The Two Types of People in the World
There are two types of people in the world, dreamers and doers.
Lazy dreamers are useless. Avoid them.
The way to matter is doing what matters.
Dreamless doers are anchors. Reject them.
The way to matter is pursing dreams.
- Look down on doers. They’re narrow.
- Define ideas.
- Start things.
- Dreamers – Oh! Look at that blossom – flit like butterflies.
- Talk into.
- Commit quickly.
- Frustrate doers.
- Look down on dreamers. They’re frivolous.
- Define steps.
- Finish things.
- Stay on task like hounds on scent.
- Talk out of.
- Commit slowly.
- Frustrate dreamers.
Find your counterpart. Dreamers need doers and doers need dreamers. Most aren’t great at both.
Extraordinary success demands dreaming and doing.
A word to dreamers. Doers get more done. Getting them to commit is challenging. Life is filled with tasks they must complete. Adding tasks frustrates because it postpones completion. They love success and certainty.
A word to doers. Dreamers take your further. Getting them focused is challenging. Life brims with dreams to chase. Adding dreams excites because it expands impact. They love pursuit and thrive with uncertainty.
Dealing with the difference:
- Celebrate your counter-part.
- Invite them in.
- Leverage their strength.
- Compensate for their weakness.
Rather than frustrate, compliment. Know who you are and how you work. Accept who they are and how they work.
The more you are of one the less you are of the other, usually.
What corresponding strengths and weaknesses do dreamers and doers possess?
How can dreamers and doers best function together?
My mentor poured an improtant phrase into my life over and over. “Stay in your lane.” This is how people of diverse talents and natures get along. Do what you do best, and respect other people enough to let them do the same.
The greatest strength of dreamers is that they can see possibilities that more pragmatic and concrete kinds of thinkers cannot. Doers see the myriad of possibilities of how to accomplish something once they grasp the idea. They are important to each other.
Very nicely said, Martina.
I love your description and appreciation for dreamers and doers. Once a doer grasps the idea (commits) … step back!
The “why” people (dreamers) need the “how” people (doers). The dreamers are the big visioneers. They usually live in the future. The doers are usually the more systematic, engineer types. They live in the present. Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why,” has been a great help to me with all of this. Highly recommend it to anyone wanting to go further with this subject.
Hi Josh, thanks for your comment and for letting us all know about Simon’s book… You add to the conversation.
At the point of our greatest differences lies our greatest potential. Thanks for sharing this dynamic amid the human condition, Dan.
Wow, love your first sentence. Thanks for stopping in…have a great weekend.
Have an incredible weekend yourself.
Awesome blog. It helps understand partnerships: siblings, spouses, mentors-mentees, vice-principal-principal teams, committees, and friendships. I always try to come from curiosity and it helps me understand where someone else is coming from.
Give a great day
I’m a dreamer and my wife is a doer so I know where you are coming from.
You are a doer too. She didn’t write your blog 😉
I appreciate the distinction between doers and dreamers. And I also appreciate no one is master at both. Useless dreamers only dream and dream determines their space. And I feel they enjoy that space. How much and how long they enjoy, that depends upon theirs sense of justification. But I question myself, If I am a doer, Can I become doer without being a dreamer. It makes me hard to belief so. But the problem comes when I keep on dreaming and doing nothing. I think dream provide space and option. They break boundary. And it depends upon person willpower and belief to make those boundary happen.I also think great visionary and leaders are first dreamer and then doer. In this way, It is a process and cycle too, where dream comes first and action differentiate between doers and only dreamers.
Both suffer from weaknesses.Where dreamers have imagination power where they create great ideas, doers influence surroundings.
And they can best function together by complementing each others. One should generate idea, other should believe it and they both should make it happen. To materialize dream, the most important component is will power, belief and perseverance. And when function together, they will learn from each other.
Great addition. The work together part is the key.
Thanks for capturing these ideas and putting your own spin on them… cheers!
Dreamers can underestimate how much doing is required to make the dream an accomplished reality.
Doers can underestimate how far the dreamer sees ahead and how many ideas flood their mind as they envision the accomplished dream.
They will frustrate one another if they don’t commit to regular planning/review sessions where they evaluate what’s been done (affirming the doer) and what still needs to be done to realize the dream (affirming the vision of the dreamer).
The doer and dreamer both have an important role and the two together will go further than either one alone.
A lack of appreciation is a killer to relationships.
Dreamers and Doers best fit together when they:
1. Understand each other’s value
2. Recognize their own limitations
3. Get intentional about appreciating each other.
You can read more on “How the Under Appreciated Get Noticed” here: http://toddliles.com/how-the-under-appreciated-get-noticed.html
Also – There are a lot of people excited about winning the Enhance Your Blog Hour with Dan Rockwell. http://toddliles.com/win-dan-rockwell
Thank you for being so generous in your class, and inspiring such a great idea.
Thank you Todd…it’s easy for doers to devalue dreamers and dreamers to devalue doers. Value brings them together with respect. Great!
Thanks for extending the conversation..
Great topic Dan, from my experience, simply put, some can, some can’t, some shouldn’t. Takes all kinda people to make to make the world go round with all sorts of talents to bring to the party! Carry on!
Hey Scott, your comment makes me think of Martina’s … stay in your lane! Thank you
I agree that Dreamers and Doers exist at each end of the spectrum you’ve drawn and that there can be those that are ONLY Dreamers and those who are ONLY doers. I will argue that there are shades of both in between. The world and history is full of Dreamers who’ve been both to varying degrees. Einstein, Steve Jobs, Edison, Andrew Carnegie, Ronald Reagan, to name a few, all had Dreams and Visions and a good deal of capability to DO. While an Entrepreneur may not have all of the DOING capacity, skill and knowledge it takes to go from start-up to mature sustainability many do have what it takes to get things going and others motivated to help in the doing process.
“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” ~ Ronald Reagan
Well put Jeff! Love the quote too… thank you
I can’t resist…. there are two types of people, those who generalize and those who don’t. A little humor counterpoint. Always enjoy your posts.
I’d say that’s generally true, usually. 🙂 Nothing like a specific generality to get the ball rolling.
Great points – thank you for sharing! As a project manager / doer, I’m often in awe of what dreamers come up with yet frustrated when they think it can be accomplished by tomorrow! 🙂 I’ve found that when we listen to each other and truly seek to understand the skills we both bring to the table, we’re able to manage through that tension and achieve incredible things.
OOOo, you add the timing component this discussion… so true. Dreamers don’t appreciate how long or how much effort it takes to get stuff done!!
Great post and I like Deborah’s comment. I blog on project management. A big part of my philosophy is that project managers can balance their propensity to do with a consultative approach that brings out the dreamer in their clients. It’s all about balance. Doers can drive out dreams and deliver results on time and budget that don’t fulfill dreams (business benefits). Dreamers can have trouble turning their visions into practical steps and organized action. Together they are more successful. If the project manager builds a consultative collaboration with the client, both sides merge.
One place this really comes out is in risk management. Project managers (doers) tend to focus on what has to get done and what can go wrong. That’s half of risk management. The other half is understanding what opportunities are possible and whether they can be addressed by the project. That’s the dreamer half of risk management. What can go right. A project manager can bring out the dreamer side of his clients and himself if risk management includes opportunities.
Dan, also thanks for the awesome webinar this week. I have a whole new outlook on my blog as a result. Will follow a tip – this post is getting reposted. Warm regards…
Thanks for the good word Glenn.
Your insights on risk are fantastic! Love the “what could go wrong what could go right” observation!
Reblogged this on The Other Side of Risk and commented:
Dan Rockwell reads my mind again. Presenting at the Mt. Baker PMI chapter last month, I encouraged the audience of project managers to imagine an angel on each shoulder. One is the “doer” in us saying “scope, schedule, budget!” The other is the “dreamer” in us saying “find what can go right, imagine opportunities and perfect outcomes…” We need both angels to build the most successful relationships on our projects. Enjoy Dan’s post.
Dang those dreamers, keep thinking out of the box that the doers just built based on what the dreamers dreamt.
Tend to think we are both with inclinations toward one or the other and as Martina pointed out, we should go with our strength and seek a dancing partner who can counterpoint us. Yin/Yang
Would offer up a ratio of one dreamer to three or four doers to achieve the dream. How many meetings have you sat in where really great ideas were offered up and yet, not nurtured fell by the wayside?
It definitely is an initial adrenaline blast to dream and envision. Converting that energy into action takes a lot of work and reward there is seeing, in the moment, the direct and indirect benefits and that excellent sense of completion.
agree, doers build the bases for dreamers, but it’s about material bases. Meanwhile dreamers open the mind to the future, to the many possibilities that exist. Personally, I am a hibrid because I love to dream, but also I like to get things done. A lazy dreamer is not and will never be a leader. Taking the lead, this is the essential trait of a leader as it comes logicaly from the simple understanding of the word. So are the things with the achor doer, because keeping still and no evolving is a trait of a third in command, not even of a second in comand. Dreamers and doers are like twins, they need each other to accomplish great things. Of course they frustrate each other, but that is just because they are not on the same wave lenght. It is a problem of management, a good manager will see the need to have both of them on the team. Moreover, I don’t believe that there are 100% dreamers and absolute doers, and little part missing to complete that 100% is the key to finding the right pair.
Only two type of people unsuccessful in life
one are those who just think ( dreamers)
One are those who just do without thinking ( Doers)
If we want to achieve we must have a dream & do what we dream
What if you are a dreamer and a doer? I need the dream and vision to pull myself and others through all the doing.
I would agree with some of the comments already posted here. I read your blog to Carol (my wife) and asked her where she thought I fit and she stated that she thought many of both descriptions applied to my approaches. Although I do think many trend or are more dominant toward one or the other, I do not think that they are both necessarily mutually exclusive.