Lesson 066: The role of management
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 7/16 ('Thine Own Self')


Deanna Troi, ship's counselor, decides to take the Bridge Officer's Test to attain the rank of a full commander on the Enterprise.

Her main impetus for this decision was her one time prior positive experience at command during a past emergency situation when she was forced to take command of the ship. After successfully leading the crew to overcome the emergency, she had relinquished command back to the Captain.

Afterwards, she always missed the experience of being in command. So, now she wants the opportunity to explore this whole new side of herself.


The role of management has many attractions. If having the power, prestige and greater financial rewards that accompany the rise to management are the sole incentives, then failure as a good manager is pretty well guaranteed.

These types of self-aggrandizing goals to reach management usually produce very arrogant, uncaring, and pretty much worthless managers.

However, if the main reasons for wanting to take a management command position is the desire to serve others before yourself, to help make the proper decisions for the benefit of others or the organization, to help others through mentoring, and to get the pure satisfaction from knowing that you are part of a greater process leading others and the organization to success, then you definitely have the right motivations for a management position.

There are many who are extremely well skilled and knowledgeable about their own particular areas of expertise. However, this may not necessarily translate into good managerial qualifications.

The key abilities for any managerial role is really not the amount of expertise and knowledge in specific fields (although such skills definitely do help); rather it is the ability to channel the efforts of other experts into a cohesive process by which projects, assignments and missions are accomplished successfully.

This is by no means a simple chore. Given the respective differing personalities, egos, territorial loyalties, departmental priorities, conflicting agendas, and the ever present unpredictable situations requiring immediate risk mitigation, the role of the manager is mainly delegated to showing leadership in relationship management, situation containment & resolution, and motivation for goal attainment.

Before you can take on the monumental responsibilities of managing others, you must first become very self-aware and comfortable with your own abilities, constraints and especially, weaknesses.

If you wish for others to follow your leadership and put their trust and loyalty in your judgments, then first be sure you can commit to do the same for yourself. That is, be sure you are confident in yourself first, before you ask others to have confidence in you.

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