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The basics of managing are very different from just knowing how to give orders.

The core of being a manager is understanding the total activity you are seeking to make work. Concentrate more on the interconnections and the relationships than on the parts. To assign time priorities to yourself and to others, form a mental picture of how each step relates to the others.

Something that must be ordered well in advance must be given attention over items with shorter leads.

When a key person falls ill or a machinery breakdown occurs, knowing the interconnections enables the manager to think through the consequences quickly to decide what action is most critical.

Overall efficiency depends on parts fitting together: What A does makes B's work go well. The manager must concentrate attention on the boundaries of jobs (not so much their insides); with the goal of making the whole work smoothly. The overall results will be satisfactory only if the parts are integrated.

Key: Focus on the system and keep it going.

Identify where the flow between tasks is rough or not working. Get it going again by intervention.

Expect the unexpected: Poor managers always report that they failed because someone "unexpectedly'' let them down or some unexpected problem occurred. Effective managers keep checking so that when a time or resource problem begins to emerge, they are prepared to fix it or to work around it.

Keep alert to recurring problems. Such problems mean a change is necessary. Poor managers never have time to rethink and restructure their organization. They are too busy putting out fires.

A vicious circle: Failing to take the time and energy to manage a change in regular tasks means you will never have the free time to innovate and make a mark as an effective manager.

Delegating for performance:

The oldest catchword in management is delegation. It’s also the truest. Many executives like doing things themselves rather than persuading, training, or criticizing recalcitrant subordinates

Penalties: Little time for true managerial work and poorly trained employees.

But delegating means much more, new employees require patient breaking-in so that the manager won't be disappointed in their performance and take over the job. First stage: Frequent checking and feedback, Tell subordinates what they have done well (as encouragement) and what they have done badly (as discipline). Reduce the frequency of checking when you're confident of the subordinate's performance.

Coping with stress:

Successful managers must be able to withstand the psychological stresses that go with administrative work. The unsuccessful get up- set when mistakes are made, promised completion dates are missed, or when employees appear to do irrational things. Taking the initiative with problem people or departments is effective only when the manager is in control of himself, when he is neither enraged nor sulking.

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