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Friday, July 18, 2014

Who's Your Manager?

"There are managers so preoccupied with their e-mail messages that they never look up from their screens to see what's happening in the non-digital world."
-- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Professor of Psychology and Published Author

Today's disclaimer:

The quote listed above arrived in my daily e-mail from Brian Tracy.  Brian is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and author.  He is also a personal and business development trainer.  I had the privilege of meeting him and attending at least one of his seminars when living in San Diego.  He is not only very successful at his job, he is also very charming.  I recommend people read his books and attend his seminars.  This quote is today's blog inspiration.

Who is your manager? 
Created by Scott Adams

When I read today's quote I was struck by the word "managers", because I see the scope of the quote as much wider than the business world.  It then occurred to me that the word "manager" deals with a concept, and not just a job title.

What does a "manager" do?

I discovered that there are more definitions of the word "manager" than I ever realized; I also discovered that the word is almost always associated with "business".   I am much more interested in how this word actually applies to people in general and how they live their lives.
Peter Drucker, Management Consultant

Anyone who has taken a management course has heard of Peter Drucker.  Mr. Drucker was the expert in management studies of his time, and his work is still studied and his applications used today.  He divided the "job" of manager into 5 basic tasks:  A manager
  1. Sets objectives
  2. Organizes
  3. Motivates and communicates
  4. Measures
  5. Develops people
Think about yourself for a moment and how you tackle these tasks on a daily basis.  I will venture a guess that you don't think of yourself as a manager, and yet if you think about your day from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep at night you will be able to look at each task and give at least one example or action you take that fits into these categories. 

I really want for you to think about this, so I will refrain from giving you examples.  I want you to realize that you are the one who manages your life. You may be surrounded by people who help you with these tasks, but ultimately it is your "job" to be your "manager".  You have to take responsibility for you.

Now I will ask you to pause and think on these five tasks and how they relate to your life with the intention of improving one of these five areas.  I am asking, in essence, that you stop your preoccupation with your e-mail, texts, voice mails and other electronic interruptions.  Stop, and look up from your computer screen to see what's happening in the non-digital world.

Take some time today to be in your own company and take stock of where you are and where you want to be.  While you are contemplating, really see your surroundings.  Feel the temperature, smell the air, hear the sounds, let it all sink in.  You don't need to spend a great deal of time doing this, but separate yourself from all of your technology and appreciate your humanity.  Technology can do many things, but it cannot totally substitute for your all of your senses.  Use the senses you have to appreciate what you have.  There are millions of details we take for granted every day.  It's a good thing to be grateful.

Go ahead, just do that.