When Do You Begin Thinking about What’s Next?

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I don't know about you...but I'm wired to begin thinking about what's next right after I finish the conversation that puts what's happening now into the receiving hands and minds of someone else (usually a team member or my assistant).

I am a borderline finder/conceiver on the thinking wavelength* assessment. I struggle with attending to the details of planning and the grind of execution and would much rather be hunting for (or even creating the next idea).

What about you? How would you describe your style or pattern of thinking? Are you really good at grinding away at the details (and even enjoy checking off progress on getting what's now to happen?

Or maybe you're good at minding someone (or a team of someones) who are grinding away at the details?

Or possibly you're a natural at keeping a whole project moving in the right direction (but do best when someone hands you the objective and deliverables and you just need to identify the action steps and organize the team to accomplish them)?

Are you primarily one who finds the next idea, the next thing to do, sometimes fully formed and other times needing a slight tweak to fit your culture?

Or maybe you're a little bit of a mad scientist and you're most engaged when you can dream up or conceive what's next almost out of thin air?

As I mentioned, I'm prewired as a blend of finding and conceiving what's next. I've got a little mad scientist in me, but I also love finding concepts or frameworks that just need reimagining to be an excellent solution for a gap in our strategy.

What about you?

How would you describe your style or pattern of thinking, your thinking wavelength*? Grinder, minder, keeper, finder, or conceiver?

How you're wired makes a difference in the way you function (and set your team to function if you lead a team). For example, as a finder/conceiver I have to be sure that I've recruited or hired some grinders and minders and given them everything they need to make what's now a reality. I also need to have a keeper on the team if I want to be free to move about the idea shelf or spend any time in the mad scientist laboratory.

Important Note: Sometimes you need to function outside of your comfort zone in order to succeed in the now. Even though I am a finder/conceiver, there are times when I must buckle down and channel my inner minder/keeper if I want the project to succeed.

It's really important to understand that:

  1. You can function for a time in another capacity (i.e., finders can be minders and even grinders, keepers can edge over into finding, etc.).
  2. Functioning in another capacity will cause boredom/monotony or anxiety/stress depending on your natural thinking wavelength. For example, as a finder/conceiver operating as a minder/grinder can make for some long days (while operating in my normal wavelength makes the day fly by). Or, someone prewired as a minder/keeper but functioning as a finder/conceiver might feel anxious or even stressed when given the task of coming up with how to do what's been calendared.

*My friend Eric Geiger does a good job of explaining the thinking wavelength concept

Image by Blondinrikard Fröberg

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