A - Z of Management - 26 tips to be at your Managerial Best
Management is getting the work done through others. It is the ability to ensure that the vision set by the leader is achieved through proper staffing, monitoring and performance. Leadership gets all the fame but it is the managers who are responsible for the ultimate day to day activates and resulting output. Here is my A - Z of management which can help you towards becoming a great manager.
Advance planning – A successful manager plans ahead. They are always planning against the schedule while maintaining the budget. It is not the plan that is important but it is the planning which is. The thinking that goes into the planning ensures excellent results.
Boss – Though a lot of managers consider themselves as bosses it has been observed that all great managers don’t boss around. They invite input from everyone in the team and ensure team harmony is maintained. The 21st century boss is always available and open to the team fostering human bonds while ensuring ultimate responsibility rests with them.
Clarity – All successful managers absolutely know why they are on the payroll. They are also clear in their direction to the respective team members on why they are on the payroll. Without crystal clear clarity you cannot be a successful manager. Be clear on the objectives, vision and mission of the organization. Propagate that clarity throughout the team.
Discipline – Management is a discipline and as a manager you should be disciplined as well. All successful managers are disciplined with respect to meeting the schedule, managing their time and also ensuring no unnecessary cost is incurred by the projects.
Engage with your team – The old model of management was to maintain a distance between the team and the manager. The 21st century manager is willing to engage the team at every point of interaction. They also take an active interest in each member of the team from an overall perspective.
Friction – The main job of the manager is to ensure there are no barriers to communication within the various teams. They ensure there is no friction and lubricate a smooth communication within the team.
Gauge – The job of the manager is to measure, estimate and judge the team performance. How the manager does these is the real test of their competence. They need to provide constant feedback with appreciation on good things and also have the ability to identify areas of improvement as well.
Halo-effect – All great managers have a halo-effect on their team. This means they are good finders and with their presence they make sure everyone in the team feels great about themselves. Once everyone feels great about themselves performance automatically improves.
Impact – The job of the manager is to create an impact on the project and organization they are leading. They do this by taking everyone with them on a journey towards achieving the mission and vision of the organization. If you have positive impact on your team you will be a great manager.
Join – The job of the manager is to join the team and provide all the resources needed for the team to win. The main point here is the manager becomes a part of the team and does not lead in isolation.
Key – The great managers ensure that they are always having the key to the way the team operates. They have the key to the team and once they ignite the flames of potential within each team member performance automatically follows.
Landmark– This can also be considered as milestones. Once a certain landmark is reached all great managers ensure that the team is given credit and acknowledged for the great work done. Without celebration management becomes a dry activity.
Manage – Of course the job of the manager is to manage which means to control, run, supervise and conduct all the activities required to complete the project successfully. Management is both an art and science.
Negotiate – In order to be a great manager you should be able to navigate any storm successfully. Developing negotiation skills is necessary especially when you are dealing with multiple stakeholders and you need to buy time for your team with respect to any roadblocks faced.
Obsolete – The only skill that will not be obsolete is the ability to learn new skills. As a manager you need to be up to date on industry trends, should be able to talk about varied subjects and lead by example for your team. If you are not learning continuously your position will become obsolete.
Particulars - One area where leaders and managers part ways is in particulars. While a leader can operate at a higher level managers have to get into the details of everything. Without this knowledge managers cannot fully function effectively.
Quality – All great managers go for quality in everything they do. They set high standards for the team to reach and they ensure all work is of first rate quality. Only excellent quality leads to ultimate customer satisfaction which is the purpose of a business and management.
Recognize – The ultimate reason people leave an organization is mostly due to a bad manager. In order to avoid this and become a great manager you need to be constantly recognizing everyone for the good work they are doing. Never take credit for something done by your team.
Serve – If you want to be a great manager then you need to have the mindset to serve your team. When you take an attitude of service your team responds with the highest quality of work possible.
Transparent – You have to be totally transparent with your team for you to be a successful 21st century manager. Be clear, unambiguous and make sure all your communication is easily open and understandable.
Upbeat – As a great manager you need to maintain an upbeat attitude. You can do this by smiling, being enthusiastic in your communication and maintaining an overall optimistic stance. Only when you provide hope the team will follow through to execute flawlessly.
Vision - I know vision is always associated with leadership but to me all good managers have a great vision on where they want their team to be in the future. They begin with the end in mind by executing flawlessly to reach the ultimate vision of the organization.
Win - Win – In management your thinking has to be Win-Win. If you are competing with your team or stakeholders and trying to score points it will result in disaster. Look for options where all teams agree. Look for the third alternative and at times yes sacrifice for the larger cause.
Avoid Xtreme positions – There are some gray areas in management. Be prepared not to adopt any extreme positions. You may disagree on some decisions but as long as you are able to listen without interruption and showcase your decision making capability the team will support you.
Yardstick – As a manager you need to have a measure against which the team will be managed. Metrics are the key to successful analysis. Have yardsticks defined for every phase of the project and provide constant status updates to all key stakeholders.
Zenith – Your job as manager is to ensure the team reaches the zenith which means reaching the ultimate summit. Once you reach the predetermined outcome you have defined then your success as a manager is assured.
There you have it the A –Z of Management. Of course this is not easy to implement but a gentle reminder on what is really required to manage well can help us on our management journey. Great managers will always be in demand and with them a lot of insurmountable obstacles can be overcome.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.