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Friday, September 11, 2009

Purposeful management

I like to share with managers who I've trained that they need to manage, do their jobs, and lead people on purpose, not by accident.

I teach about thoughtful management instead of thoughtless doing. I even say I'd rather break the rules on purpose any day, with thought behind my decisions, than just go about my daily routine in a thoughtless manner. I want the managers and their teams to be successful because of their actions, not to just squeak by because of thoughtlessness.

How can one be a purposeful manager?
  • Think before you act: Do a quick, cost-benefit analysis and weigh your options, but don't linger. Purposeful managers are decisive.
  • Plan: As they say, "failing to plan is the same thing as planning to fail" (sorry, couldn't help myself...had to share it).
  • Train and Execute: Ensure you and your team know what they're doing and and then that they follow their training.
  • Review: Go back periodically and look at what you and your team has done and not done so you can make corrections moving forward.
I never want to be known as someone who flies by the seat of his pants. As Charles Emerson Winchester, a character from the TV show M*A*S*H, said during one episode: "I do one thing, I do it very well, and then I move on." Ditto to that, Charles, except that we often don't have the luxury of focusing on only one thing at a time. Still, I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to convey here.

What other ways do you know of to manage purposefully?

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