Thinking about business as a giant puzzle, I’ve noticed there are 4 distinct roles to bring a business to fruition, the people who:

  • Choose/create the picture (vision – purpose/problem/people)
  • Construct the edge pieces (rules of engagement – values, strategy)
  • Place the middle pieces (execution – 4 business functions)
  • Break up middle pieces making them ever smaller, more intricately integrated (optimization – continual improvement as well as reducing the seams between/among business functions)

All four of these are crucial to business success and are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


I’m a huge proponent and frequent user of all types of personality assessments but almost every personality test puts me smack dab in the middle with relatively equal weight among their scoring factors. 


I am always a little jealous of people who are really strong in 1-2 areas and really weak in others, giving clear sightlines into what they should/should not do. I’m typically able to adapt to my role to fill in the holes around me. 


I recently realized this constant adaptation to my environment gave me a little bit of an identity crisis: does a chameleon know what color they truly are?


My flow state comes from solving the purpose/problem/people logic problem and painting that picture, building out the edge pieces providing the bumper lanes to operate within, and then managing the managers helping them stay aligned and inspired in the execution and optimization.


When I get to operate in this space, I have an unfair advantage over others because it’s the work that I can do all day long and have more energy when finished. 


Which part of the puzzle are you best at executing? How does that align with what you are actually doing today? Do you have your team slotted in the right spots as well?

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