Volume XXI, Number 37 (Issue 1041) September 11, 2023
Odds and Ends
In Remembrance of 9/11
Reflecting on today’s date – 9/11 – I feel I should be writing about the events of that day, what led up to it, the lives that were forever lost or changed, and the response that followed. If nothing else, the unity we experienced in the aftermath of 9/11 is worthy of six hundred fifty words. Yet somehow adding to the depth of that tragedy, we have little choice other than to acknowledge that unity is a distant memory – supplanted as it is now by widespread division and seemingly endless, ugly, and often unfounded attacks on anyone who dares to hold a contrary opinion. I will leave it to those who are far better equipped than I to speak to what happened on that dreadful day in 2001. Suffice it for me to say, we must ask for guidance, show mercy, and never forget.
Now, permit me to take us down a very different path – one I like to believe is filled with optimism and hope. That is because without hope, what earthly reason (apart from habit and obligation) do you and I have for getting out of bed in the morning.
Hope must abound, you see, because few if any of us have reached anything approaching our full potential. Thus, the more we learn, grow, and strive to achieve that potential, the better things will be. Take medicine as an example. Nearly every day there are new breakthroughs in the understanding of the causes, treatment, and cures of disease. Granted, for some, those breakthroughs cannot come quickly enough. Nor can we overlook the staggering cost of that research. However, as in most other aspects of our life, there is no gain without a little pain.
In addition to the fields of medicine and medical research, there is the incredible progress being made in the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence, and the list goes on.
Few Like Being Micromanaged
Nor is the other extreme, the unengaged manager, serving their team’s needs or interests. Don’t misunderstand. There is a time, place, and reason for micromanagement. For instance, when someone is new to the team or more
accurately, new to their role, they need considerable attention – at least until they begin demonstrating sufficient knowledge and competence. As that growth occurs, it is essential that individual be accorded the trust they have earned. Effective managers recognize and support that transition. As a result, they provide close supervision when needed but back off when the time is right. Regrettably, some in positions of authority never learn to appreciate the merits of a management style that might best be described as chameleon. For those locked into micromanagement as their only management style, they ought to realize they are short-changing their people and themselves.
There is, of course, the opposite extreme. I am referring to those managers who think that by proclaiming an open-door policy they are communicating maximum trust in their people. What they do not appreciate is that in limiting their interaction with their team, they are depriving them of the guidance, feedback, and affirmation (and course corrections) their people need and want.
As in so many other facets of life, Goldilocks is best served by solutions that avoid being too hot or too cold, too hard, or too soft. Just keep in mind one size, even if it is fixed squarely in the middle, does not fit all either. It is the manager’s duty to modify his/her approach and not the other way around. Rare is the setting where everyone, regardless of their skills, aptitudes, and experience should be expected to conform to a single way (the manager’s way) of doing things. As the Greek poet, Hesiod, observed some 2,700 years ago, “moderation in all things is the best policy.”
Soli Deo Gloria
“’All things are lawful,’ but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” 1 Corinthians 10:23
J. Keith Hughey
Web site: www.jkeithhughey.com
Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2023 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.