Mere Mortal Managers

“Self-Correction” (Page 2 of 4)


We feel genuine empathy for managers at all levels. Even if you are well educated, experienced, and work for a great company, the pressures of running a company (or shop floor, for that matter) can be very intense. Some of the best men we know are plant managers and literally live life on the ragged edge of sanity. Each of them is to be commended for giving all they have to make their respective companies successful. They have earned our respect and admiration.

That said, we are in the presence of mere mortals. Good and decent men and women are trying hard to do their best for company, shareholders, employees, and themselves. Even the best among us is riddled with shortcomings and inadequacies. In fact, the structure of many companies almost “dares” managers to succeed. In privately held companies, managers are often micro-managed by owners. In large corporations “the bottom line” and superficial “cost saving measures” practically force managers to make decisions that run counter to their intuition and experience. Worse yet, many managers are controlled by mysterious, rarely seen forces from distant corporate offices that dictate with tyrannical authority what is to be done and when. The sum total of all this “help” is the reduced effectiveness of managers with no net reduction in accountability.

If you consider the often unrealistic requirements placed on most managers and the natural shortcomings of human beings, you now begin to understand why it is so difficult to survive in management, let alone thrive. Couple this fact with the need to implement Lean Manufacturing which means “change” and the tasks ahead appear incredibly daunting.

It’s Your Fault

Whatever your company looks like right now, it is very likely your fault. On the other hand it may be a great source of pride for you. Sure you have corporate pressures, staff issues, market concerns, and the list goes on. But regardless of the impact of all these and other considerations, you are still expected to perform. Let’s just be honest for a minute here: there have been times when you couldn’t see the forest for the trees and made some mistakes. You’re only human, right? Nevertheless, you need to do a little self-assessment to consider how some of your “less than perfect moments” have affected others, and determine a new course of action.