Detailed or Visionary?

By Mark Lyons, CAPP

In managing your facilities or company, do you focus on managing details so the small things don’t become the big things? Or do you remain elevated at a visionary level? Author of the book Vertigo, W.G. Sebald proposed the notion that, “Tiny details imperceptible to us decide everything!” If this is true, we must ignore the adage that the devil is in the details, and press on. Pressing on means paying attention to detail and preventing deviations that could snowball into avalanches because it serves the main objective. Right?

Not so fast.

A Japanese proverb says, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” Being a visionary means seeing what’s possible—pursuing the stars instead of being guided by a compass. Visionaries allow teams to self-direct and pursue based on ideals, which is seemingly every employee’s desired status. And yet, being a visionary might cause your tribe to think you are ignoring them and not focusing on solutions.

Which of these strikes you as most fitting of your style? Devil in the details, but are they also the salvation? Hold on to vision and trust the process? Some might ask, why not both?

Can one become a detailed visionary? Where do you stand?

Mark Lyons, CAPP, is manager of parking with the City of Sarasota, Fla.

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