Thursday, March 31, 2005

Higher Education II

Ok, this one doesn't so much have to do with higher education but it continues a thread that was being discussed in my first Higher Education post. I highly recommend you go read the comments there before reading this, good stuff.

Dave and I used to work together on various projects, even had the beginings of our own little company. When I need help figuring out some technical issues or someone to bat ideas around with I usually call him. During my life I've had several business relationships that I thrived in and it's made a few things clear, to me anyway, about how these things relate.

So here comes the big turn away from Higher Education and into some weirdness. I think, in general, people fall into either a big picture, concept-oriented focus or a detail-oriented focus. I'm not saying there isn't cross-over between them, I'm just saying from a comfort level or what you struggle least with, you fall into those two categories. For example, I can and have write a device driver. However, I absolutely hate it and struggle with it. On the other hand, I can go into a meeting with a bunch of people with very little thought of what we are going to talk about and run the show because I focus on big picture stuff, it comes naturally and I trust the details to work themselves out. Of course, that is where I get into trouble.

So these business relationships I mentioned, the ones I thrive on, are the ones in which I am paired with a detail-oriented person. Dave is a good example of this. We work very well together because he fills in my details and puts those constraints around me to keep me focused. He mentioned in his comments that I have a knack for asking the right questions and picking the information out of someone's head. That's why I was a good consultant, I have sorta a feel for that stuff. I don't have a feel for details, organization, that kind of thing. I also don't have any paitence for meetings that go flying off into no where, but that's a different story.

Here is what I'd like some feedback on because I'm curious. First, I think everything is relative to where you stand in the universe. A poor man would kill for $100 but a rich man could care less. Second, and I mentioned this in a different post, perception is everything. Perception trumps reality. When I was a fraid of flying it didn't matter that the reality of the situation that airplanes are extremely safe. It also didn't matter that I knew all of that. What mattered was my perception was that is was unsafe and thus I didn't fly. Y'all agree with them two points?

Next, do you believe more in logic or your gut? To me, when I relax and let things work themselves out things have a habit of working out for the best. When I try to shape the situation or think about it too much, things don't go so well. Have you seen this as well? Any experiences one way or another?

Let's get some conversation going!

1 comment:

Ben said...

Michelle and I are very much like Dave and you. In grad school, I would figure out how to solve the problems and Michelle would make my math work. I tend to be an idea-oriented visual thinker. Michelle tends to be a detail-oriented mathematical thinker.

I can manage details, like writing code, but I usually work best alone in that regard because I tend to make the details match my thought processes instead of any logical organization which often confuses the hell out of people.

I agree completely that perception overrides reality. Look at Iraq. Our leadership percieved Saddam as a threat. In reality, he wasn't (at least not to us). He's not around anymore. You do the math.