During my career, I had the opportunity to work with two particularly dissimilar directors. Mike and Earl were senior managers of the International Transportation department. Both were with the company for many years before being relieved of their duties and responsibilities. Although Mike and Earl appear to be very similar with their high level positions and terminated tenure with the company, they differed dramatically in several areas.
A good director should have the personality traits of a leader. Earl was an organized, straightforward boss. He analyzed the assignments that were delegated to each person. He made sure that each task was within the scope of responsibility for each employee. He held the employee responsible for completing (or not completing) their assigned tasks. Mike, on the contrary, had little, if any organization. His main concern was analyzing anything that would make him look good to upper management. Mike held the entire department responsible for performance (or lack of performance).
Knowledge of international practices is critical to the role of director. Earl had 35 years of experience in Global Transportation. He worked with domestic trucking companies, United States port authorities, and foreign customs. Through frequent company funded, international travel, he was educated on the requirements of different countries. He knew the process of exporting down to the most microscopic detail. On the other hand, Mike worked for an airline company before joining our staff. He had several years of experience with domestic air transportation, but very little land or ocean logistical experience. Mike's company funded travel consisted mostly of improvement on his golf swing. The development of his golfing score was very important to him.
Managers should be results-orientated rather than activities-oriented. Earl was a visionary. He was constantly perfecting "big-picture" strategies. He was very operational and had a hands-on attitude. He...