Are you an ordinary manager?


The title to this blog is not meant to imply any inferiority. I was thinking about this when I woke this morning. Sure we can talk about all the things exceptional managers do but then the reality is only a handful of people ever acheive that status. The vast majority of people engaged in a management role simply aspire to be the best they can be on a day to day basis.

What is needed to get through the day in the majority of management roles? The word endurance comes to mind. For many people involved in management their day is filled with dealing with the minuete of work life – not grand decisions, more like working through issues such as who didnt enter the correct number into the security system when leaving work last night, or who didnt order a new supply of toilet paper for the staff bathroom, who why A doesnt want to work with B today.

In these environments managers need patience and persistence. It helps if you prioritise issues based upon their impact and consequences. Strange as it may appear, a lack of toilet paper may be more important than whether A and B want to work together. In this way you will attend to those issues most likely to cause ongoing grief.

Ordinary managers just do ordinary things. One of the most ordinary things you can do every day is facilitate conversations with people. Actually that would be extraordinary as a good number of managers actually fail to do this. By facilitating conversations I mean, avoid telling people what to do or what to think; instead ask questions and enable people to explore ideas and contribute their wisdom and knowledge.

A small handful of managers operate in the rarified arena of grand decision making. Most simply spend their day dealing with a myriad of common issues. At all times remember you are a human being, working with other human beings. How you treat others will guide them in how you want them to treat you.

As the saying goes, when we bend over to pull up our pants, we are all fairly much the same!

Those are my thoughts for the day.

Let the journey continue

John Coxon

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About John Coxon

Principal consultant for John Coxon & Associates, a management consultancy working with boards and management teams in healthcare, aged care and not for profit organisations to develop effective strategic planning processes and social enterprise business plans
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