Getting real about managing

Chris Rodgers quotes Ralph Stacey:

Managing and leading are exercises in the courage to go on participating creatively despite not knowing

That sounds good to me. It puts managing and leading in their place: basically something we’re all doing all the time. And not some high status stuff done by our superiors.

The rest of Chris’ post is pretty good too, pushing back against idealised notions of what managers should be doing in favour of a greater acknowledgement of messy reality. I liked his aphorism “vision is more about insight than far sight” – understanding better how things are actually happening, instead of supporting fantasies about the future.

Serendipitously, I’m rereading Viola Spolin at the moment, and came across one of her precepts:

The fear is not of the unknown, but of not knowing.

Bonus link: I went to Chris’ blog to ferret out this post he wrote a while back, which I think is a great antidote to a great mass of wise-after-the-event, hindsight-biased management writing: The match turned on the penalty. Or was it the throw-in?

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