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I have been doing o3's with the DR of a manger who was out sick (8) but has since returned. Still doing the O3's for his DR's with no complaints from him since he is retiring in three months.

Another manager just gave his notice and I'm in charge of them (8) now. My boss is geting on me for the time spent doing O3's already and now I'm going to add 8 more.

I thought I would alternate every other week for the teams. Running seriously short on time since I have two staff meetings to attend - 1 hour each. I'm in charge of two major projects that were supposed to take up all my time for the next three months. Practice time management comes to mind.

Suggestions?
Thank you,
Kevin

HMac's picture

Kevin: You may be being groomed...or you may be being used.

Here's what I mean: you've stepped in to help manage the directs for somebody who's been out, and will soon retire. Has your boss or anyone else in the organization had discussions with you about making this a permanent arrangement (with implications therefore on your responsibilities and maybe level/comensation)?

And now you've picked up another 8 because of a manager resigning. The same question above applies....

When you look at it as objectively as you can, what's the organization's opinion about what you're doing: is it that you're a good guy and a team player who's stepped up to "help out a little" or would they acknowledge that they're given you increased repsonsibilities?

The answer to that question may give some more clarity to why your boss is "on you" about spending too much time on O3's. Additionally, what would the organization say they're paying you to do? If it's "run two major projects" and not manage an added dozen or more staff, then you're getting crossways with what [i]they [/i]think you should be doing.

If they're grooming you for more responsibility, then it's fair to raise the need to change some of your existing responsibilities (e.g., DELEGATE to your directs). On the other hand, if they're just using your enthusiasm to manage others, then you may be setting yourself up for failure at your "actual job."

So before trying to figure out how to do more O3's, I recommend you talk with your boss with the intent of seeking a clear understanding about the company's ideas about your current and future role. No matter how it comes out, it will be a GREAT talk - because you'll leave with a better idea of how to spend your time, and an even better relationship with your boss.

-Hugh

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Can you delegate any project work to these new directs? More time for you and development for them. Maybe revisit the Jugging Koan: http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/01/the-juggling-koan/

Stephen

KS180's picture

I work for govt and I am the second highest in the organization. It's more of a case where the DR fall under my responsibility. That's OK with me. It just got overwhelming to have so many meeting and keep the relationship going with my directs.

I spend too much time on the O3's and need to keep it to 30 minutes. Is having a clock handy OK?

As for delegating - they all have projects they are working on and they report back to me on the status.

Of the three managers that report to me: 1 - retiring, 1 leaving next Friday, 1 - applied for my job and didn't get it (she has been here 18 years). She has suggested we share the responsibilities with her getting most of the DR.

I thought management was supposed to be boring.
Thank you,
Kevin

ramiska's picture

[quote]Is having a clock handy OK? [/quote]

You should have a clock in your office. Use it. If you're going long, say "we're running out of time and we both need to get back to other things." Either schedule a new meeting to continue the conversation or pick it up where you left off at next week's one-on-one.

As Stephen said, revisit the juggling koan. Is there anything your DRs can either delegate down or drop?

jwyckoff's picture

[quote="ksweeney"] Is having a clock handy OK?
[/quote]

Absolutely! You should guard your time, and respect the time of others. It's only common courtesy.

I've had a clock on the wall I face for a long time. It provides me an easy way to keep track of the time during meetings in my office without having to turn my head to look at my computer or my watch.

I also just put in a clock that faces the guests at my desk so THEY can keep track too!

HMac's picture

Another "yes" regarding the clock. And connick nailed it about having one available FOR THE OTHER PERSON to see.

If you're clear about the length of time you have, and they're able to see a click, they will self-manage...and your problem will simply go away..

Let me share a related example that was a huge learning for me:

I have a training background, and at various times in my career, I've facilitated a lot of group meetings. One of the classic challenges is getting people back from breaks in a timely manner. These usually end up with the facilitator running around like a bellhop or train conductor, loudly announcing "two minutes!" and such.

Until I developed my most valuable facilitation tool: it's a COUNTDOWN CLOCK I built in PowerPoint, that simply counts down from whatever length I set it at, to ZERO. So I say "we'll take a fifteen minute break; let's be back at 11:15" or whatever, set and project the countdown, and then go about my business.

The group then breaks, does whatever they want or need to, and I see them sticking their heads back in the room and checking the countdown up on the screen. When it gets to 1 or 2 minutes, I even see some of them go out and start rounding up their colleagues!

The "secret" I discovered is that adults will self-manage, if you given them the tools, the opportunity and the responsibility.

The same applies to O3's: if your directs know they have 30 minutes, and they can see a clock, they'll gladly help manage the time...

-Hugh

US101's picture

HMac - I like your idea with the clock.

How did you build it into PowerPoint?

HMac's picture

It's really easy - if a little bit labor intensive.

For this example, let's say the maximum length of break is 30 minutes.

Starting with a template to make everything consistent, you make 30 slides "30 minutes to go", "29 minutes to go", etc.

Then you make 59 slides "59 seconds to go", "58 seconds to go", etc.

Then you make a TIME'S UP! slide.

Set timings for each of the slides - set the "minute" slides to automatically advance in 1 minute, and set the "second" slides to automatically advance in 1 second.

Then all you have to do is run it as a PowerPoint slideshow, starting the the slide that reflects the length of the break you're giving. PowerPoint does the rest!

Some "Advanced" tips:

I also have five more slides "1 minute late", 2 minutes late", etc. In case I can't start exactly on time. It's a great message to hurry people into their seats when they see the "X minutes late" projected.

Keep the slides SIMPLE. Mine are black numbers on a white background. That works best in the widest array of rooms and settings (white letters on dark backgrounds are cooler - but they don't project as well when there's lots of ambient lighting). The other reason for simplicity is that it allows room for the numbers to be HUGE.

Finally, when you're designing, start with the first slide. Make it to be exactly what you want. Set the timing. Then just cut, paste, change the number on the slide, and cut/paste/change again. All the settings are carried to each subsequent slide. It makes for fast work.

Enjoy!

KS180's picture

Great idea about the clock. I'm going to run the slideshow on my computer when I run my O3's plus have a clock on the wall.
Thank you,
Kevin

US101's picture

I tried it and it works great. Thanks again.

I did not make 59 slides for each second. I made 10 slides for every 10 seconds.

HMac's picture

When you start using it, you'll be surprised how many people comment on how great it is...