Theories of management are as numerous as managers. I am sure that each has value and adds something to the general international wealth of knowledge. I’m just as sure that each works within a defined set of parameters and that none of them work all of the time.
I always wanted to be a manager. I studied, read inspirational books and tried all sorts of styles and never got very good at it. Eventually it occurred to me that managers have to work for employers. I don’t work well for employers.
So I gave up being a manager and went to work being stubborn, obnoxious and downright hard headed. In short, I was the perfect entrepreneur.
On an evening a few years ago, following several glasses of dark red wine, I realized that I had become the president of a company of employees. I was, in short, a manager again. It is said that if a plot persists in a writer’s head for several months, through a number of good hangovers, it will become a good story. The same is true of sudden realizations. The thought persisted. I had become a manager.
Times have changed. Apparently we’ve produced three generations since I actually wanted to be a manager. In that time, our society and general rules have changed a lot. I tried to catch up and realized that it would take the next three generations before I understood much about the current society that I had ignored while being an entrepreneur.
Instead of pursuing the reading and seminar route all over again, I decided to retain my independence and just Be the Manager. It shouldn’t be all that hard after all my years of entrepreneurial experience, right?
After much thought, I decided that I shouldn’t have to make all the decisions. My current management position provides the opportunity to tell other people how Team Mates approaches issues and service. Then I get to sit down and wait. It is a constant pleasure to see that decisions get made, plans and systems are activated and even problems are resolved promptly, without a big fuss and without me ever having to lift a finger.
It’s a lazy way to manage. It also works. I had to give up one thing. I am no longer allowed to get angry if a decision goes wrong. That isn’t such a bad thing. The stubborn entrepreneur who stomps around waving his hands over his head is now taking a nap while his management team makes decisions. Now I’m off to have a glass of wine and think some more.