When big is not better


There are two kinds of people in the world. Actually that’s not exactly true. How many kinds of people there are in the world or the whole of the universe is directly dependent on the system you use and there are countless number of systems that attempts to categorize people.  In this article however, I am concerned with the big picture and small picture people idea. For me any attempt to bring structure  to anything (or systematize it)is a fantastic idea. And it is not necessarily because the structure is a good one but I have a firm believe that a bad system is by far better than no system as an existing system makes for easy trouble-shooting. You can fix something that doesn’t work well because it exists and it is identifiable.  
A typical Big Picture person sees things in large pictures. But of course it is expected. They are visionaries who see the larger system than the small details. If you are a big picture person;
You can quickly see patterns in complex problems
You like to come up with new ideas and new projects
You have a low tolerance for busywork, tedious errands, and filling out forms.
You are great at outlining what needs to be done, but filling in the details can feel painfully exhausting.
You are a visionary in fact as you can see far into the future
Small picture people also referred to as details thinkers are almost the opposite of the big picture people. Whiles big picture people tend to be messy, small picture people see the details and like to keep things tidy. They are orderly and are good at running systems. What big picture people find difficult to do, this bunch will do with incredible ease. It is in their very nature to dot the Is and cross the Ts even when it seems unnecessary. If you are a small picture person then
You think about things in great detail and sometimes miss the big picture.
While you are certainly smart, others may joke that you lack common sense.
You would prefer to edit or tweak a plan than to come up with it from scratch.
Highlighting study notes doesn’t work for you, because you end up highlighting everything.
You have excellent attention to detail and you always spot the small errors that big picture people miss.


While the two may seem like opposites and may lead to conflict when working together, they work incredibly well when people understand their nature and how they complement the nature of others. One is not superior to the other although big picture people may often be the leaders because of their visionary nature. Nevertheless, they need the details to be filled in by small picture people in order for the mission to be accomplished.Small picture tidy up things and make them work. The dynamics of the two are called into play very often in entrepreneurship. Many people have not understood the fact that creating a venture is significantly different from presiding over the day-to-day detailed administration of it. And that in fact the two task may not manifest at their best in the hands of one person.

This is one of the many reasons why self-knowledge is an important component of the SPiD-UP® workshops. The many systems you are tested in reveals you in new ways and allows you to understand yourself better. So whether you are a big picture or small picture person is really not important. What is important is that you know which one you are and how to apply your strength whiles tapping into that of others. Understanding which of the two you are will have a great influence on your performance as it will point you to the strength which you must function by. Don’t forget peak performance is possible only when you are more of what you already are.

About Markus Kennedy Katey

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