Why Claiming Your Place Is Important

Rob manages multiple teams, a total of 50 people. He explains bluntly:

“It seems as if nobody listens to me. They’re restless. As if I don’t reach anyone. I’m the manager, am I not? Sometimes it seems as if I’m not the manager at all… It doesn’t feel that I’m in the right place anymore.”

I give him a flip-over and ask him to draw his teams, and focus on the people/business/departments/customers/services that are important to him. Don’t think too much, draw off the cuff and follow your instincts.


He starts drawing busily, using many different colors.

After about 10 minutes I ask him to stop drawing and look at his picture from a distance. “Tell me what you see,” I ask, “as if you’re a layman.”

He drew a square. One corner housed most of his team members, the other corner himself. They looked away from each other. He says: “Yes, that’s what it’s like. I kind of hide myself. Don’t show my face enough. Sometimes, I’d rather not be there.”

Then I ask him who the person is who’s positioned in the middle of the drawing, a big person standing between him and his team.


His answer is resolute: “That’s Mark, the director. He always stands in the middle of everything. Meddles in everybody’s business. I don’t stand a chance.”

I cover the director with a blank piece of paper, as if he’s not there. Then, Rob gives a sigh of relief. “Yes, that would be better. I could see my team again.”

To the question of what his next step may be, he answers: “I’m going to talk to Mark, and I’m going to let him know that I want to take my part in both hands. I am the manager of those teams.”

This is how Rob takes the first steps in (re)claiming his place in the organization.


Claiming your place as a manager is important for yourself and your team. You create peace, you become more effective and you will thrive. This will benefit everyone.

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Niño Jacobs eats, sleeps, and breathes leadership and customer experience every day, dreams about it every night, and writes about it once a month. Follow Niño on Twitter for more!

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