Thursday, October 07, 2004

Getting There Together

Do geeks have a sense of vision for what they want for themselves and their organizations? I certainly hope that they do. My experience has been that it's not too uncommon for them to have a vision - and then not recognize it for what it is or not know what to do about it when they see that they have it.

The other night I had an opportunity to hear Stephanie Reynolds speak about strategic planning. While I feel I have a pretty good handle on these things, I almost always learn something new when I hear a fresh perspective and this was no different.

Then, yesterday, I was talking with a manager I used to coach about doing performance reviews and realized there is some overlap. My life is full of synchronicities like that and I find it to be a lot of fun to notice this when it happens and then run with it a bit.

The overlap that I find between strategic planning and performance reviews is that essentially to get the best work out of anyone - yourself, a co-worker, a boss, or an employee - it's important to recognize what your own strategic vision is for them and what their strategic vision is for themselves. The question then becomes a matter of how do you align the two visions and how do you make (and track) progress against such a joint vision.

I pose that it takes a better-than-average leader to be able to pull this off, especially when you're talking about geeks because when they see their image of how they want things to be, they see it so clearly and it makes so much sense to them that they can't even understand that there might be others who need help seeing it as clearly as they do.

So, are you a great leader or do you want to be? How do you resolve the two visions, yours and theirs? And how do you make the progress you want to make against both? I have some ideas of my own - which I'll share - and I'm always interested in hearing your thoughts too. Send them to me at and let's see what we can learn from each other.

Ending up in Minneapolis in January by way of China when your original plan was to go to Boston for a relaxing vacation on a warm gulf beach can only be considered a success if your ultimate vision was to have a random adventure.