Finding Balance Between Machetes and TweezersAs a channel marketer I am running at least ten programs, five communications, three events, two trainings, five campaigns, ongoing tin-cupping, housekeeping, politics and reporting activities for multiple supplier lines to 400 resellers on an ongoing basis. It is my love and my passion.
I have no problem studying the problem, visualizing the solution, thinking through the process, putting the pieces together, hiring the right vendors, executing and showing ROI. I enjoy the challenge of traversing stakeholders, recruiting champions, kicking through progress dams (human, technological or process), dealing with the daily surprises and problems.
My personal challenge has to do with “right brain versus left brain” time management. The balancing act between due diligence and execution. Deciding which activities to invest due diligence in order to properly research (Survey Monkey), enlist champions, obtain funding (MS PPT), prove ROI (Excel/SAP) and planning (Visio/MS Project), communicate it (Outlook/meetings), create RFPS, read SOWs, negotiate contracts, and then execute. Or just leverage my experience and reputation and “get it done.”
I know logically that the more work I do on the front-end, the less time I will be required to spend executing through the project life-cycle. Every textbook preaches the wisdom of planning before execution. I find myself (in the heat of battle) challenged to keep all the balls up in the air, while pushing that big rock up the hill.
To summarize my two biggest challenges are:
1. The optimum amount of time to spend preparing versus executing, multiplied by dozens of tasksthat we only have 12 hours in a day to accomplish. Then invariably daily fires will arise that consume the bandwidth needed to course correct through the program lifecycle in a proactive manner.
2. The right mix of managing the right tools at the time (machete versus tweezers, leadership style versus management style, planning time versus execution). I start out with the best intention, then as multiple fires start I find myself taking shortcuts. Some necessary, some not so much.
I switch back and forth intuitively currently, but I will work to develop and define a methodology for optimizing the ongoing trade-offs.