Are you just running or managing?

Running is easy, managing is not. Well, it depends on how you are defining “running” and “managing”. In my humble view, I would define running as just doing whatever it takes to maintain status quo. Do whatever it takes to execute day-to-day affairs. Approve employee leave applications, track and review performance, prepare reports, handle customer complaints according to customer manual, ensure salary cheques on time, and switch off your lights to go home. Running is a “straight line” approach to management.

On the other hand, “managing” necessarily has a flavor of “intervention”. You intervene to make things happen if it does not happen through “running”. It takes more than textbook learning and conceptual understanding from in-class case studies. It goes well beyond that. It calls for exercising your ingenuity, dovetailing situation to your charismatic personality (if any), and capability to turn around an apparently uncontrollable situation. Managing is a “curved line” approach towards handling situation(s).

It takes years of practices, wisdom, and sometimes luck factor to be a good “manager”. In many instances, mere personality and sensible thinking can also turn a fresh graduate into a good manager. Even though experience has an impact on managerial quality, it is not always so. However, apart from arguable age/experience factors, there are reasons why not all business graduates would be good managers, and why some excellent managers are not from business schools. In either case, we need more managers than runners in our country.

Next time you attempt to handle a managerial situation, think about which category you do belong to.


About 1mmarketing

Working as Associate Professor, School of Business, United International University, Bangladesh; a North-American graduate, with doctoral studies from UUM, Malaysia; cherishing a wide-view of the world, with multiple interests in culture, people, traveling, and specifically marketing science. I have a colorful and diversified background with a blend of corporate experience, research, consulting, training, public speaking and teaching. I love to write about marketing issues that affect our lives, and talk about its direction that would promote the greatest human welfare.
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One Response to Are you just running or managing?

  1. mihir.G says:

    Wow!! Another great piece of writing and it’s also good to see that somebody is recognizing the luck factor. A bit of luck is really essential.

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