Beware the busy manager

Busy managerI had a technology failure at work last week. For 36 hours I was without effective I.T. I was a wee bit frustrated.

At one point I heard myself saying (out loud to myself!) ‘I am too busy, but I can’t get anything done’. I’ve written several posts about the allure of busyness. My own words came back to haunt me. So, as I pulled my thoughts together, I identified quite a few things that I could meaningfully and productively do without technology – like going for a walk to think through a tricky issue.

As I walked, several ideas came to me AND I was reminded of an HBR article that I had read several years ago. ‘Beware the busy manager‘ by Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghosal. It’s worth reading, and looking at the characteristics of the four behaviour types that they describe. The four types are defined in a classic 2×2 matrix, based on focus and energy.

matrixI re-read the article at the weekend and realised that during the last week I had clearly fallen into at least three of the categories.

The question is, ‘Which category do I spend most time in?’ Or, maybe better, ‘What is my default behaviour type?’ I know what I’d like the answer to be, but based on my attitude last week, I’m not so sure!


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