March 20; Mapping A Course of Action Is Best Done By the Person Doing the Driving MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.
I wish you were either one or the other!
|Mapping A Course of Action Is Best Done By the Person Doing the Driving|
The Thermos® is a fantastic product: it keeps cold food—cold. And hot food—hot. The question is: how does it know?
This old, silly joke speaks to the manager who is attempting to control events just as the chess master makes moves anticipating competitive reactions. No matter what happens in any situation the effective manager is able to advance organizational goals.
Sometimes two paths can get you there.
The manager sets the priorities for the staff, of course. The boss sets the target and the policy but should allow the staffers some flexibility in the procedures. And here’s where the ‘lead’ component of management comes in.
As a young Armored Cavalry Officer, Your Business Professor was confidently directing the direction of my light tanks when my Platoon Sergeant (my deputy) gently recommended another route. My course of travel was the more efficient and more direct (of course!).
But the wizen soldier mentioned that our team did not know the route conditions of the road I had proposed and they were most familiar with an alternate route. The road they knew would more likely make for a faster trip. And they would be motivated to make sure that no vehicles ‘got stuck’ or ‘broke down.’
My soldiers would never, never, never deliberately have a mechanical malfunction, to be sure. But accidents do happen. Especially to Managers Who Know Everything.
The tank drivers were ‘hot’ that is, more confident on their known route and ‘luke warm’ about my planning. It really made no difference to me or the mission (since I really didn’t know what I was doing anyway) so I granted the change. This made for happy trails.
My team had a strong opinion on a course of action and had let me know about it.
What my sergeant was doing was advising me that a course of action is more easily completed when the team has some input on how we get there. Consultants will call this “empowerment.” Catholic Social Teaching calls this “Subsidiarity.”
I call it “lucky.” The Army had assigned to me an experienced Non-Commissioned Officer to train-up this young lieutenant.
Every manager should have such luck.
The platoon arrived at our destination on time with no problems.
As Revelation 3:15 suggests, I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!