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Management Tips. For the New Manager

Updated on June 11, 2013

Retail Management

Retail management
Retail management | Source

What Makes a Good Manager?

Everyone has had a bad manager somewhere in their life. Many have had a good manager in their life.

A manager is someone who conducts the process of supervision of an organization or service. If you think about it we are all managers of our own lives, our family life, and our own behavior.

Still, there are many different types of managers and the process of management has evolved from the time of the beginning of civilization to the current day.

Waitress, Second Tier Manager

From the Harvey House model, early 1900's.
From the Harvey House model, early 1900's. | Source

Three Types of Managers

A manager is the person who oversees the entire process they manage. This process may include things, people, and ideas.

A first line manager may only oversee one part of the process. For instance a first line manager in a fast food restaurant may only oversee the process that they work; I.e. this manager oversees the frying of the burgers.

Middle managers will oversee several of the first line managers and processes. For instance the middle manager will oversee all the specific cooks, the bagging process, the selling process, all the way to delivering the goods to the customer.

Top managers will have middle managers answering to them. Their duties will include financial budgeting, insurance management, and communications within the organization at that one location as well as communication to other similar organizations and the organization above them.

Management Functions

A good manager plans with both the big picture of the organization in mind and the local picture of his market, customer, and employees.

The organization and staffing are of primary importance to a manager. The manager will understand the level of experience and ability of their staff and assign duties to match.

The employees and organization must all be coordinated to work towards the same achievable goals. There will be intermediary goals, plans, and results. A good manager understands that goals must be manageable and rewards should be rewarded.

Finally, a manager will be tasked with the evaluation of the operation they manage. How did this organization meet the goals of the whole organization?


A group of physicists at a 1946 Los Alamos colloquium. In the front row are Norris Bradbury, John Manley, Enrico Fermiand J.M.B. Kellogg (L-R). Oppenheimer is in the second row on the left; Richard Feynman is seated on Oppenheimer's left.
A group of physicists at a 1946 Los Alamos colloquium. In the front row are Norris Bradbury, John Manley, Enrico Fermiand J.M.B. Kellogg (L-R). Oppenheimer is in the second row on the left; Richard Feynman is seated on Oppenheimer's left. | Source

Styles of Management

There are several forms of management. The bureaucratic model is precise with specific (usually un-bendable) rules. The goal is mostly used for lower level educated employees.

Group Decision Models are used in higher education required industries. The company has hired well trained and educated personnel who have much to lend to the process and are valued because of this very input.

There are many graduated forms between these two models. For example: The physicists, engineers, and scientists that worked on the Manhattan Project under Dr. Oppenheimer during WWII were expected to attend a meeting each week to discuss their progress. General Graves the military liaison was extremely uncomfortable with this collaborative discussion. The General opted for isolated cells that would retain the secrecy easier. However, the open collaboration is where these scientists learned new ideas and new methods that further moved the whole project along. Any member of Dr. Oppenheimer’s team that was not present did not have the full scope of the collaboration.

The very same collaboration was well used when a line worker suggested that the line process would flow easier if all the left handed people were on one side and the right handed people were on the other side. A similarly employed individual further refined this technique by applying it up and down the line and implementing the loading of a label machine in a particular way that worked with the left handed and right handed setup. This took place at a weekly collaboration meeting.

So, don’t think collaboration is only for physicists!

Not everyone is comfortable with collaboration. Many people are threatened by collaboration. In fact, often a military trained retiree must learn to work within the collaboration model; a model they were not trained to function inside of!

Funny but BAD Management of Candy Packing!

Summary of Management

The first thing you must manage is your own life. How are you managing the process and assets of your own life? Do you over manage the small things (line manager) while ignoring the bigger picture (top manager)?

Do you have a plan? All good managers have plans with smaller goals set within those plans that further the movement towards the larger goal.

Do you manage your objectives, plans and results? Do you measure how successful you are and adjust accordingly. Or as Dr, Phil McGraw says it: “So, how’s it working for you?”

Do you collaborate with others? Do you learn from others and implement their wisdom to work in your life? Or as your kindergarten teacher instructed; “Play well with others.”

First examine your own life in the terms of good management. Then you are ready to examine where you work and how you manage.

Manage Your Life

Do you manage your life well?

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