Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.
Along my 5-year managerial journey, I have been very fortunate to pick up quite a few gems and have been pricked by a few thorns as well—which is not a bad as learning from negative & favorable outcomes is a continuous process for leaders; whether you’re a general of an army or a manager in a corporation. So here I am, willing to share my secrets with the world. These are not far-fetched qualities. These are tried and tested qualities that I worked really hard to master and they worked for me and for several of my associates. Presenting five qualities that can transform and improve your management skills required to go from goodness to greatness.
1) Good Communication
Let me start with a story:
Sam and Tim are walking from religious service.
Sam wonders whether it would be all right to smoke while praying.
Tim replies, “Why don’t you ask the Priest?”
So Sam goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I smoke while I pray?”
But the Priest says, “No, my son, you may not. That’s utter disrespect to our religion.”
Sam goes back to his friend and tells him what the good Priest told him.
Tim says, “I’m not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try.”
And so Tim goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I pray while I smoke?”
To which the Priest eagerly replies, “By all means, my son. By all means.”
Moral: The reply you get depends on how you communicate your message.
You see this is what good communication does. For an effective manager, one of the qualities is getting things done from the employees without being a burden on them. As they say, ‘It is not what you say, but how you say it, that makes all the difference’ Being a manager is like people’s person. If you do not love to communicate with the people, please find another job. But if you are willing to improve and work out as a manager, work hard on your communication skills.
2) Domain knowledge
A good manager needs to understand what process he is going to manage. If the manager doesn’t know the in’s and out of a business how can he run the business in an effective manner? A good example is one of my friends. He is a computer graduate but due to pressure from his family, he was inducted as a manager into the family business of agriculture. Although he is a business graduate he doesn’t have any knowledge of agriculture. So, obviously, the result was expected. After a year business went into great lost and eventually business got shut down. Well, you don’t want that do you?
3) Dealing with change
Seth Godin famously said ‘Launch the project with keep pivoting’ this simply means no matter how good your idea is, or how effectively your team has managed the project, if you, as a manager are not willing to change then nothing else will change. The true manager should be flexible and adaptable. He is able to react quickly when facing any obstacles. Stress shouldn’t be a factor to prevent him from taking the right decisions.
4) Lead by example
There’s a manager who tells everyone to stay late and then leaves promptly at 5:00 pm to go golfing. Sounds familiar? I bet yes. There is hardly anything worse for a company morale than managers who don’t practice what they preach. We, humans, are best at imitations. Since birth, we learn how to imitate and adopt the change. And if the manager does not do what he said, there is a fair chance that the people under him will not take him seriously. When this happens, you can almost see the loss of enthusiasm and goodwill among the staff. It’s like watching the air go out of a balloon – and cynicism and disappointment usually take its place.
5) Be a Hedgehog
The Hedgehog’s simple but surprisingly effective response to everything is to roll up into a ball. Which, for managers translates to stick to your “one big thing” No matter how many deviations your employees have, focus on the matter at hand. Do not get sidetracked by emotions, instead do what is good for the company, what is good for the greater good.
To conclude it all
Well, to conclude it all, I think we all have an ultimate goal to achieve. As managers, we have a role in providing a path to our employees so they don’t get lost. For that, we need all the above-mentioned skill set with us. Some of us communicate very well, but in stressful situations, they can lose control. Others are great leaders, they motivate teams but anyhow they fail due to the lack of organizational skills and common sense. The main question probably should be: “Why do you want to be a manager and what type of a manager do you want to be?”
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