May 12, 2006

A Truism for Managers

It never stops.

After my vast business experience at two (2) companies, I have realized that it is always busy. Chaos is always either on the cusp of breaking loose and you are scrambling to prevent the worst or it has broken loose and you are scrambling to clean it up. Either way, it never stops.

If you are a manager of people in your place of employment, there are always demands on your time. Your employees want or need your guidance and leadership. Your team needs you to set the direction and standard of operation. Customers want to talk to the man in charge. There are meetings. Oh, how there are meetings!

It is just a fact of existence that your time, your skills, your brain is in high demand.

Which brings us to this conclusion: If you really want to get around to doing something, you're just going to have to do it and tell everything else to go to hell for a second and bring you back a cup of coffee.

There will ALWAYS be something pounding on your door, but the reality is that only a very, very, VERY few issues demanding your attention are actually as critical as their owners would have you believe.

So, you must learn to prioritize and never, ever allow something of lower priority take your attention from things of higher priority.

(My boss needs to pay attention to this part.) If you tell someone, particularly your employees, that you would like to meet and you accept a meeting appointment for that meeting, you have to know that someone will ask to pre-empt that meeting and you will have to choose which is more important. If you consistently choose that other thing over your employees, you will fail as a leader. Your strategy will not be executed as you envisioned it. Your employees will remain clueless to the larger picture, unable to make effective decisions and avert bringing more chaos into your world.

No amount of apologies, jokes about how busy you are, or rescheduling of said meeting will move it up in priority on your list, alleviate the other demands on your time, or make up for the example you're setting.

The fact is that it just never stops and you have to deal with that.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at May 12, 2006 08:09 AM | TrackBack

Amen. I often will tell people they will have to come back to my office later because I have something that needs to get done I'm working on and that takes priority.

Posted by: Britton at May 12, 2006 09:02 AM
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