Managing Other Peoples Talents
I was talking to the main partner for a small engineering firm who was telling me about his business. He told me that all the work they got was through word of mouth and that he wasnt interested in any additional advertising or promotion because he didnt want to become a salesman. He enjoyed being an engineer and wanted to keep his firm small.
For as long as I have known him, his firm has never lacked for work, even during the recent recession. He business has grown little by little while other firms were failing and laying off people all around.
I have seen managers that are so absorbed in growing their business, that they give secondary importance to everything thing else; often, even their family life suffers and lives of their workers suffer as well.
Work is Made For People
It is so common for us to think of work as a curse that we devalue its true purpose in our lives. We all have talents that we must use in order to be fulfilled as human beings.
We hear people say that if they won the lottery the first thing they would do would be to quit their job. But one thing is to quit your job and another thing is to quit working. I quit my job too, but I surely havent stopped working.
Just a few weeks ago, I was visiting my hometown and took the time to go visit a friend who is in his eighties and recently lost his wife. In his lifetime he made millions and now his children run some of his businesses. When I stopped by his house it was about 9:00 am and he was getting ready to eat breakfast and go to the office. I was not really surprised. There was even something about his presence that irradiated a sense of awe. He certainly doesnt need to work another day in his life, and for that matter, neither do his children, but they all do. He trained them right.
I have worked in several companies that have had hundreds of employees. It is an amazing environment and one that I appreciate a lot. I am often surprised at the things that small companies dont think about because they have never been exposed to the kind of input that large businesses have.
Large companies are subdivided into departments, so the variety of talents is more apparent. In the last company for which I worked, I could walk into the accounting department and know the talents of each of the employees within that department also. I know who to ask for what I needed. The same was true of all the departments. Even people that had the same job descriptions had different talents and learned to specialize in different things. After a while, everyone in the organization recognizes the talents.
The job of the manager is to recognize and invest the various talents for the good of the company as well as for the good of each individual employee. There is a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in doing your best work with a common purpose.
Steve Jobs talks about managing people
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