Lesson 047: True rewards of management
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 2/15 ('Pen Pal's')


Ensign Wesley Crusher is given his very first mission, to make a geographical survey of a planet.

While selecting his team, he asks Riker for advice regarding the hesitation he is feeling about his team members being much older than himself and how best to handle any personality conflicts.

Riker replies that Wesley's concern is irrelevant to the mission, because the team members are all professionals, and if there is a personality conflict, then he (Wesley) is in charge and he (Wesley) should settle it.

Wesley realizes that to manage the team, you not only have to understand the job at hand, but also be a counselor to the team.


There are always at least two major parts to every management job, the technical aspects and the human aspects. Many usually consider the technical aspects of management easier to manage than the people issues; however, if the right motivations and directions are used with empathy, the human factor is quite often the more personally rewarding part of the job.

The task of a manager would be all so simple if all the manager had to do was to stay focused on just the projects and the assignments. However, management life is never that simple.

As is the case in all situations where more than one human is involved, there will undoubtedly be differences in opinions. It becomes the role of the manager as team builder, motivator and, yes, even counselor, to ensure the human experience within the group is positive.

While it may be impossible to avoid conflicts amongst members within the group, it is very possible to minimize their occurrence by being resolute in addressing concerns immediately and resolving confusions long before they can grow into issues.

By resolving conflicts and pulling the group together in a team spirit, not only does the work get done faster, but the people within the group find greater satisfaction in their work.

One of the best rewards of management is the opportunity to help others to recognize talents and abilities within themselves, of which they were unaware.

The professional and personal growth of each member within the group, as a direct result of management involvement, extrapolates into growth of the group and the organization.

Where the level of personal satisfaction for a manager is concerned, this growth is why the work with the human factor can easily far outweigh the technical functional aspects of the management role.

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