Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Person to Have in the Room

He is not the person you would want to make the decision, but he is a person you'd want in the room when the options are being explored.

He has insights and ideas that are missed by many advisors and yet sometimes has gaps on the problems that attend execution or the political intangibles that can affect public opinion. He is a brilliant fellow who does not suffer fools gladly although he often pretends to do so. Over the years, his wit has produced an impressive cadre of enemies, most of whom are not in his league when it comes to creativity and analysis.

He can be charming, irritating, and so smart it is scary.

When discussing major decisions, ignore the grumbling of others and make sure that he is in the room.


Dan in Philly said...

If I might interject for those of us not managers, try to be that person management is scared not to have in the room!

Though one should not go out of one's way to cultivate enemies, one should not avoid them if that means compromising integrity. Never fear to speak out an unpopular opinion. Of course you cannot be right all of the time, but try to be right MOST of the time.

This takes a whole lot of work and dedication and thinking and making good decisions day after day after day, but the accumulation of thousands of good days allow you to be that guy!

CincyCat said...

When I read this piece today, a person's name immediately sprang to mind who is on the Board at the non-profit where I serve.

While I value his insight and perspective on issues that the rest of us miss, he has a nagging tendency to be very aggressive with his approach, and often overpowers the rest of the discussion. He misses the point that it is perfectly acceptable to make note of the risks and intelligently decide to proceed anyway, rather than to stop all forward progress.

Sometimes, which is even worse, he just (in his own words) "sits back and watches what's happening" without interceding when he sees a train wreck coming, then calls decisions into question after the fact.

While I do appreciate his insight, dealing with an arrogant hothead in our meetings is sometimes more of a headache than it's worth...

Bob said...

Reminded me of the scenes in Moneyball.