It’s Different Work

Reggie was not defensive, but he was certainly pushing back. “It’s something I like to do,” he said. “Besides, it’s a half hour out of my day. Not something I want to delegate to someone else.”

“Are you saying, it’s something that gives meaning and purpose to your life?” I asked.

“Updating the WIP logs?” he chuckled. “I get the paperwork (electronic paperwork) in from the field. I know it is a bit clerical, but when I enter the data into the logs, I don’t know, it makes me feel good. Like I am really getting something done. Like marking things off on a checklist.”

“You are very results oriented, that’s why you were promoted to manager,” I replied. “You like to kick things off, get people moving, get things done, mark things in the WIP logs, you love to watch results, makes you feel connected to the work. You get endorphin juice.”

Reggie nodded. “You’re right. When I get the logs updated, I feel like I am in control, that the world is right. I do get a little juice out of the task.”

“Your work is different now. As a manager, your juice comes through other people, and it’s slower. It’s painful, to watch other people struggle through things that are easy for you. Your role now is to help other people feel in control, by getting them to mark progress, coaching them to the end of the project. If you continue to be intimately involved, you prevent your team from learning the details. You disable the team from organizing their work. They need your help, support and guidance, but they don’t need you to do it for them.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.