I manage people. I've done this for decades, although most people would have a distorted view of what my managing tasks entail.
I could spend hours talking about the different things that require my attention and responsibility, but that's not what this post is about.
Managing is judging people It's not something you can acquire from a book, or from years in a classroom: It's a natural ability.
I know some of your might be thinking: "He's an arrogant ass, isn't he?", which might be true in some situations, but it's an arrogance that requires temperance, wisdom and the undeniable fact your decisions - right wrong, or indifferent - are your's only and the responsibility can never be avoided. Arrogance is a requirement if you know you're right and you'll stand by your decision - no matter what.
To get to the point of my post: I always look for people that have the ability to manage. It's part of what I need to make things happen. Someone that can take on a task, lead by example, go the extra length to make it happen and let's any problems encountered be learning experience is someone more than important in my field of work. All projects require an approach where the components are completed in the necessary order and at the best time. The larger the project, the more components; each requiring management; whether by a lead craftsman, or a specific foreman; maybe even a superintendent.
Anyway, what prompted this post was an assessment I made today of some hands on a project. They're good hands; willing to do whatever needed, but lack the extra initiative to complete what's necessary, without further instructions that shouldn't be needed.
It's not a bad thing; everybody has a purpose, but I categorized their actions, thought about what it means and future decisions will be made on what I observed.
This is the part of managing I don't like. Hopefully, it never comes to pass, but I'll be required to decide who is more important on a project. Who will get the job done? Who can be left unattended and the knowledge their decisions are the best decisions and any problems were beyond their control? Who is expendable?
I have to make those decisions, which are included in the decisions to raise the pay of someone that is taking the extra responsibility. When the money isn't there, due to the economy, I have to hope someone with more resources won't lure them away and I'll lose a key employee.
That's managing. When you add the part of managing company owners, customers, suppliers, subcontractors and Mother Nature, it can be a thankless endeavor. They all look to you for an answer and sometimes the answer is "no".
In Case You've Wondered
My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.
If you're here for the stories, I started another blog: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com
One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.
I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.