Sep 26, 2012
Kenneth Verlage

It is better to burn out than to fade away.

So you are a senior manager and everyone loves you? Then you have some SERIOUS problems.
Either you have totally lost contact with reality and have let your success get to your head – or you are just one hell of a Teddy Bear Manager with a smile and a warm fuzzy hug going for everyone.
I actually don't know which scenario is the most frightening.
As a manager, you cant expect that everyone likes what you do – and it is fatal to try to let popularity guide your decisions. That path will lead you into a dark corner where you no longer dare to take action on ANYTHING out of fear. And everything gets stuck in endless meetings, coordination efforts and diplomacy. Nothing gets done at all, and you will soon be aware that this is NOT the way to success. Your supporters will loose faith in you and soon you will be unpopular with ALL.
If you get up there and take the rudder and start making things happen, you might be unpopular with half your company while the other half likes you. And it doesnt get any better than that – half is great. Half is superb. In fact 50,1 percent could make you president of the USA – or any democratic country. And you dont quite need that!
So it might seem that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
But that is only very short term – long term nothing is going to be damned if you give it your best.
And so I always choose “do” because thats me, and thats the only choice that leaves me in control.
And in management it is always more stylish to burn out than to fade away.

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