(Fall 1993)

The 40-foot straw, defined:

Myopically focused on a singular outcome or objective such that it limits our ability to see any other peripheral activities or people.

In SSCA’s terms, “leading” through a 40-foot straw is a pacesetting style. Looking at the world through a 40-foot straw is being only focused upon one objective at a time.

How can Thinkers do this? By only using their thinking and when the pressure becomes strong, they over-control and take-back delegated projects. They tend to think for other people.

How can Persisters do this? By only listening to their preconceived notions (opinions and beliefs) and, under pressure, attack. They are masters of finding where you do not measure up.

How can Harmonizers do this? By keeping their straw focused not on the task, but on people, becoming overly concerned about what people will think of them and how others feel.

How can Promoters do this? By not keeping their straw pointed in one direction for very long. Instead, they jump from one point to the next without completion, especially when in distress.

How can Imaginers do this? By keeping their straw focused on what they are directed to keep it focused on until they are interrupted. At that point, the focus will change without them being aware that they did not complete or return to the original concept or they will lose the focus altogether.