Much of my working life involved management - leading or attempting to lead a group of some kind. My maxim:

"NOTHING does NOT happen because SOME ONE is absent." Dan Gamber. Every function in an organization, including that of chief executive, needs to be organized in a way that the absence of an individual does not keep critical work from being done. In many cases, that means organization by team: a group of people has joint responsibility for a function. Each one will have certain strenghts and weaknesses, but each must be able to do everything the team does.

Conversely, meetings must not be allowed to stop progress. "Where the boundaries of jurisdiction were fuzzy or overlapping, meetings become inevitable. . . . These meetings gave the illusion of action, but often frustrated it by attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable. What was most often needed was not compromise but decision." Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation

The key to good management is balancing these two.

last update 15 May 2008

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