A Look Under the Hood of What Drives Great Doers
Everyone has an idea of how to achieve success. Doers think it’s about getting things done. Dreamers think it’s about dreaming big dreams. Both are wrong.
The better you are at getting things done, the worse you are at dreaming.
Suppose your ratio of Doer to Dreamer is 80/20. You can’t dream your way out of a wet paper bag, but you sure can get things done. In most organizations, you’re successful.
Doers get stuck in finishing the achievable. They reach too low and sell themselves short. But they have more in them.
Dreaming is a waste of time if your drive in life is finishing things.
Finishing is like cocaine when you’re a gifted Doer. The more you get, the more you want. That’s the reason a good plan matters so much to Doers. “Don’t start if you can’t finish.”
Dreamers think, “Why plan when you could just get started?”
Doers start too few things and keep going when they should quit.
Doers use preparation and plans to answer fear and create certainty.
Doers NEED to finish. Planning is most useful when results are predictable. When finishing feels uncertain, Doers get stuck in preparation. Or they go do something else.
Planning is safer and wiser than starting a journey with an uncertain outcome. But many of life’s great opportunities begin uncertainly.
- Evaluate critically. Doers aren’t happy until something meaningful is finished efficiently.
- Won’t quit. Failure to finish is the ultimate offense for Doers.
- Start reluctantly. The drive to finish well means Doers aren’t eager to start things.
- Seem rigid to Dreamers and Feelers. Doers know what needs to be done and how others should do it.
Success is partly about dream and mostly about do.
How might leaders maximize the strengths of Doers and protect them from their weaknesses?
The first step is recognising who the doers, dreamers and feelers are … then align roles and responsibilities to allow them to flourish. Each will excel once you provide the right environment and support then in the way they require.
Then help doers see the dream, the first few steps, and the goal. Then appeal to their drive to do to help get this challenge done.
Thanks Rob. I believe teams and leaders are dealing with unnecessary frustrations because we don’t understand the strengths and motivations of Doers, Dreamers, and Feelers. We expect the wrong things from people we don’t understand. We communicate in ineffective ways when we don’t know what motivates people.
The key is here: “understanding the strengths and motivations of Doers, Dreamers, and Feelers.” Leaders need to ensure they have head space to dream about their teams! They need the Emotional Intelligence to sense how to bring the members of those teams together in such a way as to capitalise on the strengths of each individual, and then to facilitate the continued interactions. Of course, all of this relies on leaders understanding themselves well enough to know when they are viewing the world through their own particular motivational lenses – which means they aren’t seeing people dispassionately and appreciating them and their strengths for what they really are… Hey, being a leader isn’t an easy call, is it?
Leaders need to know the capabilities of their “Doers” and how to maximize the return. In a joint effort Leaders can spread their best “Doers” to enhance less capable “Doers” to become better attributes for the corporation or a said project, understanding that all “Doers” are not alike and some may never become “complete Doers”. When I say “complete Doers”, I refer to individuals who can take a project start to finish, getting done on time, under budget, a satisfied customer, granted the leaders still need to lay down a clear scope of work, scheduling milestones, what and when items need to be done, identify areas of concern that could put projects in jeopardy for completion and do their part to assist “the Doers”.
Don’t start something you can’t complete! Don’t promise anything you can’ t deliver on, as a Leader or a Doer! False promises by Leaders will affect everyone in the final picture, “Doers”, clients, partners and employers.
The protection “of Doers” will require limiting their exposure to tasks that are out of their realm of expertise, don’t assign them something they can’t handle, at the same time partner them with someone who can, so they gather the experience for future events, you can’t master if you don’t have exposure. Don’t confuse protection for fear of challenging, a “true future Doer” who enjoys the challenges too, you just have to be selective in your choices.
Thanks Tim. Your insights lead me to think that you’re a Doer. 🙂
I concur with your reflections and add that pushing doers to try new things will help them find new opportunities for themselves. Strong Doers are weak at trying new things. Create a safety net…maybe a pilot program and challenge them to step in. This approach often bristles Doers, but being stretched requires it. 🙂
Thanks again for your insights
Guilty by association, my Father instilled in me not to start something you don’t intend to finish. The Dreams change with the journey!
How would you handle a dreamer that thinks they are also a doer? They have great ideas and want to help the customer, but NEVER deliver. It is frustrating to the internal team, but also to the customer. Credibility is lost because of promises made and not fulfilled. thanks!
From a team approach, I would set the “dreamer down” and let them know just what your group is seeing, “The “The Dreamer” doesn’t deliver”, Determine a plan of action to deliver, find the faults and mend the path to being able to deliver. Identify what is mission critical to become a “doer” and restore the group’s credibility.
What is a good way of identifying the doers, feelers and dreamers? How do you help teams to identify which of these apply to each of them? Are there any tools that help?