Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Manager 2

There is a concept called necessary evil. I didn't understand this as a young Christian. Now as an agnostic and a new manager, it's crystal clear.

People, including myself, are motivated by necessity and incentive. When I say motivated, I mean breaking out of their inertia (usual routines) and become more productive. I thought just showing respect, providing more resources and showing that I care about them as people was enough to get folks to be productive. It's not. Seems to do the opposite, if it's not balanced with clearly defined expectations and consequences if those expectations are not met. I'm working on that part, the consequences.

Years ago I was a young art director. I had an enviable position at a young, forward thinking magazine. I was able to hire, as a freelancer, an older graphic designer I met. He had been in the magazine layout game a long time and was familiar production. Gave him a small layout job which he turned in at the last minute and the work was crap. That was the first time I ever raised my voice and fired a freelancer.

Looking back, I should have been keeping tabs on him and the rest tof the freelancers. Should have had a clearly laid out production milestones and penalties if you were late. Penalties for missing deadlines are evil, but necessary.

Evil, in this context, is the unpleasant action taken against a staffer, who refuses to improve when coaching and incentives fail. I wish it wasn't necessary, but I'd be lying if I said wasn't motivated by same factors. I know the root though.... it's the Ego.

Freeing ourselves of ego would also free us from the carrot and stick cycle (employee karma)... of course if all of us left off the ego tomorrow, there would be lots of career changes would there?

Yes, there would.