Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Juggler

What is management?  And what makes a good manager?

Honestly - I think it comes down to a persons ability to juggle.  I'm not thinking of clowning around but rather the ability to handle multiple tasks and jobs all at once.

So how does juggling work?  Well you have two hands that at any one time are either catching or releasing an object.  By having only two hands you can ever deal with two things at once.  What usually happens is one hand receives a 'ball' coming downwards, while the other hand is getting ready to toss a 'ball' up into the air again.

Whats the secret to great juggling?  Knowing when to catch a 'ball' and when to throw one up in the air.  Getting the balance right between receiving and throwing a task back into space.

Now when the ball is in the air you don't have to worry about it.  The juggler needs to keep an eye on the ball and understand where it is in relation to their body movement and other balls but the jugglers energy is turned towards dealing with what is 'at hand' at that very point in time.

If there are too many balls in the air one of three things will most likely happen -
  1. The juggler loses track of where things are at and all the balls fall to the floor (crisis);
  2. The juggler could stop and put the new ball down somewhere and try and pick it up again later (procrastination); or
  3. The juggler can get someone else (delegation) to deal with that ball in the meantime.
So how are your juggling skills?  Are you able to cope with you are required to do?  Do you have too many tasks on all at once?

Try this piece of advice - "Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air.  You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball.  If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass.  If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.  They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it."  Bryan Dyson, Coca Cola (care of: Startupceo.co.za)

Interseting.  Question - what are you juggling at the moment?  How well are you doing?  How could you do it better?

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