I often say to my wife “I’m not a details guy, I’m more of a grand overview kind of guy”, she once retorted “I don’t know why you say that as though it’s a good thing”. That one comment changed the way I perceived myself. I still to this day would argue that I am more of a grand overview kind of character and I think my work on the whole benefits from that view of things. I see patterns in things that a lot of people would see as disarray or chaos, such as search results or pay-per-click accounts.
That doesn’t stop me from wondering if my wife is actually right, in her own way she is quite meticulous, she is organised and detail orientated, which is one of the reasons I think we work together, she looks after the details whilst I see myself captaining the ship, but is she right in thinking that I shouldn’t be so upfront about not being detail orientated?
Certainly there are aspects of my chosen career that require more details orientation that others, for example I could tell you to the penny how much I’m spending on the average keyword in a Pay Per Click account I’m managing, is that being detail orientated? Sadly no. That goes back to me being more macro orientated with my outlook on the world – I know pretty much exactly how much I’m spending because the small figures have an impact on the large figures, and not because the large figures are made up of the small figures. There is a distinction there and I think it marks out a difference in the way in which I view the world to some people. Certainly to the way my wife views things.
Is this view of the world just laziness?
I must admit after my wife questioned why I was proud of the fact I’m not so detail orientated in general I started to wonder if I’m actually just lazy. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not lazy, work more than most and get the job done, normally on time and normally I go beyond the call.
Asking Am I disorganised?
I’m about as disorganised as most men. Ten years ago I would have hated myself for saying that, and definitely for what I’m about to say. On my travels I’ve come to the conclusion that there are inherent differences between men and women and this comes out more than ever in the workplace. I don’t think I have ever worked with a man that could match a female colleague for organisational skills.
I write a sensible to day list every day, both for my job and for myself and I always try to get through them so nothing spills over. Surely, that’s more organised that most? I fit in with people’s systems, although I do find it a strain to pick up the workings of a system that someone else has laid down, however I generally get it.
Showing your methodology
People develop their own processes – and generally unless you let people know what you are doing these processes can look from an outside perspective to look slightly chaotic – thereby it’s better to show people how and why you do things – learn from them and they may in turn learn from you.
I’m still arguing that for the purposes of search marketing I have one of the best outlooks on things, however I am beginning to accept that it’s more and more important to be detail focused, because it’s only by being detail focused can I really get people to buy into what I’m talking about.