Perhaps the biggest difference between purposeful managers and the other types is the way they approach work. Other managers feel constrained by outside forces: their bosses, their peers, their salaries, their job descriptions. They take all those factors into account when they're deciding what's feasible and what isn't. In other words, they work from the outside in. Purposeful managers do the opposite. They decide first what they must achieve and then work to manage the external environment -- tapping into resources, building networks, honing skills, broadening their influence -- so that, in the end, they meet their goals. A sense of personal volition -- the refusal to let other people or organizational constraints set the agenda -- is perhaps the subtlest and most important distinction between this group of managers and all the rest.
Posted on May 23