I was talking to a client the other day about the value and importance of dehassling the middle manager’s job. We should realize that most of us (senior leaders, admin departments like HR, accounting, IT) are hassle making machines – that’s oftent he sum total or the impression we leave for managers.
Our greatest contribution to management success may just be reducing hassle.
Imagine a funnel. But instead of a nice steady stream of inputs, pour a big bucket of water all at once. Then do it again, and again. The swirling and twirling prevents the water from flowing well through the funnel and excess is spilling all over.
Some people would send the funnel to a time management course and wonder why the funnel resists and then grumbles through the training. What this "solution" accomplishes is equal to putting your finger over the bottom of the funnel – Nothing can get done and more is spilling. The buckets keep coming.
The buckets keep coming! But when we talk about the problem, we get all political and dumb.
- They’re all priorities
- It can be done
- Be believe in our managers’ abilities to get it all done
The buckets keep coming and water is spilling everywhere. The walls of the funnel are getting weak from all the pressure and constant use.
Let’s not kid ourselves, OK? Many (maybe most?) companies need to redesign the jobs of middle managers. They need to put less in the funnel. This is an agonizing process, but also liberating. Not everything is a priority – in fact, I find that very little of the water going in is really essential and elemental to success.
We are hassle making machines and we need to stop. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard and it needs to not be OK that a management team makes a decision that amounts to a new bucket dump.
It can be done! Stop the buckets and become a dehassler!