Tuesday, May 9, 2023

If you want a thing done, Get out of my way!

If you want me to do something, give me the goal and authority, then get out of my way.

Many people will sit and complain that something isn’t working correctly, but they won’t give someone else the authority to investigate the issue and get it resolved. They may talk about wanting someone to do that work, but don’t give the actual authority to do so and/or the desired outcome.

I have encountered individuals/clients that will complain that the system isn’t doing what they expected. The reason it’s not working, is that no one has been given the responsibility of learning and taking on the system, and then setting up a progress to maintain it.  This happens in all sizes of organizations, and it is something that I keep tripping over.  

One of the issues I see, is that some managers don’t want someone else to understand a system that they don’t. Managers can’t know every system and all the different ins and outs that are required to make it work. Being a good manager means giving someone the authority to take on that specific program/system and get it working the best they can, and a process documented. In some (too many) cases, authority or task might be given in an unclear and undefined way, so that no one knows what really needs to be done. A simple email to the team/individuals involved is all that it takes to give that authority, e.g. ‘x’ is now doing “the thing”, articulate the goal, and please support and assist ‘x’ where needed/requested.

So yes, get out of my way is one way for that to happen. It can be difficult for a manager to do this, but if they want to be a good manager, they need to be able to do just that. Getting out of someone’s way can result in a process being developed that will work for everyone, and more people will understand the system.  It will end up resulting in a better overall system, as well as processes being developed and documented for your organization's use and support of the system.

Now, if you want to me to do the task, simply give me a clear goal and the authority, then get out of my way.


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