The Ideal Strategic Manager
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to meet a handful of individuals who truly exemplify what it is to be a Strategic Manager.
Very early on in my career, I worked with Rick Maguire, senior vice-president of inventory management at Target. Rick always amazed me when a fire came up: either he already knew the answer, or he was quickly he able to frame the problem and move the team forward.
Because Rick spent so much time analyzing what was going on, analyzing what the future could be, and checking in with his leaders, he was able to see clearly where others just saw fog.
He had checkpoints in place to make sure that what he was expecting was happening. He “inspected what you expected.” Rick definitely had his moments when he would get upset or angry when something didn’t happen, but it was usually after the plan was in place and somebody dropped the ball—not because something happened that he hadn’t thought of.
As a senior vice president and a Strategic Manager, he was able to be forward-thinking and have his managers underneath him keep a clear understanding of where things were.
And Rick was one of the biggest supporters of the development of his team, investing in large leadership development programs, mentor programs, and executive coaching to get his team ready to take on more and more.
For our team, Rick’s foresight and clear expectations resulted in a happy, engaged, and productive work environment. It was challenging work, but I still think fondly of that experience today.
I learned from Rick that you can achieve it all by not doing it all. His ability to lead a clear vision, influence change, and coach his team created results that he could have never reached by doing it all himself!