Managing the brain and managing the emotions…
… are absolutely two different things. I was talking with one of my client senior managers with the widest span of responsibility yesterday.
They’re coping with a lot of the things that leaders have to. I started to explain things in terms of suspending a balance between the following areas of accountability as a leader and manager:
1. Being involved in the detail (normally on an urgent/ important basis) sufficient to be able to make an informed decision when called on to do so
2. Maintaining progress on the list of important value-add or change areas that will step change the company’s performance and future success (inc. strategy)
3. Monitoring and maintaining the systems of control over process as well as managing, mentoring and coaching people to be able to run the company tactically and operationally
I realised that the big challenge in this is that you can mentally allocate the focus to areas two and three; area one normally drags you in without your planning. Arguably, area three. is easier to plan for in terms of operational review meetings, 121s, performance reviews and coaching sessions.
But that’s all about the conscious intent as opposed to the reality.
The urgency and all-consuming nature of some of the detailed decisions in area one. The personal commitment (and sometimes soul-searching/ pain) involved in managing people issues in area three. These are all things that can emotionally throw you so far from your ability to manage you conscious intent/ mental plans for maintaining the balance between your areas of accountability.
This is where the ‘x’ factor comes in. In previous posts I would have called it something like ‘personal strength’ or ‘resolve’. Since the start of my exploration of a more ‘organic?’ approach (see Influenced by Randomness) it is best to call it the ‘x’ factor.
This is the ability to manage multiple challenges to your time and ‘head space’ in a relaxed and efficient way. The perfect balance of multiple accountabilities of different types and with different positions on the urgent/ important scale.
A worthy goal.