Hard Work and Control

“It’s funny,” Curtis observed, “sometimes, after hours, it is quiet and I ask myself, why am I here? I should be home with my family, but there is still so much to be done. And if I don’t take care of some loose ends, something critical will blow up tomorrow.”

“Do you think you are the only manager in the world that is thinking that thought?” I asked.

Curtis chuckled. “You know, you’re right. So, why does it happen?”

“You tell me,” I replied.

Curtis had to think. He had been so busy working, that he never thought about what he was doing and why he was doing it.

“I feel guilty,” he finally responded. “I am responsible. It’s up to me. I guess I bring it on myself.”

“And if something doesn’t change, about the way you manage this department, what will happen?”

“I am already seeing the chinks in my own armor. I feel tired every morning. I stopped working out because I don’t have time. I feel like I have a cold coming on. But the harder I work, the more things seem out of control.”

“Think about that,” I said. “The harder you work, the more things seem out of control.” -TF

2 thoughts on “Hard Work and Control

  1. Jose Bayron

    How about if you have no department, if you have no one to fallback on. No one to delegate tasks to. No one who you can bounce ideas off of. I do outsourcing and am responsible to come in within budget, produce and in most cases in extreme lead times,issue Po’s, inspect,receive and pay. And there is none else who can do this in the company. How can i afford not to be on top of things and work long hours?

  2. Tom Foster

    You sound like a project manager. Which means you manage projects, not people. While you interface with a number of departments and other support people, none are under your direct control. Unfortunately, the only reward for the hard work you do, is more hard work. Your challenge is to become as efficient as possible. Your productivity does not come through the direct efforts of others, but through your own efficiency. It is tough spot. Your ability to gain willing cooperation from those NOT under your control is your only salvation.

    So, here is what I would begin to think about. Review the projects you have under your control, then begin to observe senior project managers in the company. What is it they do? Remember, the difference between a senior project manager and a junior project manager is the time span of the projects they control. Senior project managers control longer term projects. How do they do it?

    Thank you very much for your comment. Perhaps this will stir some response from others.


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