Friday, February 27, 2015

Lazy Management

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.
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