Word Of The Week: MANAGE

Welcome back to Word Of The Week: where I explain why a certain word has caught my attention  this week. Today the word is MANAGE.

When I first started my work life, I thought being a manager was a good aspiration…it seemed easy enough, you just tell people what you want them to do…did I mention I started work when I was very young??


There are two types of takes on the word manage. One is an idiom for coping, or getting by…‘whatever happens, I’ll manage’…pretty passive.

The other is an all-encompassing Snugglie of a job description (not exactly sure what it does encompass, and very fluid boundries) that is much more pro-active.

Earliest roots come from the Italian ‘maneggiare’-to handle, especially as in horses, or French ‘manege’ -horsemanship.  The Latin, of course is ‘manus’-hand, as in manual, manacle.

The parallels of  directing the path of a large and powerful creature  and overseeing all aspects of a project are intriguing; bringing both to their safe, complete and intended destination-even more so.

And NOW I might have a clue as to why John Maggiotto-the camera artist and photographer extroidinaire who took my professional head shots, and kindly allowed me the use of his artwork here-often uses horses as subject matter, and a  wild stallion as his avatar on his business cards and stationary.  But I digress….

The image of hands, used in several financial and insurance institutions, are meant to convey and assure personal safety and security, but it’s a reminder too of the very basic ways that things get done. 

Managing is an absolute hands-on, up close and yes, sometimes personal endevor. Successful managers know there  is give and take. There is a need to both listen, and the ability to take charge.

Sometimes you need a light touch, other times… not so much. It requires simultaneously living in the circumstances of the moment and looking/thinking ahead…often far ahead, and in all sorts of directions.  There is responsibility, and should be mutual respect.

Lots of talk this week of what the future ‘holds’, and- for me, anyway-reflection of this past year. In times of economic uncertainty, there is reluctance to acknowledge  or seek  the value of  the intangible; so  many perceive value to lie solely in the lowest  dollar figure, or the finished-visual-product.

Ours is a world where little is simple…sometimes by evolution, sometimes by design. Relying on someone else who is very smart about something is not a bad thing. I will continue to make how I manage projects, and the process for clients my highest priority. And I will continue to also learn how to do it better.

I thank the readers, and clients of the refreshed home for a challenging, and rewarding 2011. I appreciate your faith and  trust this year, have enjoyed sharing your excitment as your projects have unfolded, and look forward to the opportunities the New Year will bring us all.

2012 is going to be great…pass it on!