An innovator creates things that might not work, but when their innovation works it seems like magic. Innovations are risky, impossible to schedule, and built on faith. Don’t bet the farm on an innovation if you can’t survive when it fails.  

An executor creates something that has already been shown to work. She works to reduce risk and to prevent the project from being over budget, late, or incomplete. An executor can circle the date on the calendar when her work will be complete, and tell you how much it will cost.

We need both types of creators, yet it’s best to know which one you are for your project. The good news is that you can pick, and that it’s possible to be an innovator for one project and an executor for another.