Let me first say that this SF trip was the most refreshing trip I've taken this year - although I came back (physically) exhausted, I came back mentally refreshed. I certainly didn't feel this way when I got back from Tibet or even my Vegas trip with my parents. So, that's good.

. . .

I've always been a pretty decent multi-tasker. While I can do deep-thinking on one task (Tabulas didn't build itself!), being able to multi-task has been more valuable to me. Priding myself on multi-tasking, I had been trying to get to the source of why I had been feeling so mentally fatigued at work lately.

The conclusion I reached was that I had been engaging in far too much tactical/strategic context switching on a daily basis. Having to to do simple context-switching is tough, but when I had to constantly switch between the mindset of tactical ("how do we do it with the resources we have") and strategic ("should we do this?") decision, I got burned out.

It was made abundantly clear during my Q2 objectives review with the exec team that my decision-making process was starting to slant to the tactical decision far too much (either that, or I assumed the strategy was obvious from my tactics). This is worrisome - while getting things done on a day-to-day basis is important, I have to constantly remember where we need to end up as a team and as a company. For me, trying to execute on both have led to less-than-optimal decisions. I've also noticed that having a VP of Sales (strategic) and a separate Director of Sales (tactical) has been a big boon for the sales side of business.

While it's ideal to be both strategic and tactical, the reality is most people will fall into one of those two camps. (While it's perfectly OK to be tactical without being strategic, not being tactical when you're strategic is a DEATH knell!) Identifying whether somebody is a strategic or tactical thinker can help tailor a management strategy for either personality. As I was thinking about this, I realized that I'm probably a good tactical manager; although I trust people to make decision on how to execute, I am always hovering, and will nix ideas that seem strong strategically, but don't make sense tactically. (Basically I trust them ... but not all the way).

One thing is clear: I need to figure out a way to continue to devolve my responsibilities so I can step back into a more strategic role at MindTouch. But there is an internal reluctance to do this, as I've found directly wielding tactical decision making to be quite an efficient tool at implementing strategy; moreso than being purely strategic and relying on others to be tactical. Of course, that's not to mean that completely divorcing myself of tactical decision is healthy - all strategic thinker should be able to execute on their own ideas - after all, execution is a multiplier on ideas.

Posted by roy on July 14, 2009 at 01:56 AM in Personal, MindTouch | 5 Comments

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anna (guest)

Comment posted on November 28th, 2009 at 01:14 AM
You're Silly.
Comment posted on July 14th, 2009 at 06:11 PM
good post, i should have just read your entries instead of getting an mba. ;)

being able to be a strategist /and/ an executor, they say, separates the leader from the rest of the managers. most fail to see/understand the difference.

btw, did you ever get a package?
Comment posted on July 15th, 2009 at 07:02 PM
you better believe it! thanks so much ... now i gotta learn that song and play it for you next time you visit! ;)

sanjuro (guest)

Comment posted on July 14th, 2009 at 03:11 PM
There's an awful lot of strategy and tactic in this post. Not that I would complained as much as the previous poster! :D

PM5K (guest)

Comment posted on July 14th, 2009 at 02:12 AM