Sunday, April 18, 2010

The missing ingredient

Whether you own your own company or manage a department for someone else there will always be an overwhelming number of tasks that will fall in your lap on any given week. Most managers will be regularly, in widely varying degrees, finding themselves writing proposals, answering phones, pulling and refiling files, requesting and overseeing budgets, handling payroll issues, ordering supplies, making copies, attending meetings ... on and on. Even the best of multi-taskers often find themselves bogged down with their paperwork, and are left with a relatively small amount of time to interact with their employees. It seems to me that for many of us the desk work is a " comfort zone " and that isn't necessarily surprising ... in college we had homework, tests, notebooks, essays and reports. If you're working for a company where you've worked your way up from the bottom you probably set yourself apart from the crowd with attention to detail and getting your projects completed on time. Anybody who has started their own company had had to deal with mountains of forms, licenses, insurance and whatever other kind of business specific contract and marketing materials were required. No matter what road led you to be where you are today ... it's a safe bet that road ran through a lot of paper!

What is amazing to me is, when I ask a business owner or a manager " what are you working on? " or " what are you planning for next week? " the answer is almost invariably a propsal, or a permit, or some other form of desk work! It's a rare occasion that they will even speak of their employees! On those occasions where I thought I was discussing management, and the other party starts talking paperwork, I have had to learn to bite my tongue ... the first thing that wants to jump out of my mouth is " ... it sounds like as a manager ... you make a pretty good clerk " ( I have used this phrase often enough to have regretted it a few times ), and while no one has ever liked hearing those words, it has often sparked some great discussion/debate. I know that deskwork will always be part of what managers do ... we should not, however, allow it to become our primary focus!

What I DO feel should be our primary focus is LEADERSHIP! We've all heard and used the phrase " natural born leader ", and there are those people. But for the rest of us acquiring leadership skills requires time and practice, trial and error, but it can be done. No matter who you are, or how knowledgeable or skilled you are as a manager, you are just one person. To be the best manager possible for your company you need to look to the future, determine what will be required of your personnel at that point for optimum results, and then actively lead them into the challenges that await them fully prepared! That is the ideal we should aspire to! This is the essence of management!

Yes I am For Hire!

Contact Rick Thomas at 239 896-7020


  1. When the business owner operates from a paradigm of scarcity they look to do as much as possible thinking "I don't wanna have to pay for X, Y or Z".

    The business owner ought to be focusing on a paradigm of abundance.

    When a business owner takes out the trash or does any comparatively meaningless task... they are saying to the world and themselves: "I'm worth about $9.00 an hour"

    Become a glass is half full kinda person, not a glass if half empty one

  2. Thanks for reading and sharing Chris! What I truly enjoy seeing is the $9.00 an hour employee contribute something to the team/company that exceeds what has come to be the standard for his position, and watch his estimation of his value soar and his limitations disappear!