Managing people instead of Managing problemson January 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm
A good friend of mine from church (@johndcook) put out a link on Twitter this morning. It pointed to this Seth Godin post, which inspired me to write a bit. Since the post is not long, I will recreate it here (but I urge you to go read Seth’s stuff if you want to get some good advice on marketing):
Unless you work in a nuclear power plant, the answer is certainly no (and if you work there, I hope the answer is yes.)
No, everything is not okay. Not in a growing organization. Not if your company is making change happen, or dealing with customers. How could it be?
And yet, that’s what so many managers focus on. How to make everything okay.
We spend so much time smoothing things out, we lose the opportunity for change, or for texture or creativity.
Instead of working so hard to make everything okay, perhaps it is more helpful to work hard at living with a world that rarely is. (emphasis added)
That is a great post. What I take from this is that if we can’t hold everyone’s hand and lead them through the hard times (the ol’ "give a man a fish" saying). We have to give people the tools to make it through hard times. While we should support them, we SHOULD NOT just clear the lane and make things easy. That does nothing but make our employees dependent on us rather than their own intelligence and talent to figure out how to make the best of a situation. A guide is a good thing. A mommy is not a good thing.
When I think of this quote, I think of my children. My wife and I were having a discussion with our 7-year old last night during our family devotional time that centered around how parents discipline their children because they love them, not because it is fun or because we don’t like our children. We want our children to be responsible adults. If we didn’t care how they ended up, then we would just let them do whatever they wanted so they would grow up to be terrors (I am still not sure he understood how discipline had anything to do with how much we loved him – he had to spend his money to buy his brother a new football because he left it outside and the dog tore it up – but oh well). This post by Mr. Godin applies perfectly to that situation, so that the lesson is applicable in work AND life.
That last paragraph is also about as Twitter-worthy as you can get in my mind.