THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Leadership and communication

In every practice, business and corporation there are teams of people who see the world through different eyes.

Let’s consider some of them:

1. Strategy versus Tactics

The strategy team want to talk about what things will look like in 10 years, 3 years or 1 year.

The tactics team want to agree how things will look this week, today, by lunchtime.

They seldom understand each other.

2. Marketing and Sales versus Systems and Compliance

The marketing and sales team want to talk about how to get more customers in and how to sell them more stuff.

The systems and compliance team want to make sure that all the forms are filled in properly.

Did you ever try to get a sales person to send in receipts for expenses properly?

They seldom understand each other.

3. Finance versus Relationships

The finance team want more spreadsheets.

The relationship team want to do lunch.

They seldom understand each other.

4. Short-term route to the money versus long-term route to the money

The short term team want deals NOW. Don’t bore me with procedures, systems, roles, responsibilities, job descriptions – WTF are you all doing? GET ME SOME DEALS DONE NOW!!!

The long term team want to make sure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, so that the deals don’t unravel somewhere down the line and we all end up in jail.

The short term team love risk.

The long term team love security.

They seldom understand each other.

Here’s the rub.

You need both of everyone.

So the challenge is leadership.

  1. The strategy, marketing, sales, relationship, short-term folks believe that they are working in an environment where they can take risks and be rewarded when it goes well and supported when it goes badly.

  2. The tactical, systems, compliance, financial, long-term folks believe that they are working in a safe place, where they can protect the nest and be rewarded when their carefulness pays off.

  3. If you shout and scream at the short-term team – asking for more paperwork – they will look at you in bewilderment and then look around for another job.

  4. If you give control to the short term team, you end up with casino banking, corruption and collapse.

  5. If you shout and scream at the long term team – asking for more sales and deals – they will look at you in horror and then run a mile.

  6. If you give control to the long term team, you end up with bureaucracy and stagnation – and you run out of money.

Leadership is understanding this and communicating with each team in the appropriate manner and making sure that they both feel appreciated, heard and accommodated.

Leadership is making sure that neither team gets the upper hand.

We all need more sales and deals.

We all need more compliance, systems and paperwork.

Getting that balance right is leadership genius.

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