Thursday, May 25, 2006

Things that fail are over-managed and under-led

If only I replaced the word “Things”, with a word like “Organizations” or “Relationships”, it would have ‘won’ a better acceptance.

Why is that we cannot accept the fact that - Things that fail are over-managed and under-led. To start with, we have invested a great deal of time and energy (Ya that’s the word); to take control of things and ‘make’ them happen. In the process, of ‘making’ things happen, we loose the sense of wonder and awe, that is so vital to fortifying the good feel about what we do. No wonder, now ‘make love’, ‘work in a relationship’, ‘have an agenda for a coffee’, ‘define levels of freedom (ah! this is the worst)’, ‘intent becomes important than the gesture’ and ‘quality of life more important that living itself’.

Battling with the ever growing age, and 20 odd years of learning, we have already lost a major sense of awe and wonder. The normal no more excites, the chirping of the bird is too shrill to be noticed, and a simple smile renders to an analysis of the denture set and the colour of the lipstick, or a question pops up – why the smile? (Did you smile at this, NO! – You see, that’s what I mean).

If I do not manage, how can I ensure things go well? To answer that, let me take off on a tangential direction. Let’s recall, things that have really worked well – and ask the simple question – How much of the success was a result of ‘managing’ and how much of that was because we ‘allowed it to flow ~ala led’ and did some few things to ensure that the flow was in the direction we wanted.

Question: Is there a difference?
Answer: I bet there is – You are not forcing this to happen.

The ability to lead something, make the following assumptions:

1. You know what you want and are clear about it. (knowing and being clear about it are two different things)
2. You have understood the intricacies of the thing you want to lead
3. You are ready to accept that things in as is condition and then lead through a series of steps to better it to get your desired results
4. You appreciate the diversity that exits and tries to unify it.
5. You are passionate and convinced about what you are going to lead (not the end result)

When you manage – We make the following assumptions:

1. This thing is going wrong and needs to be corrected (very subtle right in the beginning and will evolve to greater measure as time goes by)
2. It does not matter what the genetic make up it is made of – here are the rules and here is the accepted norm
3. Results matter than the path
4. You always got a bad deal to start with – and now you have to clear the mess
5. what passion – get on with it

Both approaches have the same net driver – to better things.

One which is led (successful or not) leaves an experience worth a learning and a result worth a mention, the other when managed (successful or not) leaves a bad taste, that needs to be MANAGED all over again.

At the end of the day, result or no result, by either approach - Things that fail are over-managed and under-led.
Ah! Yes, let me add, the definition of failure fails
when we look in this paradigm.


Anonymous said...

A very well researched article. Fit for a medical journal....

on a serious note, point made without confusion...:-)

Intimate Thoughts said... was that a compliment or one whack,,,either ways .. I like it.


Anonymous said...

very true brother ...but management is about putting up with people who over manage and under lead....

Anonymous said...

am glad u are accepting of both...

often everything in life comes with two sides, bitter and sweet.

And both are imporatnt to value the other.... u know what i mean?

Arjun said...

Thats'a good article lil johnny