Sunday, March 9, 2008

Two sides of the management coin

 "To know when to be generous and when firm — that is wisdom." 

~ Elbert Hubbard

Last week was a little tough for me, and for the people around me. I've found that in my career I've work with two kinds of people - those who are generous or those who are firm. And very often I have come across people masquerading as one kind of person, while truly being another. Occasionally, I have come across people who can straddle line - generous and firm at the right moment. These are the people I have tried to emulate. 

Last week may have been the first time in the past 8 months that I've put my stake in the ground and called people to the carpet when something wasn't done to meet high standards. There was a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of excuses made. At the end of the day, it wasn't about blame and it wasn't about having a reason for what happened - it was, and always is, about responsibility. 

This ability to be generous and be firm is critical in the creative process as much as it is in any other setting. If too firm, the end product will have the life beaten out of it. If too generous, the end product won't be as good as it could have been with constructive criticism. The most beautiful pottery gets its shine from the care of the potter's hands and the fire of the kiln. The same should be true for the creative work we put out into the word - a little gentleness mixed with a little fire yields a truly extraordinary masterpiece.    

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