Are You a Towards or Away Person?

Last week I took a call from an old client who was seeking advice. Talking to him it reminded me how highly I rate him as an MD and why. One of the reasons is because he works towards problems, in fact he almost attacks them like a demonic dog and those around him tend to quake wondering if they’re in the firing line.

Problems to him are the very reason for the existence of his role. In this particular case he had a problem with getting credit insurance on a new contract. It wasn’t the issue per se that jogged my memory about him but rather the fact that the problem had only come up an hour earlier.

Working alongside him, I used to quietly smile to myself when I saw, time and time again an issue or problem arise and he would instantly action it, be it a phone call, a memo or to call someone into his office.

I tend to be more cautious and reflective before moving into action and I hold my hands up to say that I do have a number of outstanding items on my To-Do List.

It’s not that  I’m not task focused but if I emulated him I could probably have done a couple of the items by the time I’d actually made my list out.

So which way of working do you prefer – towards or away? If you changed, would it improve your performance?

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About Michael Carr

Specialising in Strategy, Systems and Organisational Design I've had a varied and rewarding career and been fortunate to work for some superb companies such as Courtaulds, Unipart International, Akzo Nobel and more recently Jaguar Landrover, all luminaries of a solid, disciplined and a conservative, though never lacking in innovation, approach to business management and development. Augmenting my career with studying for my MBA at Warwick in the early 90's has given me a balanced and I believe rich resource set to draw upon in my Consultancy Practice. My Clients have been good to me, tolerating my idiosyncrasies, giving me enough rope to go along the journey that I was taking them and hopefully in return I've been able to repay them by raising the bar and their business performance, giving them the results and achievements they were looking for. I really enjoy my work and love the challenge - isn't that what it's all about?
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