Monday, January 09, 2006

Problem Solver vs The Perfectionist

Quite a long time ago, Tang kinda duly categorised herself as a problem solver, and labelled me as a perfectionist. I didn’t actually disagree with her, but it is quite a thought provoking statement for me.

Since our topic of discussion usually revolved around work, lets talk a bit about working environments. I am a perfectionist in the sense I wanted a “perfect” working environment, with capable colleagues and productive culture. For example, I would not like to work with lazy or problematic people (you can be incapable, but you must show interest to learn fast). Rather than trying to work or make the best out of them, I would either ignore them or blame the recruitment system (in fact, I did both). If I categorised them as beyond help, I would take all the job from them and do it on my own, even if it means more work for me (save me on high blood pressure and wastage of time while waiting for them to complete). When I found the company seems to be recruiting lousy people, I created a programming test for HR to make sure no one can bullshit their ways into this company and work together with me. When I found the working procedure and culture is defective, I tried to change it by introducing some new drastic ideas. Though change in a big and flabby company could be difficult, but there is so much more which could be achieved. Perhaps I am not in the position to make a change, thus my effort failed miserably. Thus, I decided to work for myself or set-up my own company (so that I can be in control to create another “perfect” company). Perhaps I am a perfectionist after all. Sometimes things require fixing (if it had a potential to be fixed); sometimes damage prevention need to be done before it is too late; sometimes we just need to start new again.

Tang on the other hand is a survivor, a problem solver. She could actually work on whatever resources she had, and would not give up on any manpower she had her hands on (no matter how lazy or how much she hates them). If someone didn’t do his job, she would force it down his throat to make sure he churned out something useful and make the company’s manpower investment worth. One thing for sure, no one gets to be too free if she is in charge. She doesn’t try to change her team, nor the culture. She just adapts into them, and makes the best out of it.

I guess there is no right and wrong, as a perfectionist and problem solver are meant to do different things in life. I believe good productivity is achieved through good developer with good working culture, and this is my baseline. I would try my best to achieve this baseline, no matter what it takes (I am de-motivated in lesser environment). I want this team to have the potential to go far, to minimise problem before they arise and maximise productivity. Tang shall be her survivor who could fit very well in any working environment while still getting the job done.

No comments: