How visionaries and planners can work together
Monday, December 18, 2017
Imagine two people looking at an empty plot of land. One envisions beautiful landscaping that showcases a church facility ready to host thousands of people with a desire to learn and grow in their faith. The other person sees the same empty plot of land and a long list of all the tasks that must be completed to make something out of the nothingness in front of him.
The visionary sees the finished product, while the planner considers the work required to get there. Throw these two types of people together and watch as miscommunication, frustration and hurt feelings arise — quickly.
How do you get these two types to communicate and work well together?
First, recognize that though they see the situation from different viewpoints both still support the vision and care about seeing it come to fruition. Second, realize that both views are needed to make this happen.
You need the visionary perspective to inspire the team to overcome challenges with the knowledge that it'll be worth it in the end. You also need the detailed planner because — let's face it — lofty goals or projects don't happen overnight. They require comprehensive planning, communication, coordination and a lot of work.
Both viewpoints are not only necessary, but they are also highly valuable.
Here are a few tips for both types to better understand each other:
- Keep the vision in front of your team. Inspire them with stories of how people will be helped with the outcome of the project, etc.
- Appreciate and value the strengths of your planners. Listen when they tell you what it will take to complete a project. They think in detail for a reason and have what it takes to get you across the finish line.
- When your planners don't seem excited about a new idea, give them time to think it through. Their minds are processing a long, detailed list of tasks, and it's difficult for them to get out of "task mode." Give them time to realize the significant impact this new idea will have once implemented.
- Put aside your to-do list for a moment and consider what the finished project will accomplish. While your head is spinning with details, try to put that on hold long enough to get excited about the result and show your leaders that you support the vision.
- Learn how to communicate progress in a way that's palatable to your visionary (think executive summary). Let them know what you need from them — what decisions they need to make and when, etc. Don't bury them in details — that's your job.
- Remember: Visionaries push the envelope and will challenge you to accomplish more than you ever thought possible. That's a good thing, and really, you wouldn't have it any other way.
Visionaries and planners need each other to dream big dreams and then make them happen. By taking the time to understand the strengths each person brings to the table, you can accomplish incredible things and help people connect with the One who gave us these different talents in the first place.
God has called us to work together for His glory — let's make the most of every opportunity.
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