Why following the rules might be bad for your career
Are you an Administrator? If you work according to the following beliefs, chances are that the answer is “yes.”
Clear planning is necessary to achieve success.
Order is the backbone of any worthwhile results.
An organized team is a winning team.
For Administrators, there are general guidelines for how to measure success at work.
Administrators are often praised early in their career for their commitment to orderly planning and organization. Before taking on a new project, Administrators ensure that all resources are available and that a clear project flow is in place. Then they meticulously plan the stages of the project, carefully integrating the use of resources along the way. Projects begin on time and are completed either on or ahead of schedule. And Administrators can report progress down to the minute at a moment’s notice. Such criteria are clear for how to measure success at work, making Administrators a dream come true for many complex organizations.
As such, Administrators are often promoted to middle management positions rather quickly. In these new roles, they further develop ways to run projects efficiently and on time, many times exceeding expected results. Team members usually feel secure under the care of Administrators, as there are generally no surprises.
Unfortunately, though, sooner or later, Administrators find themselves surprised as they see other colleagues being promoted, while they are left behind.
And when they investigate why they’re being passed up, promotion after promotion, they often get rather shocking feedback, such as:
“You’re not flexible enough.”
“You don’t seem to be able to roll with the punches.”
“You rarely look beyond the specific projects you’re running.”
While these are just examples of statements Administrators might hear, they all point to one thing: too much energy is spent on organization, processes, and procedures. But the important message here is the subtext: more effort should have been made in developing and practicing skills such as brainstorming, team-building, and improvising.
But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. No one is looking for a 180 degree change. The message here is that these less-developed skills should be worked on alongside the natural strengths of an Administrator. In this way, Administrators are then viewed as more well-rounded and - more importantly - poised for handling the unpredictability of any corporate environment.
So if you are an Administrator, take a close look at yourself and build a plan to develop the skills you’ll need in the future. And the next time a promotion opportunity comes up, it’ll be all yours.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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