The new manager

I like to understand. When I have to solve a problem, I like to assimilate information, logically think through it, analyze, make a road-map, and arrive at a solution. And I love this process. I love the challenge of getting around the constraints and building something. A simple, bright, optimal solution. I love the rush I get when I move closer to the answer. I can stay awake for days at end thinking about a problem. When an elegant, beautiful solution is finally found, I love the adrenalin rush, the feeling of accomplishment. Pure bliss.

I believe that not just me, but anyone, anywhere who has managed to create something, who loves to create, feels the same way. Great men, in their quest for creation, have managed to accomplish things that make my tiny ideas seem like a firefly to a sun. Mankind has progressed and prospered because of visionaries who wanted to create. And I aspire to join the ranks one day.

But unfortunately, I chose to start up. The irony of a startup is, it is born out of a desire to create and furnish a vision of the co-founders. But along the way, these co-founders, these visionaries, have to become managers. They must tend to the mundane task of supervising, directing, instructing. The vision is their dream. They must strive to make their team see it – and they must inspire their team to work towards it.  They have to convince their team of the beauty of their creation.

So, slowly, along the way, the creator must change into the leader. He has to know everything, have every solution. ‘I don’t know’ is not an option. He has to motivate his team. Make sure they meet deadlines. Make sure they do their best. He must talk to people. He is constantly thinking, constantly communicating. A hundred calls, a hundred different problems keep cropping up. And he must incessantly tend to these. He must resolve conflict, manage egos, keep his team happy. He has changed into a people’s man.

He hates it. This is not what he signed up for. He misses his time alone. He misses thinking and understanding. He misses creating. But this is a price he must pay to see his creation come to life. It’s relentless, and it’s torture…

But, in the end, when it finally materializes, it’s all worth it. And sometimes, in the middle of the chaos, when he does manage to switch off his cellphone and disconnect, he feels exhilarated.

Perhaps the long diversions make it more enjoyable. Perhaps he likes it because it’s so special. Perhaps starting up isn’t so bad, after all…

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