[Classic post from 9-25-14]
I’ve worked hard, and often a lot of hours, and have committed myself to get the job done in most applications. I’m not a slacker. However, I learned a very valuable (to me) lesson about being a manager, which has been my job title in one way or another and one enterprise or another most of my life. That lesson is this: I understood very early into management that a good manager learns how to delegate and create space to be able to grow.
In The E Myth Revisited, Michael E Gerber demonstrates that it is at least as important for the manager to work on the business as in the business. So many managers work in the business and rarely on the business. How do you grow an organization that way?
It is often stated this way: “I’m too busy for any of that.” Or, “I’ve got too much to do and I’ll get to that when I can.” Maybe it is, “I need help!” Or, “I need a bigger team, or more hours in the day, more support from above me, and so on.” The list is long, but there must be time to think, to plan, to design, to expand.
I know some managers whom’s day is completely filled to capacity and beyond with emergencies. They are putting out fires here, helping the wounded there, doing the selling they cannot trust others to do, responding to the boss, cleaning up the debris, filling in for the outage, feeling indispensable and looking extremely important. Everything that is happening right now is so important that there can be no time for planning and preparation, solving issues that create the fires, and so much more than a manager was designed to accomplish.
When I started my first opportunity as a seasoned manager to take over a failing commercial sales department, they wanted me to do exactly as my predecessor did. They wanted me to manage the department AND be a selling manager. I refused. It doesn’t work. So they relented and it was a massive success on their part.
If you are a manager directing a department, or a key manager in a certain area, it is going to be to your benefit and that of the company tenfold to MAKE THE TIME–take the time–create the time to work on the business at least as much if not more than in the business. You need to make a case if they object, as I did in refusing to be a selling manager.
Or not. This is just my opinion of course, but I can assure you that it has made a huge difference to my own sanity and that of those I have served, and continue to serve.
Consider this as well: I think this philosophy is equally important for any salesperson.
“Capital Isn’t That Important In Business. Experience Isn’t That Important. You Can Get Both Of These Things. What Is Important Is Ideas.” — Harvey Firestone
Spread Some Joy Today–You have the time. Take it. Create some joy for yourself and others. The easiest route is always finding things and people to appreciate.