Not every leader can be both a brilliant visionary and an efficient strategist. That's what a team is for.
Entrepreneurs are used to obsessing over ROI. But R. Michael Rose, speaking to Inc.'s Leadership Forum on Tuesday, asked business owners to think instead, about ROE: return on energy.
Rose, the author of the book ROE Powers ROI, coined the phrase after founding his own company, the Dallas-based marketing agency Mojo Media Labs, in 1997. Within 10 years, however, he was burnt out.
"I got really bored. My passion was going down," he said. "I didn't want to get out of business, but I knew something had been lost."
What he needed, Rose explained, was a way to amplify all the energy he'd put into the business over the years. He says he realized that in order to get the most of the time he spent on the business, he would have to surround himself with managers and employees whose skills complimented his own. On Tuesday, Rose outlined the three types of thinkers that every company must have in order to be successful.
The first is the visionary. "They're the ones who are responsible for seeing 20 years down the road, though they might not be so good at seeing five minutes down the road," Rose explained.
But vision is meaningless without a plan, which is why Rose said every company requires a second type of thinker: the strategist. A strategist's job is to turn the visionary's big ideas into plans and communicate those plans to the third type of thinker: the tacticians.
When a business owner has a better understanding of how he and his employees think, Rose says, it reduces the amount of miscommunication and misunderstanding within the organization. "A visionary can't communicate with a tactical thinker directly," Rose explained. Identifying who your strategists are makes putting those big ideas into practice easier.
These ways of thinking, however, aren't static. Rose told the crowd it's critical for leaders to be able to adapt. "It's not a steady position," he says. "We need to bounce between these ways everyday."