We hear a lot about leadership these days, and leadership is important, but what about management?
The typical debate about leadership or management puts leadership in a lofty, strategic position and typically casts management as the work done by people that have not made it to the leadership level. Don’t get me wrong, we need people that can lead, but managers turn strategy into revenue, they turn fluff into stuff!
I would like to take a moment to recognize the value of managing and give you 4 reasons to be proud you are a manager:
- You understand your industry: No industry hopping for you, you have been in industry for years, and maybe even decades. The trends, technologies, and troubles associated with your vertical are what you are made of and over a beer or two there is no end to what you could teach a new hire or your CEO.
- You understand your customers: Keep your friends close, and your customers closer. You visit them at conferences, you call them when they are upset, you share insights they never would have gotten anyplace else. This can happen only because you are connected in a way that few others are…high enough in the organization to see the road ahead, yet still able to understand and tune the engine. You are living at the intersection of informed and value.
- You understand your metrics: It does not matter if it is inventory turns, abandoned calls, billable utilization, supply chain lead time, or page hits; you understand exactly how your business will be impacted and just what needs to be done to respond. No need for a balanced scorecard, a focus group, tiger team to figure it out; the answer is in your DNA.
- Your team relies on you: The people that work for you rely on you to set the direction and help them be an amazing team. Everybody wants to do great work, but there has to be someone setting the agenda and leading the way to new heights. When you know your industry, customers, and metrics you and your team can really go places; when you don’t, you are part of a group of wanders.
If you are a manager, be proud of the unique position you hold in your company and your industry! From your vantage point you can see (and understand) the engine and the road ahead.
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