Published here, September, 2001.

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Thinkers and Feelers

In short, there is a split between thinkers and feelers and the impact on project work should not be underestimated.

When confronted by project goals and objectives, there are those who obtain satisfaction through the successful achievement of these goals and objectives. Their concerns stem from ensuring that the necessary time and resources are available and within their power to control. These are the thinkers who are usually involved by choice and often represent management.

The feelers, however, tend not to be stimulated by setting goals and objectives and indeed see it as being of little or no consequence. In their view, the only important thing about goal-setting is that the goals should be broadly based, loosely defined and flexible. Typically, they are the stakeholders and constituents and their satisfaction comes, if at all, not from a sense of achievement but from participating in the process.

We can see this dichotomy as far back as our story of Imhotep and King Zoser. Imhotep was clearly a thinker and achieved what he achieved through a satisfaction of "getting things done". King Zoser, on the other hand, was a feeler and was obviously greatly concerned about how he would feel incarcerated in his magnificent mastaba.

Craft-work, Brain-work and Leadership  Craft-work, Brain-work and Leadership

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