The Juggling Koan

Listen to this podcast. Here is the answer to a question originally asked by Mark Horstmann and Michael Auzenne from Manager Tools. What would an effective manager do?

So, you're a manager, and you've got a boss and a team. Let's assume for a moment that all of your responsibilities - your goals and objectives, rolling up all your tasks, can be represented by a bucket of balls (as in, "juggling a lot of balls.").

For discussion purposes, let's just say that everybody - you, your boss, and all ten members of your team - has TWENTY balls in their bucket. You have 5 big balls - the ones your boss might well fire you for if you drop them. And, you have 15 more smaller balls as well (5+15=20). These are also "important", though not critical. Your 20 balls keep you VERY busy - sometimes 80 hours weeks (though not often), and you take less vacation than you're allowed, and less than your kids would like you to.

What would an effective manager do? Would you refuse? Would you ask what balls of the other 5, or other 20, would he have you NOT DO? Would you simply hope she wasn't going to notice that you're going to drop 5-6-7 of the small balls later?



Never Do What You Can Delegate

Your job as a team leader is to provide the tools, motivation, and direction the team needs to do the work itself. Read this article from FastCompany and learn never to do what you can delegate.


Effective Writing for Army Leaders

First and foremost, comes the ability to write concise and professional reports. Read the Effective Writing Guide for Army Leaders to learn about BLUF, why to always use the active voice in reports, etc. Look at the examples, good and bad. They are especially helpful.

This is important, folks. I can not stress this too much.


How To Hire People

Vintage Jack! Never be the smartest guy in the room. Always hire smarter than yourself.

Be A Problem Solver, Not A Problem Presenter

During his 40 years at General Electric (1967-2007), Bill Conaty was a leader in shaping the modern face of Human Resources. For 14 years, he ran Human Resources at GE and worked closely alongside Jack Welch, influencing Jacks thinking about the highly valued role that senior HR executives play in organizations.
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