Sep 21 2011

I had an interesting discussion today with an old friend & former colleague. We were discussing one of the managers of one of his business units and it turns out this particular manager is very competent at ordering bits, filling in forms and doing other administrative tasks but when it comes to actually leading people, challenging behaviour and general management activities, he is quick to list all the reasons why he cannot. I have experienced similar responses from many of the people I have worked with, arguably I have done it my self a time or two. It is easier to make excuses than it is to actually do a job. but at some point we have to accept that it is our responsibility to manage, that no volume of excuses, legitimate or otherwise are sufficient to remove our responsibility as managers.

I have known hundreds of managers over my career, some were very good, some were not. Some are good at confrontation, some are not. I wonder sometimes if these guys who seem to prefer the admin tasks over the managerial tasks are afraid of managing, afraid of confrontation, or just downright lazy? An interesting view taken by Maggie Craddock is that these people are probably exhibiting a Pleaser Power style. As I mentioned, I have been this guy a time or two, maybe I have a tendency towards the Pleaser – although almost anyone who knows me would say I exhibit the Commander Power style, and my upbringing matches the description!

I found the Matrix a simple way of looking at this, and how interesting that I found it tonight after the discussion with my mate earlier today. What is your style? What do you need to do to become more balanced?

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