If you ask me on most days, I will probably tell you I don’t need a manager. I am self-directed and objective oriented; just tell me what you need me to do, and if the extrinsic rewards are great enough I’ll work out a path to the goal. I pride myself on this independence; I am perfectly comfortable moving forward without a leader’s/mentor’s vision – I have my own.
…With that said, the past several months I’ve become very bullish on the value of leadership/mentorship at all levels. A significant contributor to this shift in perspective has been having the privilege to watch my site manager lead his team on a day to day basis. It’s not just that he’s smart – at that level everyone is – but it’s that he has a depth and clarity of perspective that allows him the insight to see when and where he’s needed.
The above skill can’t be understated: It is a commendable – but not remarkable – feat to be technically excellent as it concerns the ability to manage a population of skilled (but like-minded) professionals. More impressive (and considerably more unique) is the ability to understand and manage populations possessing diverse contexts and perspectives. This involves knowing when to engage and when to pull back. It requires the ability to know what an individual (or population) needs now versus later – and in what form.
…What did I get wrong here?
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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