MANAGEMENT IS A CONTACT SPORT


Employers have for too long been stuck using coercive methods to get employees to complete the requires task.
These methods have in general been a failure for both employers and employees. The resentment created leads to low productivity. This low productivity as resulted in employers requiring more work for the same pay resulting in even more resentment, malaise and apathy. The foundation of the problem is in a management class that often has inadequate direct experience in the industry that they are supposed to manage. This leads to unrealistic goals being set.

The lack of coupling between the persons establishing goals and the persons required to accomplish them is road block that has not adequately been challenged.
The failure to do so is more systemic that individual. The frustration of managers in not meeting their goals is understandable but does not engender sympathy. Employees are not sympathetic because they are the ones being asked to do more with less and managers often dig in and reach for the old solutions bucket.

A meeting is called to discuss the problem and most often no solutions can be agreed on and another meeting is scheduled. Before the meeting is adjourned a subcommittee is established to discuss and report to the next meeting. The committee is often too large and composed of the persons with the least creativity. In addition the committee is often given poor instructions and is without the power required to make the changes that would be most beneficial. A fuzzy deadline is set and the problem is considered solved.

The committee reports and one of two things happens, the recommendations are ignored or the committee asks for more time.
The endless committeeing of problems is a recipe for paralysis. We all recognize the problem and further we all recognized that the endless committees is not a route to a solution, but what alternative do we have?

I do not have a better way, but I would suggest that we often know what the problem is and what should be the solution. Where we go astray is trying to accommodate the wants of the many and not their needs. Good solutions are allowed to wither to accommodate the disruptive behavior of our friends or the influential. Even worse, good solutions are not used to solve a global problem, but used to punish the disliked. Such is the influence of work place politics.

If we want to solve problems and create more efficient work places we need to remove the pettiness and the politics. The question is, how do we do that? This is where effective management is vital. The goal of leadership is to; create a work space conducive to efficiency, identify problems in the system, and support the best solutions. Unfortunately, most of the management class gets side tracked by their goals and fail to realize that their primary function is to get the best out of the talent that is available to them.

You may think the people subordinate to you should answer to you, but you are grossly mistaken. You are answerable to them. Leaders are answerable to the people they lead. It is the function of the leader to create an environment in which goals can be met. The constant attention to the petty and insignificant takes the focus away from the real problems.

Keep the focus on the tasks that you have been assigned. Keep the people under you focused on the larger picture. keep the personal life of your staff out of the discussion. Keep focus on the tasks. Employees can be like delirious patients, their behavior is erratic and will not be corrected by restraints. The only solution is frequent and directed re-orientation. It is time-consuming but needed. Management is a contact sport. Lets play.

DID YOU HAVE GOALS?


The day that you recognize that your life is getting in the way of you living is the first day of your life. For too many, that day occurs at a time when a meaningful life is no longer a viable option. Too many of us are unwilling to make the decisions needed and are too afraid to live with the consequences of our choices. Since my life so far has been short and unremarkable you should not listen to anything I have to say. What you and I should do is make a decision and live with the results. The path not taken is often lamented, but often the grass only seems green because it was painted.

Life is not a movie, but your first instinct is usually correct and ignoring it will be to your own peril. What was your childhood dream? Did you have a childhood dream? I often reference my grandparents as my biggest influences and I do so with no less respect for my remarkable parents. My grandmother’s goal was for all her kids to finish high school so that they could speak proper english. The goal may seem simple and unambitious, but success is about identifying the small essential building blocks of success. Language proficiency is at the root of success and mastery cannot be overstated.

I acknowledge Mama and Papa for their vision and determination. I reference them often because they are my champions. I will love them and remember them forever because their children have the same drive and have pasted it on. I will continue to stand tall because they have provided me and their many grandchildren with an example. We only need accept the challenge. Success is not about gold it is about goals. Focus, you too once had goals.