Yes—you read that right. After all, someone has to worry. Especially about the details.
In years of corporate life, it’s become apparent that those in the corner office are much more invested in vision and strategy then execution. They’re solidly attached to the what, why and where, and seriously detached from the details of how. But, it’s the how that gets companies where they need to go.
Detachment from the details is not a bad thing. Not everyone excels in the trenches. Plus, C-suite officers don’t really need another visionary—that job’s already taken. The beauty of the blend is that the relationship between the top dog and the OCD consultant/VP complement each other. It actually establishes the perfect balance between strategy and execution.
You see, the problem isn’t in the blend—it’s in the awareness of the need. That could be why many projects and promises fail. If you don’t have someone driven enough to stay the course, it’s next to impossible to bridge the gap between dreams and reality.
In fact, a Fortune magazine interview with Ron Daniel, a former managing director of top consulting firm McKinsey, made this point, “We look to hire people who are first, very smart; second, insecure and thus driven by their insecurity; and third, competitive.”* Interesting, yes?
So, when I say “slightly OCD” we’re not talking As Good As It Gets/Melvin Udall here. That character was a misanthrope—someone who couldn’t tolerate the human race. We’re talking Harrison Ford, Howard Hughes, Einstein, Beethoven, Michelangelo, and obviously, a lot of top consultants. We’re talking methodology, practicality and perseverance—undaunted and undistracted. The kind of executive you rarely see today.
Your average consultant or VP may do fine, but with a hint of neurosis, now we’re talking. And here’s why:
Reason #1: They are thorough, with a high attention to detail: They’re meticulous, dead-on focused, and think of everything! Ev-ver-y-thing. Repetitively. Resources, timelines, schedules, instructions. All these specifics, my friends, may seem small to you until you realize they are huge to success.
Reason #2: They avoid risk: They check and recheck the route, constantly making sure the path is clear. It’s careful anticipation and planning at its finest. Plus, they’re on heightened alert to ward off any potential danger. This is even more important today, when businesses zig and zag more frequently. Regardless of direction, they have your back. They are the perfect wingmen/women.
Reason #3: They don’t make rash decisions: They’re compulsive, not impulsive, and practical to a fault. Practicalities are discussed with their teams: engaging and helping them to understand their part in the process, and getting invaluable feedback to avoid failure and ensure success.
Reason # 4: They’re great at dealing with and developing routines and rituals: In other words: procedures and infrastructure. Everything is mapped it out, and the dots are connected. Can you see yourself doing this?
Reason #5: They adore execution: It’s not about the talking; it’s about the doing. It’s the discipline of getting things done. In fact, they love crossing to-dos off the list, and seeing projects to completion.
Reason #6: They’re resilient and driven: They don’t give up easily and have staying power. They’re known for making the impossible attainable.
High performers and producers lead others to do the same. Keep these points in mind when you have difficulty taking your company forward, and need to shift from discussing to doing.
The transition from strategic to pragmatic could make all the difference between promises and results.
Copyright 2013 Michelle Kerrigan