AoE Management, Part I: Real Business Management

Solid management is inseparable from good leadership in the business world. To successfully manage the quintessential asset of any corporate structure–the employees–a high bar in leadership is essential. Even more so, its invaluable.

To all you business buffs, leaders, team organizers, and the like, I would like to share a view on management I have found very useful and hope it serves you well.

So we get management, but what is AoE in management? Well, naturally it is the “area of effect” that management encompasses, but I take it a level farther when breaking it down.

By “AoE”, I am not actually referring to “area of effect” management, though it directly applies. I mean, quite honestly and simply put, Age of Empires.

Yes, the real-time strategy game released back in 1997 and 1999 that I grew up playing time and time again. Yes, that game–and I mean it wholehearted with how it applies to management. Not just any kind, but a successful, leading management with positive growth and area-of-effect.

In AoE, you have your offensive structures and offensive units; you have your defensive structures and defensive units; and you have your base structures and base units.

For offensive structures, you might have outposts, bombard towers, barracks, castles–just like in business you might have TV ads, radio ads, social media ads, etc. Likewise, for offensive units you might have scouts, archers, cavalry–or in business terms: marketing agents, community agents, social media agents, etc.

For defensive structures, there’s walls, towers, forts–just like there’s return policies, warranty claim departments, service departments, quality assurance departments, etc. For defensive units, you have the work force behind those measures just like in offense. Get where I’m going?

Last but not least is base structures and units. This is the “meat” of any business and consists of town centers, farms, mills, mines, lumber camps, docks, etc. It is ran by the core investment of any corporation–the day-in and day-out employees.

In management, you have scales of responsibility and function throughout all these levels. In AoE management, you have the abilities to hone in every facet of business infrastructure. If my sales are sky-rocketing but the gross income is unchanged, AoE management turns me back toward home base. In light of it, I may see myself beginning to extend too far in offensive marketing, and while its bringing in new sales, its not securing and growing my investments. I notice my farms are outdated and the units assigned to them not cared adequately enough for.

Unlike Age of Empires, any structure built–offensively, defensively, or at base–is steadily losing health from the moment of its conception. I may have built a glorious mill to sustain thirty farms and all their produce, but over the course of five or ten years, it will no longer be able to sustain as it once did. If not careful, areas once thought as the “most productive and unique” will become outdated and ultimately collapse if not correctly invested into.

Likewise, every unit loses health overtime. While this is more noticeable with offensive and defensive units because of the roles they play and directly effect, what good is the strongest marketing agency if its base units can no longer match it? What happens to that business? It falls apart. It crumbles from the inside out.

So lets get past the cool, new analogy and talk management.

AoE management allows be to dissect each aspect of my business, be it offensive, defensive, base, units, or structures. It lets me look at the dropping food supply and stretch out where all my food-supply assets are, why they’re decreasing, and what I can do to bring them back up.

To quickly win any RTS game, the town center is essential to take out and, likewise, to fortify. My town center is my base operations–the core around the “why” of my business mission, purpose, and values.

This is but Part 1 of the AoE management outlook, and it is one I will gladly keep adding to and sharing should it benefit those willing to see its value. In management, your store has base employees, defensive employees, offensive employees, and all the same in structures. What are your areas of struggle? What facets could be fortified? Better yet, what structures and units could be better invested into? Heed expansion, less your base be dried up. Heed seclusion, less you business be overlooked.

Learn the value behind AoE management. There are more than plenty enough ways to learn management and to utilize it in a leadership role. Invest, grow, reinvest, and improve.

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