Unexpectedly Intriguing!
October 24, 2006

Management is the art of getting things done through other people. To be a good manager, you need to be capable of responding to a wide range of issues with the right mix of people and technical skills in time enough to get things right.

Getting it right means that you've successfully balanced your available resources with the work that must be done, in the time that it must be done, while satisfying the goals of the organization.

Then, there are those times where management fails. Somewhere, somehow, something didn't happen that needed to happen and it's not because of something that could not be foreseen or that would be impossible to accomplish with your available resources. You knew about it, you could have taken steps to deal with it, and you didn't.

How you deal with this situation will not just make yor break you as a boss. How good a person you are will be tested too.

Your initial impulse may be to cover your mistake up and act like nothing's happened and hope that nothing comes of it. That is, obviously, WRONG. It's already too late, so don't even bother going down that road.

Your next impulse will be to do more management. A lot more. You'll redirect your people to directly overcome the immediate crisis. You'll enlist other managers and their people to help right the results of your oversight. You'll have meetings, make plans and contigency plans. You'll throw every resource you have into the effort, not just calling more people onto the task but also working long hours and spending whatever it takes to erase your mistake.

You've panicked. Clear and simple. And you've just done more damage than you likely did in your original oversight.

Here's what you've done by your act of management: You've disrupted your people and quite possible the people of other groups by redirecting them away from their regular tasks to cope with your emergency. Away from their regular tasks that are required to keep the business running smoothly. The tasks that other people and your customers are relying upon them to do.

This means that at some point, they will need to devote additional effort, beyond the usual level needed, just to recover to where they would be if you hadn't intervened. Many of them will be profoundly annoyed by this, but not because of having to do the work.

Instead, their irritation will be directed at you, because they know you could have acted proactively to address the situation that led to your management by panic. They've been there all along, they've seen things develop into the current crisis and now they resent the disruption to their work enviornment and their lives just to cover for your oversight or lack of action.

It's too much to ask and you shouldn't have. Many of your people will begin pursuing a new work environment, when they're really just looking to replace you. Other managers won't be inclined to go out of their way to support your career. Literally, doing nothing would have been better than doing what you've done.

If only you had considered it. If only you had offered to take full responsibility for the mistake by presenting "nothing" as one of options to consider in developing your elaborate recovery plans. If only you had presented that choice as an option for your staff and other members of your organization. That's where their hard effort could be won over to the task and and where truly earning their respect lay.

But, you had to "manage" your way through it. Because doing something is better than doing nothing. Because nothing else would make you the center of all the action and the hero in the story.

Your ego may have driven you to pursue the course you did. Funny that in the end, it really was all about you.

About Political Calculations



blog advertising
is good for you

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Applications

This year, we'll be experimenting with a number of apps to bring more of a current events focus to Political Calculations - we're test driving the app(s) below!

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Visitors since December 6, 2004:

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button

JavaScript

The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links
Charities We Support
Recommended Reading
Recommended Viewing
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Archives
Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.