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Manage to Greatness

05 Dec 2010
by Alex Hillman

I met a guy named Sam Jones this weekend at FooCamp. He buys dead magazines. He’s awesome.

That’s another story.

He said this in passing but I had to scribble it down to share:

There are managers who manage by putting out the fires. There are managers who manage by attaining predictability. And then there are managers who manage to greatness. The firefighting technique – where you operate in constant crisis – not only is hard on you but it’s hard on your teams.

The predictability technique isn’t sustainable for an entirely different reason. Managing with a goal of predictability means that nothing unexpected happens. Not many of the truly great things in this world came the way they were expected to.

Managing to greatness means embracing chaos, understanding the value in serendipity, and not just talking about and promising empowerment, but actually learning from and understanding it’s implications and working hard to give power away.

Managing to greatness means that, almost all of the time, it’s not about your greatness. It’s about unlocking the greatness in others.

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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.