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Management Tip: Quit Working For Your Boss

Rabu, 24 Desember 2008

As a manager do you know who you really work for? I don't mean the person who signs your paycheck or does your annual review. I mean day by day, hour by hour, who are you working for?

If you say it's your customers, that's great you've been paying attention in marketing class. Ultimately everyone is working for the customer, but is that really who you work for on a daily basis? Do you personally take their orders? Do you personally answer the support calls? Do you get in the truck and drive your product over to the customer to help them unload and get it ready to use? If you are a manager I truly hope this is not what you come to work to do. These are the things your team is there to do. You may need to pitch in from time to time, but that's not what managers are primarily there to do.

If you say it's your supervisor, well I'm sure they will be happy to hear that. Your supervisor should be the one to define your purpose in the organization and help give you direction. So you could say the work you do on a daily or hourly basis is work for your supervisor. But is that really who you spend the bulk of your time trying to help? I hope not.

Let's look at the activities good managers spend their time on. Employee development, process optimization, cost control. You make sure your people know what needs to be done and are working on the right things. You make sure your people have the tools they need to get the job done effectively and efficiently. You make sure your people get to work in a safe and respectful environment. You make sure your people get the training they need to be effective and advance. You look for ways to make your team as effective as possible. You help your people become the best they can be. You help your team become the best it can be. The bulk of the work you do (or should be doing) is for your team. You work for your team.

So as a manager forget the idea that everyone is working for you. That thinking leads you down the path to ego and conflict. Your team is working to get things done for the customer. You, as their manager, are working for your team to get them everything they need to be effective in serving your customers. The best, most highly-valued managers alive are the ones out there working for their teams and giving them everything they need to succeed.

The more people you manage, the more people you are working for, not the other way around. A bigger team doesn't take away your work, it increases it.

So the next time you draw your team organization chart, flip it upside down with your CEO at the bottom, you somewhere in the middle, and the people who actually come in contact with the customer on a daily or hourly basis at the top where they belong. The goal of a great manager is to create the best team of people at the top of this upside down pyramid serving the customer.

by: Daryl Cowie

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