Tuesday, January 11, 2011


If I spend more than half my day talking to clients, my day was a success.  Today I'm happy to say that many days seem to fit this criteria for me.  But it didn't used to be this way.  When I first started in my current management role five years ago I was busier than I had ever been in my entire life.  Every day was a struggle to find the appropriate time balance between internal management issues and external client relationships.  Because they were more immediate and urgent, the internal issues usually got the upper hand.

Slowly over time I began to get more personal control and flexibility into my schedule. The reasons for getting time to do what I want to do stem from several sources such as improved processes, better organization, whittling down the project backlog, and so on.  But the single biggest factor in freeing up my time has been building a brilliant management team.  Today I have a series of direct reports I who I can trust to handle the boundless complexity of directly managing the business of a large organization.

Over the period of several years we have built up a world class management team.  With precision, insight, and compassion this team leads the core components of our organization.  Their excellence frees me to deal with the strategic issues of my job and gives me the luxury of spending more time with our clients.  A great management team gives you freedom - freedom to focus on the truly challenging and exciting aspects of your role.

Gosh, I even have time to write a blog!



  1. > been building a brilliant management team

    Do you take credit for building it?
    If so, then how did you do it?
    By head-hunting to find good people, and parachuting them into the management structure, on top of existing employees?
    By encouraging incumbent middle-managers to vacate their positions, or other out-placing, and then filling those positions?
    Did you promote from within, via career-progression, as per the union/management labour contract language?
    Did you do some care-and-feeding in-service training to upgrade the incumbents?
    Or, was your current team in-place when you arrived, and it's taken you a while to realize that you can trust them?
    How did you achieve the change?

  2. Good questions. Each member of the management team came from within the institution. Several were students here that graduated, joined the department, and thrived here. We haven't hired any external management staff in the past 5 years. We have active internal processes that focus on growing the skills & capabilities of our own folks. This approach creates a sense of optimism through opportunity in the department.