What managers are supposed to do?


The answers has been the four classic functions of management: planning, organizing, leading and controlling.

Planning: Running an organization is kind of like steering a ship on the ocean, to get where you want to go, determine the goals an organization will pursue; these plans include creating an organizational vision and mission.

Organizing: They have to build an organization that can put these plans into effect.

Leading: Lead their employees, motivate them to achieve the organization’s goals – quickly and efficiently.

Controlling: Managers must establish performance standards based on the organization’s goals and objectives, measure performance and take corrective action as necessary.

The new functions of management that tap into the potential of all employees are: energize, empower, support and communicate.

Energizing employees: Unleashing the passion and talent that resides deep within them. Some suggestion:

–  Develop a clear vision for where you want the organization to go, be sure to communicate the vision widely & often.

– Ask for and listen to your employees’s ideas and suggestions, and engage them.

– Ensure the work environment is conductive to your employees doing their best work.

– Don’t be a prisoner to your office.

– Be honest and truthful with your employees all times.

– When you make a promise, be sure to keep it.

Empowering employees: Managers can get far more done by assigning their employees responsibility for accomplishing important tasks and goals. Some simple approaches:

– Put power in the hands of the people doing the work.

– Encourage individual responsibility for their contributions.

– Create clarity of roles.

– Share and rotate leadership.

– Seek consensus (and build creative systems that favor consensus).

Supporting employees: Studies show that the one person who has the most influence on an employee is his or her boss. The best managers support their employees and act as continuing resources to help guide them on their way. Here are a number of ways:

– Have frequent, personal contact with each of your employees.

– Recognize the true potential of your employees.

– Act on employee ideas and suggestions.

– Take time to ask employees what they really think about their jobs and about the leadership they receive from you and other managers.

– Respect your employees, and treat them as valuable members of your team.

– Involve employees in making decisions that directly affect them.

Communicating with employees: If there’s one place where a great number of managers fail, it’s in the area of communication.  Some ways to improve:

– Regularly inform management of your employees’ real feelings, opinions, and ideas about important organizational issues.

– Involve all of your employees in the decision-making process.

– Avoid blaming others when you have to give bad news to your employees.

– When dealing with a difficult situation, have a face-to-face discussion instead of sending a memo or email message or leaving a voice mail message.

– Do not let your own opinions and points of view interfere with hearing what someone else is saying.

– Go out of your way to make employees comfortable in approaching and speaking with you.

– Do not spend too much – or too little – time worrying about your organization’s rumor mill.

Summary of “The management bible” book.

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