Doing Yourself Out Of A Job
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Friday, September 17, 2010
years ago, early in my career, I was meeting with a client in Canada
where we were discussing the characteristics of a good manager. My
friend made the observation that the true hallmark of a good manager is
"He does himself out of a job." This means the manager has
groomed his staff into running the department smoothly even when the
manager was absent from the office. I accept this premise and have
passed it on to others over the years.
"Doing yourself out of a job" is not as easy
as it may sound. The staff has to be well trained and organized;
everyone should know what their duties and responsibilities are and
eager to execute accordingly. In other words, the manager has to train
and inspire the staff to be conscientious workers. Further, the manager
needs to delegate responsibility and empower people. If one person drops
the ball, another should know how to pick it up and run with it without
Another part of this philosophy is to groom your
people for succession whereby the manager realizes he will not be in
this particular job forever and in order to maintain continuity, while
minimizing disruptions, it is necessary to prepare for his inevitable
replacement. After all, the manager may want to go on to bigger and
better things himself.
All of this means the manager needs to invest in his
workers, to cultivate their talents and gain their trust. This is more
than just teaching skills and developing the organizational
infrastructure, it is also a matter of possessing good interpersonal
This approach to management is uncommon regardless of
the organizational entity, be it corporate or nonprofit in nature.
Because of our inclination to practice "Micromanagement," whereby the
manager personally directs the actions of others, such a scenario is
unlikely in today's workplace. Power hungry "control freaks" refuse to
let go of the reigns. Consequently, should the manager be promoted,
transferred or fired, the organization experiences disruption and
upheaval which, of course, is counterproductive.
As to my friend in Canada, he eventually went on to
bigger and better things himself. When he finally departed, his old
department was prepared for the transition and hummed along without
missing a beat. His successor picked up where he left off and made some
changes to the department to reflect his style of management.
Nonetheless, he was smart enough to maintain his predecessor's
philosophy and that particular management position has changed over many
times over the years, all very smoothly. Basically, they all did
themselves out of a job.
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their
Copyright © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of
M. Bryce & Associates
(MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the
management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-10-01 15:47:56 in Personal Articles