When It Is Time To Wait No More

There are many ways that a manager can be waiting – for a promotion or raise, for a team member to cooperate, for needed resources, for promises to be kept. While patience is a virtue, it behooves you to discern when it is time to wait no more.

When that time comes, what are your options? Simply, to continue waiting or stop waiting. There are considerations for each. If you continue waiting, identify what the potential consequences are. Can you live with them? Be aware of consequences both to your work and you personally. There may be a price to pay. Will that price harm you in any way? If it is time for you to stop waiting, considerations center on what you will do. How will you approach the issue? What will the downsides be? Are you ready to draw a line – how far will you go?

Waiting has a double face. Sometimes it works to your advantage. Other times, it works to your disadvantage. Know when it is time to wait no more.


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What Is The Real World You Are Managing In?

It is tempting to imagine perfect circumstances or believe wholesale the story senior management creates, but effective management requires that you know the real world you are managing in.

Expressed goals, cheerleading sessions, platitudes about what’s possible or pressures to produce do not define your real world as a manager. Your real world is comprised of the actual conditions you operate in – such things as resources available to you, the time you have to get things done, the skills and aptitude of your team – and how they match the goals and expectations of your organization.

Once you know your real world, you can move on to determine, realistically, what’s possible and then speak truth to power (as best you can in your real world).

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Your Triple Bottom Line for Managing

The concept of triple bottom line is intended to capture the totality of factors involved in a company’s economic performance. What is your “triple bottom line” for managing? First you have your organization’s identified performance measures. Secondly, the behaviors that support your organization’s values. Your third bottom line can make the difference between good and excellent results. Some factors I have identified for my third bottom line for managing are: a positive ratio between resources and expectations, open space for innovation and inclusiveness, free lines of communication among all levels of the organization and clearly identified and respected standards of excellence What are the elements of your third bottom line that capture the totality of factors in your managing? It’s up to you to bring them to light and incorporate them in your work.


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The Tactic of Dispensability

Much too often, I hear from managers that they are in an organization that is working them to death and, at the same time, communicating that they are dispensable. There’s a major disjoint in this. An organization is asking more of a manager, often way beyond reason, and at the same time is refusing to recognize the extra (and often extraordinary) contributions the manager is making. The dispensability message may be subtle, but is heard clearly by managers and employees. No additional income, no recognition, “bottom line” justifications, more time, less resources, we can find someone else if you cannot do it – a recipe for burnout and frustration. The tactic is weighted significantly in the favor of the organization, at the expense of their employees. Something is radically wrong here.

Are you in a situation like this? Best to evaluate the toll it is taking on you and what your options are. Save yourself. There may be no one else watching out for you. Be confident of your value, set boundaries and don’t let anyone run you into the ground. You are worthy of more than this.

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When Management Systems Don’t Work

Sometimes, as a manger, you can have your fill of management systems that are more of a drain on your time and team than they are useful tools for managing. At the same time, it is very difficult to function as a manager without having systems to allocate resources and track projects.  So what do you do if you’ve had your fill of your organization’s management systems, but still have to manage?

I think you have 3 options. One, operate without using management systems. Two, use your organization’s systems that do not give you what you need. Three, develop your own management systems. Option one, operating without using management systems, is fraught with peril. You need systems to manage well. Option two, using your organization’s systems, is causing you frustration, but perhaps you can provide input that results in redesigning the systems so that they work for you. Option three takes it into your own hands. With a program such as Excel or Access, you can design a simple management system that tracks your team’s priorities, time, resources and projects. With several headings (project, priority, tasks, assigned to, status) and weekly input from your team, you can have what you need to manage well.

Management systems do work. Do you have a management system that makes your job easier? I invite you to share it with the readers of The Managers Hub.

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