17 January 2006

Good Eats

Ahh Sundays in the DFAC (dining facility, a.k.a. chow hall). Sunday is one of my favorite days to go to the DFAC for obvious reasons; steak, shrimp, and crab with the occasional smattering of lobster tail, not to mention the onion rings (and a salad too sweetie). One of the many benefits of being stationed with the Dept. of State, and talk about morale booster! I'm starting to get my feet under me at work now, I have enough time to ... post to my blog ... and still get my work done.
So far, it seems to me that as a manager of managers, the key is to simply develop policies, procedures and systems that make sense and ensure that the subordinate managers are making sure that they are being followed. One of the great benefits that I've seen so far to go along with this is that as the "new guy" I can talk with the first and second line managers and get their candid opinion about what works and what doesn't. Additionally, I can include them in the creation of policies which not only helps me develop sound logic, but gives them a sense of ownership of the policy which naturally leads to a greater commitment to enforcing it. This also shows that I trust the managers which does put my butt on the line, but here's how I see that playing out; 1) Best case scenario - I go out on a limb, trust the manager to give good advice, act on it, have a successful outcome and develop a trusting relationship with the manager, or 2) Worst case scenario - I go out on a limb, trust the manager to give good advice, act on it, have an unsuccessful outcome, chalk one up to being the "new guy" and now I have proof that I can't trust that manager. Operating from a position of trusting until proven otherwise could quite possibly result in me getting burned, but that risk is, in my opinion, worth the benefit of having things work out to a positive conclusion and building a relationship with the manager. The ideal outcome, as far as I'm concerned, would be that subordinate managers be given enough leeway to operate independently, allowing the senior manager to focus on improving operations and quality of life which benefits all concerned. Instead of focusing on inward operations, the senior manager can focus on expanding and improving operations outward.
It's entirely possible and likely that this is nothing new to the managerial world, but what makes this significant to me is that I've been able to experience this at such an early point in my life and now I can develop this further. Standing on the shoulders of giants don't 'ya know. Posted by Picasa


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