The Big Picture - March 2014 - (Page 14)

business ++ management business management Sheepherders and Shepherds By Marty McGhie W hile hiking with a youth group in the high plains of Wyoming this past summer, we ran into a group of ranchers who were moving a large herd of sheep into another range for grazing. The several hundred sheep, all running about in a rather chaotic manner, were being pushed forward by five sheepherders on horses and four dogs. As we watched, several in our group commented about the number of sheep that seemed to be heading in no particular direction at all. The sheepherders and the dogs had to work continuously to keep the herd moving more or less in the correct direction. Contrast my Wyoming experience to that of a friend of mine who visited Jerusalem a few years ago. He noted that many sheep graze daily in the fields surrounding the city. These sheep, however, are managed by shepherds, not sheepherders. In the early morning hours when the shepherds move their sheep out into the fields, they call them out by name and lead them. Likewise, in the evening when they move the sheep into the protective fold (a fenced off area) for the night, the shepherds lead them instead of herding them. The sheep simply follow the shepherd. Now, you could argue that one way of moving sheep is better than the other. But that's not my point here. Instead, I think these two examples illustrate the different ways we often find ourselves running our businesses: The sheepherders in Wyoming could be compared to the management side of our responsibilities, while the shepherds in Jerusalem could be compared to the leadership roles in our businesses. MaRTy MCGHIE is VP finance/operations of Ferrari color, a digital-imaging center with Salt Lake city, San Francisco, and Sacramento locations. he is a partner and director of and the author of Business + Management for Digital Print Providers + Sign Shops (ST Media Books, 14 THE BIG PICTURE March 2014 Managing the daily workflow In our business operations, we'll always need both managers and leaders. In a shop's daily flow of work, for instance, you'll always need managers to keep production systems and work product moving. This is critical to achieving success with the daily commitments to your customers. Now, hopefully, our managers are not managing our people and processes in a chaotic fashion like my first example of the sheepherders. The Wyoming sheepherders knew where they eventually wanted to arrive and were generally headed that way - it just took a lot of running around to get there. It's likely that some days our managers feel exactly like that: lots of hectic running around feeling like we are indeed getting nowhere fast. The overriding point I want to make here, however, is that we absolutely need the daily roles of managers in our business to actually get the work done. Our managers should be completely immersed in and equipped with the information needed to get our products out the door correctly and on time. Managers are the ones tasked with the daily, perhaps hourly, responsibility to make the necessary decisions to meet our customers' demands. To speculate that we only need leaders rather than managers in our companies would be folly. But how well do your managers perform their functions as managers? And for that matter, how well do your employees follow your managers' direction? Two levels of leadership A company's shepherds - its corporate leaders - are, however, another matter. When considering the role of leadership in your organization, the first question you might ask is: "What?" What is the role of a leader in your business? If your managers are the ones tasked with the daily responsibilities of workflow, then your organization's leaders are the ones accountable to teach the managers exactly how to do that. While the leaders in your business might be responsible to teach your managers and the rest of your team "how" to properly do their job, their more important role might be "why" they should do their job in a certain manner. >34

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Big Picture - March 2014

The Big Picture - March 2014
Wide Angle
Up Front
Inside Output
Business + Management
White-Hot: Five Shops Explore White Ink
Great Ideas: ISA Expo 2014
Front- and Back-End Tools
Job Log

The Big Picture - March 2014