“The notes I handle no better than many pianists, but the pauses between the notes — ah, that is where the art resides.”
– Arthur Schnabel
HEATHROW — Managing people when you have all the answers is easy. Well, maybe not easy (I have a new book on leadership to sell soon, after all), but it can be straight-forward. Managing people when your business is turned upside down, is hard.
So, it stands to reason that managing people when the whole world is turning upside-down is even harder.
In times like these organisations go into panic mode and everyone runs around in circles. Meetings are called. Actions are taken. Decisions are made.
And then you tell people.
Or, more often than not, you don’t.
As a result the last people to know anything are the people with the least power. And you tell those people: “Look I have been up nights for weeks worrying about this. It’s been killing me. And I didn’t want you to have to worry… But… you’re fired.”
At best you’ll look pathetic as a manager. At worst you’ll find your employees sticking pins in their iPhone voodoo dolls of you.
Keeping people up to date is your job. Letting them know when and how decisions will be made is your job. Your fight is with the organisational leaders to get more info. Now is not when you should hide from your employees.
If you do your job well in bad times, you will be amply rewarded in the future.
It’s the bits between the notes.