Four basic kinds of people:
1. Those who make things happen. You can count on these people 100 percent of the time. No matter what the assignment, no matter what the obstacles to overcome, no matter what the deadline. They’re always improving themselves. Their development curve looks like a skyrocket. I’m assuming you’re this kind of person.
2. Those who watch things happen. These people are the spectators. They sit up in the stands. They second-guess and play Monday-morning quarterback. You probably say the same things to them that I do: ‘‘If you can do better, you come down on the field of play where the action is.’’ Of course, they never do. They don’t want to get their hands dirty. They don’t want to stick their necks out.
3. Those who wonder what’s happening. These are the people who are always confused. Things are never clear enough for them. They’re always waiting for something. They say things like, ‘‘I have the responsibility but not the authority.’’ They want things to be given to them. On retirement day, they’ll still be waiting for instructions and direction.
4. Those that everything happens to. These are the victims. The ‘‘Woe is me!’’ people. They claim they have such terrible luck. In truth, they make their own bad luck. You hate to even say ‘‘Hi!’’ to them. That’s the only opening they need. They’ll give you an hour’s worth of their latest problems and their latest troubles. You wish you could hold a mirror up to these people. Maybe then they’d see themselves for the way they really are. Some of them have had fifteen or sixteen different jobs. They always say, ‘‘No one understood me. No one listened to me. They made promises they didn’t keep. It wasn’t fair.’’ After that many jobs, you’d think they’d learn that their own behavior has a lot to do with their lack of success. But they just don’t want to face the truth. So they play the ‘‘blame game.’’
When the cake comes out wrong, it’s seldom the fault of the ingredients. The odds are the flour, sugar, and eggs were just fine. It’s probably the fault of the baker. Some bakers are good and others aren’t so good. Some managers are good and others aren’t so good. The best have special recipes that they’ve learned. They take ordinary ingredients and incredible things happen. You can be like that, too. I’m not saying that the ingredients don’t matter. Get good ingredients. But it takes much more than that to be a great baker.
So, why aren’t there more good managers? We’ve got many good programmers. Most programmers are very capable. There are a few bad ones, of course, but the vast majority are just fine. We’ve got many good accountants. Most accountants are very capable. There are a few bad ones, of course, but the vast majority are just fine. You get the idea. With management, it’s just the opposite. There are some good ones. But many aren’t very good at all. They cause more harm than good. They discourage, demotivate, and drive good people out of organizations. They negatively affect business results and cost companies untold amounts of money to repair the damage they cause.
Extraordinary managers make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. They add value to their organization. They get extraordinary results from ordinary people. Average managers wind up with ordinary results no matter how good their people are. There are even managers who, unfortunately, drag their groups down so that they get ordinary results from extraordinary people. The whole, then, becomes less than the sum of its parts. These managers have little, if any, value. They don’t really manage much of anything. They’re ‘‘straw bosses.’’ After the worthwhile stalks of wheat and other grains are harvested, straw is what’s left over on the ground. It’s used primarily for animal bedding. The term straw boss has come to mean a low-level manager who isn’t good for much. Such managers have very little authority. They’re leftovers. The term also connotes someone who is petty and makes things more difficult, not better, for employees.
So, be a ‘‘Make things happen’’ kind of person/Manager now!!