Finding an elephant with a microscope

There isn’t a job description on the planet that doesn’t include the words detail oriented. 

Human resource managers have apparently decided that this is the most important trait for a potential team member to possess. To the point that they are scared of being fired themselves for not including this trait on the application. 

And yet, what would be more far more useful and interesting is finding out how the attribute of detail orientation affects people emotionally. 

Imagine the last person you worked with who was extremely detail oriented. Pretend they are sitting next to you under a heavy dose of truth serum. Ask them the following set of questions. 

If something is not working in your exact way, do you become emotionally offended? Are you unable to move forward if a project is a millimeter away from what you expected it to be? Does your perfectionist nature obsessively focus on the unnecessary and distract the rest of the group from what’s important? Is your inability to let things go and feel satisfied producing excess stress for you and others? 

Sounds exhausting to me. Like trying to find an elephant with a microscope. 

Yoga teachers implore their students to strike a balance. They remind us that we can become so focused on details of the posture that we lose sight of the large energetic flows that circulate through the whole body. 

The goal, they say, is to be detailed oriented enough so there will be no injury to the body, but also so the posture serves its unique function. Otherwise trying to do too much subtle work before becoming physically aligned will lead to a collapse in the posture and a sense of frustration. 

Dilbert famously wrote that the vision is the hard part, the idiots can work on the details. 

All jokes aside, his point is well taken. Being detail oriented is smart. But entering into an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes us to get stuck in details, is not. 


Is going on and on about details your way to hide?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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