the road ahead.
Posted by: Diana Zink on Wednesday, 9th Apr, 2008
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