When someone gets promoted it is called “taking the reins” as in taking control of the horse. It’s an old saying, but an accurate word picture.
Late one night, I was sending emails to a group of colleagues and erroneously typed “taking the reigns”. One of my most esteemed friends pinged back right away alerting me to my goof. She pointed out that ‘reigns’ would mean taking over the HOUSE, not the HORSE.
However, it struck me this typo was really pretty profound when talking about managers.
When you become a manager, what will be your ultimate goal? Do you want to merely take control of the horse or the house?
When you are first appointed as a new manager, the situation may limit you to focusing on taking over the horse; get the team going, keep it on track, and make new progress. Assuming you enjoy some success as the manager, you can gain the benefit of building your own personal brand as a leader within the organization. The reputation you grow will serve you well to perhaps one day take over the house.
That said, the immediate question is then, do you care about the whole house or are you happy having just the horse? Maybe your vision is not that far out. Deciding between the two can guide your plan for making your choices.
[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]As a manager, are you taking the reins or reigns? Read more here.[/shareable]
Your management decisions may be influenced by which view you assume. I, personally, have always taken the broader view of thinking about the whole house i.e. the company, when I manage my work team. I would argue that this view brings into play an understanding of corporate goals; seeing the big picture. The risk of staying with the more simple view of just worrying about the horse, may leave out some critical facts for decision making.
Staying more narrow can still be effective, but if you do have higher goals, you must immediately start leading and living with those dreams in mind. Again, as I said above, the value in operating with the bigger picture in mind gives you the opportunity to build a personal brand as a potential leader who will be equipped to take the ‘REIGNS’.
[reminder]What are ways you might change your view of your role as a manager?[/reminder]