I originally posted this in June 2007 but it still holds true today.
What do managers do? That's a pretty broad question so let's take me for an example. I am a manager, what do I do? Well, when my daughter asked me that very question a few months ago, I started to think and came up with this, an example of my typical day. But that is not the whole story.
When I returned to work on Friday after spending the week away on business, I spent the first 1 1/2 hours at my desk doing one thing over and over and over again. No, I was not banging my head on the desk but close :). Sometime between Friday and today, I realized that I didn't mention this task in my recap of a typical day. How could I have left it off? What was I thinking?
Well, it can be a seemingly small task and something done routinely and often without thought. However, it really is much more than that. This is a task fraught with responsibility, accountability, and more. The first few times it was ceremonial, it was exciting and yes, I was young and naive. The novelty wore off rather quickly and now it has turned into something else. Let's just say that when I go down, it is going to be because of this task. When I go down, it is going to be for something that I signed. Yes, the thing that takes me down will have my name all over it. My signature will be my downfall.
I sign because that's what manager's do. Research your action, do the leg work, get the facts straight and when I ask, be prepared to answer with information not emotion. Yes, at times I absolutely do have to see everything in writing. Tip: DO NOT respond, "well you signed it" when asked about an action. This is about as non-recoverable as it gets for me.
I sign without much question or fanfare. Why? Because I trust you. Don't take that lightly. I don't.