How to Navigate Predictable Tension Between Doers and Dreamers

I heard a tense exchange between a Dreamer* and a Doer*. They’re both committed to a new business venture. But you could feel them trying not to express frustration.

Buckle up:

The Dreamer asked the Doer to take charge of key areas of their new business.

Doers don’t like flying by the seat of their pants.

He (the Dreamer) said, “Just take care of it.” She (the Doer) immediately thought of execution and started asking questions.

It’s a new venture. Uncertainty abounds. The Dreamer pulls answers out of the air.

How to go further:

Listen closely to a Doer’s questions if you’re a Dreamer. Doers know how to get things done. Dreamers know how to start things.

Listen closely to a Dreamer’s vision if you’re a Doer. Dreamers know how to create new opportunities.

  • A Dreamer without a Doer starts too many things and finishes too few.
  • A Doer without a Dreamer perfects processes and misses new opportunities.

Anticipate frustration:

Delight in Doer – Dreamer tension. You push each other. If you’re a Dreamer remember that …

Dreamers need Doers more than Doers need Dreamers.

Respect a Doer’s ability to get things done. Yes, a Doer’s need for clarity drives Dreamers crazy. Create as much clarity as possible.

Clarify questions:

Don’t give quick answers to Doers. Ask them what they need to know.

Explore the questions of dedicated Doers and you’ll get more done. They aren’t being resistant. They’re figuring out how to finish.


Whenever a Doer on the team is eager to move forward, jump on the pony and ride! I recently had a Doer on my team say we should just move forward. I didn’t ask any questions. I moved forward.

How might leaders navigate tension between Doers and Dreamers?

*Added resources:

Cracking the Doer – Dreamer – Feeler Code 

How Doers and Dreamers Drive Each Other Crazy 

How Dreamers Drive Doers to Distraction and Beyond