Monday, November 26, 2007

DW: The 3 Second Manager

I like managing projects, but I do not like managing people. 

I just don't have the Condoleeza gene that permits one to disregard the feelings and contexts of others in an effort to get the job done. Good for Condi...I'm just not there, and I don't think I ever want to be.

Whenever I have to bring something unpleasant to someone's attention, I am plagued by my memories of what I used to refer to as "third sex" bosses; meaning, those who have managed to combine the worst traits of both men and women into a shrill, crisp, Greenwich, CT sort of presentation. You know, the kind of people who would continue pouring their martini if the maid fell down the stairs.

I like to empower people, and that's sometimes at odds with having to say something like, "you're being careless and not paying attention," or why do I have to send you five emails to do something."   I guess it's like being a parent, except to 12 unrelated adults.  We constantly create families in our workplace, and mine is certainly not an exception. I guess I'm just feeling exhausted by the relentless processing I am obliged to do.

I'm not sure I have anything more to say about this, other than managing people is definitely not the fun part.

If anyone has any wisdom to share, I'm open to suggestions.


The Write Bunch said...

RS: If people are truly empowered, you don't have to manage them. Agreed expectations and accountability are the foundation and honesty is the door in. Sure, it isn't as simple as all that, but it is. I love managing people. I've found that if you are always fair and respectful, people don't mind when you have to be stern and serious. Shifting priorities is reality, people have to be grown ups. If you have to send 5 e-mails to get someone to do something, I'd pick up a phone and revisit expectations. E-mail is the enemy of managing people--I'd use it as little as possible. Just my two cents. Good luck.

Debra Weiner said...

DW: Thanks Rodney. I think you're right about email, it's a very abuse-able medium. I think it's great that you love managing people--your energy level must be enviable!