Does your boss seem disinterested in the new idea you have for a quick sale? Does he talk about strategy in a dreamlike state only focusing on things looming in the distance rather than things right in front of his face? Does he appear to make little progress on known projects and then suddenly get things done JIT (just in time)?
It’s possible he has Long Range Time Frame Orientation.
Understanding Long Range Time Frame Orientation
Every person tends to lean toward one of three natural time orientations.—immediate, intermediate, and long-range.
Long-range leaders have a predisposition to think of things 5-10 years in the future. This orientation is great for analysis, research, or long-term projects. Their strength lies in seeing long-term targets or goals and in anticipating and contemplating the effect or impact of current projects on these goals.
For example, if your boss is focused on developing a new line of business in a new market, it’s possible he might over emphasize the research before taking any action and under emphasize the value of a few small wins.
People who have a Long Range Time Frame Orientation tend to procrastinate because they think they have all the time in the world.
If your boss is one of these people, then you know this can be challenging. Especially if you are thinking, “if we don’t do something now, we’re going to lose momentum, interest in the product line, and buy-in from those of us that are working on this!”
How to Handle Your Boss Who has a Long Range Time Frame Orientation
It’s all about how you approach your boss. Spontaneity…not so much.
When you can, try to connect urgent matters to a long-term project or goal. Plan events far in advance. Give her warning. Few other tips:
- Break long-term goals into well-defined shorter projects, always making that connection to the long-term target.
- Stay organized since your boss is likely looking into the distance and likely doesn’t keep up with the day-to-day.
- Keep an open line of communication about what your boss sees for the future.
- Take baby steps to keep your boss in the here-and-now by updating them on short-term successes.
We’re all in this together. In the workplace, it’s about understanding how each member of the team is wired and allowing for it.