I was describing a problem I was experiencing to a friend, and she asked me, “What does success look like?” It took me aback for a second. I was not able to articulate what the solution would “look like.” I was stuck on the frustration of the problem itself.
Upon self-reflection, it wasn’t surprising that I struggled to respond to my friend’s question. A couple years ago, I completed Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment and identified that my top two strengths are Restorative and Adaptability. People with the Restorative strength love to solve problems. In fact, I thrive on face-paced, pressurized, constantly-shifting problem-solving. Sounds like a good strength to have in the IT field, but the complication for me is that as a person also strong in Adaptability, I tend to live in the here-and-now:
“You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time.”
So, the flip side of the Adaptability strength is that I tend to throw many, many darts at a problem until I happen to hit the bulls-eye: ready, throw, throw, throw, aim. I problem-solve for the sheer joy of problem-solving with no particular attention to future implications.
How do I compensate for this tendency to lack vision? At work, I seek out people who are strong in strategic thinking, who are thoughtful, purposeful, and disciplined, who carefully weigh the costs and benefits of particular actions. People who can describe to me what success looks like.