Manager or Artist?

Doesn’t the title Manager sound boring?  It certainly doesn’t seem as thrilling as entrepreneur, leader, executive, quality inspector or, well, just about any other title on the planet.

Manager conjures up images of a person with a big stick standing over you, poised to enforce whatever rule you’ve broken.  The person with the checklist on a clipboard wandering around shaking their head in disappointment or nodding in modest approval – that’s the Manager.  It’s funny that the world has progressed so far in so many aspects but the images of management have evolved little over time.  Creative is never a term associated with Manager.

Every now and then, you find a Manager who completely eclipses these images. This is the Manager who is personable, fair, creative and a consistent role model for the team. This Manager makes you feel like you are the only one who can do your job as well as you do and that they wouldn’t trade you for anything.  You know that this person stands with you and behind you every step of the way. They inspire you to learn, grow and perform better than you thought you could.  These Managers are artists!

Sculptor – molds the team into a cohesive structure

Painter – you not only see the vision, you understand it

Story-teller – has the ability to grab your attention, hold it and get the point across

Magician – capable of finding the one way out of seemingly impossible situations

Designer – creating an environment that people want to work in

I have worked with Managers like this. I even hope that I am a Manager like this.  They create an environment of nurturing and ease. I’m not saying that this type of Manager is a pushover; they are some of the strongest people I have met.  The team may be under pressure but they are not nearly as stressed as most others because their leader remains calm and focused; this takes strength.

If more Managers exercised their creative muscles, work environments would change dramatically. Office culture would be liberated from the sweat shop mentality. Sure, I know that people still won’t always be waking up in the morning in eager anticipation of getting to the office but maybe it won’t be drudgery.  We spend so much time at work, wouldn’t it be nice to be working for someone who trusts and supports you? Does work really have to be so stressful that it affects your entire life?  If more people were able to work with creative, energetic Managers, eventually the images of taskmaster, judge and executioner would slip into distant memory. Wouldn’t that be best?

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