Many leaders are applauded for their big-picture thinking style, which does make sense. As the leader, you are responsible for inspiring others and thinking of new and innovative ideas for your business. Big-picture thinkers tend to be more creative and have a natural gift to see the potential in various situations.
Sounds like a good gig, right? However, it does not come without some drawbacks. One of the issues with a big-picture leadership style is it can cause the individual to become out of touch with the day-to-day activities of their company, which might make it difficult to set goals that are realistic.
This is why big-picture thinkers need to also pay attention to details.
For some big-picture thinkers, the idea of spending their days fixated on details sounds fairly restricting. They may believe details bog them down and distract them from what they really should be doing as a leader.
Still, leaders can run the risk of becoming so obsessed with the details of the business they almost become managers again. If leaders simply stay managers, the company will miss opportunities to grow and evolve.
But if certain details are not closely monitored; the overall quality of a project can suffer.
You’ll be more successful as a leader if you pay more attention to the details of projects. It also increases your own credibility with your direct reports and shows you can be trusted to perform good work consistently.
Here is some advice for you big-picture thinkers out there – make sure you pay attention to the details of the tips.
- Schedule frequent times to monitor progress on your assignments. Involve others in this process and get feedback about how you attend to details.
- Before leaving work each day, identify the things you need to do the next day.
- Set up an accountability measure, such as a project chart or an electronic follow-up system, that will allow you to track your progress and avoid missing due dates.
- Adjust your schedule and priorities as necessary to ensure that your daily work aligns with your most critical job responsibilities.
- Take a time management course if organizing your time is a problem for you.
- If interruptions are a problem for you, set times each day when you are not to be interrupted, and explain why you are doing this to your direct reports.
- Information and decisions trusted to memory may easily be forgotten or unavailable when they are needed. Document the important details of your work and schedule them on a timeline whenever possible. This will help you to remember what needs to be done, and will help others fill in for you if you are sick.
Remember, true success in an ever-changing work environment requires a combination of big-picture thinking and attention to detail.