If we define “manager” as someone who supervises other employees, then I began my first management position in 1993. If we define it more broadly, as in someone who is in charge of processes or systems or projects, etc., then I entered the ranks of management before 1993. Regardless, over my career I have attempted to pay attention to what I am learning along the way.
The breadth and scope of my jobs have certainly grown dramatically since 1993 when I managed a single employee. In the intervening decades I have had the privilege (and the stress and challenge) of leading organizations with over 3,000 employees and P&Ls approaching $500,000,000.00. Interestingly, one of the more important things I’ve learned is that whether you are managing one person and a small budget or a team of senior managers overseeing the generation and spending of hundreds of millions of dollars, there are some principles that apply equally in both settings. Yes, the level of complexity may be different and the “stakes” may be higher or lower, but to the folks that you are managing, what is important to them is often similar in both environments. So, regardless of where you are in your management career, it is likely that the lessons I share here will have application for you.
These vignettes (future blog posts) represent some of the “take-aways” of my management career so far. Some may be “brilliant flashes of the obvious” and others may be less apparent, but they all come from many years in the trenches.
Several years ago I began sharing these bite-sized lessons with the managers who reported to me and, occasionally to other folks in organizations whom I thought could benefit from my observations about management and leadership. I hope that what I’ve learned will be of value to you as well!