Managers vs Engineers on Finding Direction

Just received a copy of Michael J. Termini's new book "Walking the Talk: Pathways to Leadership," published by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, which advises technical staffers on how best to make the transition to management.  We'll be interviewing Mr. Termini for best practices, reviewing the book and posting an excerpt on our site so stay tuned.  In the meantime, here's a brief parable from the book that many of you may have already experienced. A man in a hot air balloon realized that he was lost, so he reduced altitude and spotted a woman on the ground below.  He descended a bit and shouted to her, "Excluse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don't know where I am." The woman replied, "You are in a hot-air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west latitude." "You must be an engineer," said the balloonist. "I am," said the woman. "How did you know?" "Well," answered the balloonist, "Everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information and, the fact is, I am still lost.  Frankly, you have been no help to me so far." The woman responded, "You must be in management." "I am," he replied. "How did you know?" The woman answered, "You don't know where you are or where you are going.  You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air.  You made a promise that you have no idea of how to keep and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems.  The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault." As Termini writes, "Remember where you started from, then judge your success by how far you've come."  Good advice for individuals, departments, companies, or corporations... -AMS