Training Badge
Submitted by cwatine on



I have just received "Making it all work" from David Allen (Getting things done).
I have begun to read and it seems very promising.

In particular, there is a 4-quadrant chart that is very interesting to me as a manager : David Allen classifies on two axis : control and perspective and this gives 4 styles and each as a positive and negative attribute :

- Low perspective / low control. Negative : Victim. Positive : Responder
- High perspective / low control. Negative : Crazy maker. Positive : visionary
- Low perspective / high control. Negative : Micromanager. positive : Implementer
- High perspective / High control. Positive only : Captain and Commander

Of course, this is not a way to definitely classify people. It is related to time, circumpstances, etc

I found this classification very useful for myself. And also for my team : how do I help them to be Captain and Commander?

bug_girl's picture

Can you explain more what he means by "perspective"?

cwatine's picture
Training Badge


I don't know if you are familiar with Dadid Allens books? He defines perspective by the "distance" you take with events. He uses for example : "the 50.000 feets view".

On the bottom of the scale you have "next action" which is very short terme view.
On the top you have "Objective and Principles" which are your objectives and principles in life.

Having perspective means that you are able to deal with the whole scale (from "get bread for dinner" to "build a trustfull relation with my children")

Hope it helps.

bug_girl's picture

AH! Now I remember.
It's been a while since I read GTD.


curamachado's picture

Not sure if having a team of "Captain and Commander" is suited to grow a business... Rather have one "Captain and Commander" (the leader), several low perspective / high control and some high perspective / low control.

I my view, the goal is to adequatly atribute tasks aligned with each one's intrinsic caracteristics (and, of course, loose the low perspective / low control elements)


cwatine's picture
Training Badge

Can I disagree here?

I would try to only have "Captain and Commander" profiles around me because it is the way to grow my company. Captain and Commander doesn't mean they all will be leaders of the company, but at least leaders for themselves.

Our role is not to limit our people development. I feel our role is also to grow them in the control and perspective dimensions, for the benefit of the organization.

This has nothing to do with the fact that you need multiple (DISC) profiles in a team.

cwatine's picture
Training Badge

Another usefull principle from GTD that works well with Management and project management :

When one of your direct is stuck (can't make a decision), ask him about the NEXT ACTION he will do for that.

NEXT ACTION is the very next "physical" action you will do to keep the project moving forward. It usually reactivate the flow of a project/decision.

Write this NA in the O3 notes and next week, ask him how it went and what is the new NA of this project/decision. It can do wonders to restart a stuck project.

curamachado's picture


I see your point. But try to put a team of C&C working together for a common goal and you probably end up with a "dog fight"...

Don't disagree with the view on the people's development, though. Hence my idea of having diversity in the team...

- Francisco

BJ_Marshall's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I LOVE the idea of putting next actions in my O3 notes. I'm going to have to do that ... when I get directs again. (I'm in a newly created office and won't be able to hire for about a year.)


JorrianGelink's picture

Fantastic post Cedwat! I remember writing a few months back awaiting the review for the book! I finished it two weeks ago and posted a review on Amazon which I shall drop here:

"Powerful follow up to Getting Things Done. For those who are dedicated to the GTD model or are new to the GTD model, what Making it All Work does is how to examine your own thought processes towards projects and the next actions. David Allen writes on how to fine-tune the GTD model with tons of examples and explanations on why people have such a difficult time focusing at life and work. Make sure to read Getting Things Done first to maximize this book's effectiveness!

David Allen also dives into Purpose, Mission/Values/Principles and ties that into actions with his Control/Perspective Model to help anyone achieve success and be productive at life and work!"

The Control/Perspective model is my favorite part, the chapters are based on the different "levels" horizontally and vertically on the model, so if you needed to work more on "Organizing" you just flip to that chapter or on "Goals" you flip to the next chapter.

And on David Allen, tonight I bumped into an RSS posting of a tour of David Allen's office with his systems in place (been waiting FOREVER for a look)! Here's the link!

Jorrian Gelink - Jorrian's Peter Drucker Blog

cwatine's picture
Training Badge


I am not sure at all about that. I feel like you are mixing a little bit GTD and DISC Model.
What you describe would happen when you put many "D" (Dominant) in the same team. C&C is not the "D" of the DISC model.
C&C in the definition of David Allen just describes someone who has control over what he does and perspective about what he does. It has nothing to do with his ability or willingness to dominates/lead others. It is more like a "C&C" of oneself. Someone who is able to execute projects correctly AND to have a long term view, life principles, etc.
Whatever your DISC profile, beeing an "C&C" should help you and your team.


Then put YOUR Next Actions on your lists! ;-)


Nice review.

cwatine's picture
Training Badge

I have just finished the book.
If you liked GTD, get it.
At least as good.