Management Enthusiast

Geez, if I met someone at the grocery store and he or she
told me, “I’m a management enthusiast”, I would give that person a very funny
look.

But what is it that makes management so fascinating to me? When I tell my husband that I read an amazing
article about why annual performance reviews suck and I’m all excited about the
content, he just shakes his head or, most of the time, doesn’t even listen.
Even though he works in education and has to manage a classroom, he just doesn’t
care about these ‘philosophical’ management
matters.

I follow several management & leadership experts online
(their blogs) and they really know their stuff.
That’s sort of inspiring and intimidating at the same time. How can one person know so much about a
subject?

Well, I’m far away from being an expert and far away from
being indifferent to the subject, so I’ve decided to be a management
enthusiast.

When I was a child, I wanted to become a party planner. That’s what I did when I managed a Waffle House. I tried to make sure
everyone had a good time, didn’t want to get in the way and was results-oriented (nobody wants to throw a party that sucks).

Being a manager makes me feel like Indiana Jones. But
instead of looking for the holy grail or a crystal skull, I look for patterns. Managing people is super complex and I don’t
even know if there is a pattern to all of it, but finding little pieces of the
puzzle is just as exciting as understanding the big picture. That brings me to
leadership.

Err, so what about leadership?

Oh, I’m not a great leader. I don’t have my emotions in
check, I am no E.F. Hutton (when I speak, people don’t automatically listen), and I don’t have the
presence of a leader. No big shoulders,
grand voice, tall statue or charismatic
look.

But that’s okay. Here is what encourages me:

Jim Kouzes said in an interview with Marshall Goldsmith:


Photo by Rob Young
“Let’s get something straight. Leadership is not
preordained. It is not a gene, and it is not a trait. There is no hard evidence
to support any assertion that leadership is imprinted in the DNA of only some
individuals and that the rest of us missed out and are doomed to be clueless.
The truth is that the best leaders are the best learners. Leadership can be
learned. […]”

I’m enthusiastic about management because I get to be a
party-planner, life-long learner and can chase patterns. How about you?

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