UNDER New Management
I begin in this Blog with some thoughts on MANAGEMENT.
In my last Blog, I set before the reader the idea of
reaching for a dream despite obstacles. Obstacles come in all forms, most often those nay-saying thoughts, (or nay-saying individuals). We know this, nothing new in that. The task before us then, having
stepped up to the plate as artists in pursuit of our great ambition, is to face these doubts with a certain belief that we can do it. We can, but only if there is a sure plan in place on which we can rely.
But how we do we get this down? In our desire to achieve our great ambition we will fail without a path invented
for ourselves that will lead us to that great ambition. This PLAN is exercising "leadership"; however, the rubber must hit the road each day in the daily
discipline and grind of following that path, and I will
call this "management" (the heart of this blog). Most of our effort is spent here, on the daily grind of working the plan day-in,
day-out, unflinching, often alone, with little to no reward (at first) but always, always growing forward in measurable steps. This is what we will need to do.
My thoughts on this are not theoretical, I have experience doing this very thing in my previous career life before Fine Art. I spent almost a decade
in Retail Management and Manager Training. By fiat or fate, one consistent role [and the one I
enjoyed most], was going into a poor performing store, solving the puzzles and
making the changes necessary to put the store on the right track, and turning
it from a culture of decline toward a culture of growth. It didn't always happen, unfortunately, and I made plenty of mistakes, but what I
learned in that role has been invaluable to me as I pursue my own great ambition.
So, what was the main problem I would encounter in these stores that needed correcting? Well, sure, it was the "drift" away from growth and company vision, but I had to quickly learn that "drift" was only "descriptive", it was the state of things not THE thing itself. "Drift" occurs when "pursuit of excellence" is simply unknown or abdicated in a results-oriented environment. The problem is simple and the solution is simple . . . sort of.
You see, one irksome point that I encountered in "righting" these stores was the realization that our company, (and I dare say most companies), do not often explain how to "right" a department in an organization or a store (and dare I say even an Individual) that has become "adrift". I bring this up to hammer in a most important point: the solution is simple, but always that solution must materialize seemingly out of nothing at all. I would later call this the "from-the-clouds-down" concept of re-building.
If you are desiring to begin on your own ambitious plan to "right" your life and turn your potential into reality, then we can each simply apply the simple three-part solution:
1. Set you expectations--based on what MUST happen to get you to your goal.
2. Come Hell or High water, DO NOT back down from your own expectations.
3. Let the chips fall where they may.
The result? Well, it worked, but It's not
pretty Iím afraid to say. You would think every sensible professional in an organization has read "Who Moved My Cheese?", but it didn't seem to matter, CHANGE = RESISTANCE to change. Why? It doesn't have to be that way, but it happens. You will resist such a massive change--I do, and I know I must fight that resistance daily, (sometimes minute-by-minute), to not give up, to not utterly feel this is a foolish charade, to grow up, to stop this crazy dream. But it IS the crazy dream that makes life, gives us purpose, grows us, and allows us to do the most unexpected thing of all: succeed.
Now, to summarize.
So, know where you
are going. Using a vision--a grand vision to meet our grand ambition--set the
vision and the goals along the way to reach that vision [this is Leadership] and it had better be well-nigh set so ambitiously to render it well-nigh impossible for MOST people. Understanding (daily reviewing) this step-by-step plan to get us there, that daily grind mentioned above, we can buck-up and face that hard, gruelling work to "right our ship", banish the resistant self, and orient our momentum forward toward that vision, [this is Management].
In my next blog, I
will lay out my own personal ambition as an example, talk about the daily review
of that vision, and demonstrate what I have done for myself personally to
manage my own forward progress each day to attain those ambitious goals.
Will I get there?
Absolutely! There can be no other option of belief--if you do not believe this, get people who truly will believe it with you.
Onward and Forward,