Perception  IS Reality – a Terry Wireman blog

In his book “The Real Truth about Success” Garrison Wynn says this:

“You must be willing to get real about how you are viewed by others, accept how they see you, and get past how you want them to see you.  Perhaps some people can effectively change the way others perceive them, but it is much easier, much more realistic and effective, to understand how you are viewed and find a way to make it work for you.  We have to understand what other people see when they see us.”

So, that leads to the question, …

…“What does our company’s executive management see when they see us?”  Do they see a technical wizard?  Do they see a great engineer with marginal interpersonal skills but with no real business management vision?  Do they see a great financial manager, a person who always has all their budget numbers right on target with no interpersonal skills?

Have we ever thought about career paths for reliability/ maintenance managers?

How much does our executive management’s perception of us steer us toward a certain career path?

How often are reliability/ maintenance managers perceived as technical wizards and their career path is to the top level of their department and it is at a “dead end”.

Not that there is anything wrong with that from a career perspective – many individuals can have a financially and personally rewarding career in that position.  However, how often do we see a plant manager evolve from the reliability/ maintenance leadership position?  While it does occasionally happen, it is unusual to see.  Is perception reality for senior executives making these decisions?

What if we have a hybrid individual that has a degree in engineering, but never developed the interpersonal skill necessary to be a leader.  Does this perhaps lead the individual to a career path in engineering, becoming a great design or project engineer?  There is nothing wrong with setting that as a career path.  But again, how often do we see strong technical people chosen for a leadership role in the organization, when they don’t have strong leadership skills?  Is perception reality for senior executives making these decisions?

Finally – why are we discussing this subject?  For two reasons.  The first is many of our current reliability/ maintenance/ asset management leaders are nearing (if they are not there already) retirement age.  Who will (a) fill their current roles? And (b) move into leadership roles that are being created in other parts of the organization (operations, engineering, division or corporate level)?

Secondly, what about the asset manager’s role?  As more and more companies move toward ISO-55000 or an asset focus business strategy, who will take that leadership position in their organization?  Should it be accounting? Operations? Supply Chain? Or Reliability/ Maintenance?

Your company’s perception could soon become YOUR reality.

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