This guide is from The Success Manual, The Encyclopedia of Advice. A list of all the articles in the series on one page can be accessed here.
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The idea behind The Sucess Manual is simple: you do not need expensive business sources and books to excel at work and in life. Read about this idea here. The Success Manual provides you with advice on 130 topics in all - 65 business topics and 65-odd personal development topics.
The guide below is full of summaries from great books, advice from manegers and business gurus. In this free-flowing compilation, you will find daily bits of manageing wisdom.
THE FIVE BASIC OPERATIONS OF A MANAGER
Setting objectives, organizing, motivating and communicating, measurement, and developing people.
- "Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices" by Peter Drucker
1. one who has the conduct or direction of anything.
2. one who conducts affairs with economy and frugality; a god economist.
3. one who is skilled in contriving, planning,, or intriguing so as to accomplish his purpose.
Syn. – director, leader, overseer, boss, supervisor.
manage, v. To direct or conduct affairs; to carry on concerns or business. Syn. – administer, conduct, control, direct, regulate, wield.
DRUCKER’S 7 TASKS FOR THE MANAGER
So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.
Getting a task done is the most unappreciated skill.
Efficiency--doing things right. Effectiveness--doing the right things.
Management means, in the last analysis, the substitution of thought for brawn and muscle, of knowledge for folkways and superstition, and of cooperation for force. It means the substitution of responsibility for obedience to rank, and of authority of performance for the authority of rank.
The 7 tasks for the manager are:
1. Manage by objectives
2. Take more risks and for a longer period ahead.
3. Make strategic Decisions.
4. Build an integrated team, each member of which is capable of managing and of measuring personal performance and results in relation to the common objectives.
5. Communicate information fast and clearly.
6. See the business as a whole and integrate the manager’s own function with it. The traditional limited knowledge of one or more functions will no longer b enough.
7. See the business in relation to business in general. The traditional specialization in a few products or one industry will also no longer be enough.
- Peter F. Drucker
THE 5 DRUCKER QUESTIONS
What is our business? (mission)
Who is our customer?
What does the customer consider value?
What have been our results?
What is our plan?
- Peter Drucker
Discrimination is the capacity to discern what is important.
- Warren Bennis
UNDERVALUED MANAGERIAL SKILLS
- Ability to develop real relationships
- Openness to change
- Ability to improvise
- Holding yourself accountable
- Focus and clarity
- Imagination and creativity
- Creating an environment of accountability: making decisions stick
- The ability to stick to the game plan — courage of convictions
- The ability to listen to the complainer
- Design acumen
- Knowing when to pull the trigger — place a bet and act
- The ability to balance the need for information with the need for action
OVERVALUED MANAGERIAL SKILLS
- People's "schmoozing" abilities
- The leadership personality
- Being able to think ten moves ahead
- Holding other people accountable
- Detail orientation (Hogshead).
- Building relationships, pedigree, status, connections in hiring people and selection
- The need to be competitive
- Work all the time – do more
- That the CEO makes all the difference and it's all about the CEO
- We often overvalue analysis.
- From A survey of Business writers on 800-CEO-READ.com
‘9 Lives Of Leadership’, by Lisa Hanberg
THE BASICS OF EXECUTIVE WORK
Business Psychologists have determined that all executive work is based on one of the following 8 core activities:
1. Application of Technology - Taking an engineering-like approach to business problems and using technology to solve them ( operations process analysis, process redesign, production planning)
2. Quantitative Analysis – Problem solving that relies on mathematical and financial analysis ( determining the most advantageous debt/equity structure, analyzing market research)
3. Theory Development and Conceptual Thinking – Taking a broadly conceptual, quasi-academic approach to business problems ( developing a new general economic theory or model of market behavior)
4. Creative Production – Highly Creative activities ( the generation of new business ideas like line extensions or additional markets, the developing of new marketing concepts).
5. Counseling and Mentoring – Developing a variety of personal relationships in the workplace and helping others in their careers (human-resources coaching, training, and mentoring)
6. Managing People – Accomplishing business goals through working directly with people (particularly as a frontline manager, team leader, director, or direct supervisor).
7. Enterprise Control – Having ultimate strategy and decision making authority as well as resource control for an operation ( as a division manager, president, CEO, partner in a professional firm, or entrepreneur).
8. Influence through Language and Ideas – Exercising influence through the skilful use of persuasion ( negotiating, deal making, sales functions, and relationship development).
THE MCKINSEY MANAGER
The following is a list of qualities sought by the reputed management consultants Mckinsey & Co (as seen in a recruitment advertisement):
- Effective Communicator
- Observer of trends and emerging issues
- Analytical thinker
- A problem-solver with a team-oriented style
- Highly motivated and organized
- Superior leadership and coaching skills.
- Service-oriented attitude
- Capable of effecting change
- Be able to shift to requests that require response on short notice
- Pro-active self starter
- Ability to manage several strands of work simultaneously
- Enjoys the challenges & rewards of developing a cohesive practice infrastructure
while maintaining a supportive knowledge-based community
- Creative approach to changing businesses
- Bringing new ideas into reality: improving efficiency; redesigning functions
- Great at business process analysis, design and delivery
- Generate great, useful, highly readable, well-formatted reports.
- Great critical thinking: real-world, real-time decisions.
THE 21S CENTURY MANAGER’S QUALITIES
- Leadership skills
- Manager Skills: Systems expert, changing needs of people, opportunities
- Connector: Communicator, Maximizer, Productivity
- Persuader: How to sell ideas and plans
He also needs a working knowledge of sociology (how society operates), applied
psychology (for example, ‘I need that product because my elder has one’)
MAIN ETHICAL ISSUES FOR THE MODERN EXECUTIVE
1. Environmental Issues: Pollution, toxic waste dumping, animal rights
2. Corporate Restructuring: Lay offs
3. Employee Privacy Issues: Aids, Drug testing
4. “Diversity” Issues: Race, Ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation
5. Sexual Harassment
6. Conduct of Multinational Corporations
8. Others: Anti-trust actions, Predatory, Insider Trading
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
- General George S. Patton
Everyone is different, every situation is different and the only way to be a great manager is to have experiences in your back pocket that you can fall back on when you’re faced with a difficult situation.
- Penelope Trunk
The best organization tools are a single sheet of paper and a calm brain.
One of the most important tasks of the manager is to eliminate his people's excuses for failures.
- Robert Townsend
One useful starting point for all managers is to look at their time for thinking.
- Peter Senge
GETTING ALONG WITH EMPLOYEES
1. Don't play favorites. Playing favorites can bias your judgment and impair your leadership abilities. Treat your employees equally.
2. Give credit when it's due. Don't take credit for your employees' ideas or hog their limelight. This action not only fosters resentment but also makes you seem untrustworthy.
3. Don't micromanage. While it's fine to keep up with what your employees are working on, don't constantly look over their shoulders.
4. Never discuss employee matters with their co-workers. This kind of gossip always gets back to the person and will make you look unprofessional.
5. Don't interfere with employees' work. If your employees are getting work done, don't stress about how it gets done. Even if it's not being done they way you'd do it, it's best to let employees use their best judgment.
6. Don't push unreasonable deadlines. You don't want to spend all of your time at the office, and neither do your employees.
7. Keep your promises. Barring some catastrophic event, you should always keep promises you make to employees, especially about pay and benefits.
8. Keep work about work. Don't require employees to run your personal errands. Take care of your own personal business or hire an assistant.
9. Reward hard work. Make sure your employees feel valued for the work that they do. Employees will be more willing to put in extra effort if they know it's noted and appreciated.
10. Provide motivation. Sometimes employees need a morale boost. Provide them with encouragement to get a project rolling.
11. Be accessible. Don't be holed up in your office all day — come out and visit with your employees. Let them know that they can always come to you with problems and concerns.
12. Be open to constructive criticism. It may not always be what you want to hear, but listening to constructive criticism gives you the chance to learn and grow from your mistakes.
13. Accept responsibility. Part of being the boss is accepting responsibility for the mistakes of all that you manage, not just your own.
14. Get regular feedback. Your employees and superiors can give you valuable feedback on how to improve your performance. Use this to your advantage.
15. Stand up for employees. If other departments or managers are bearing down hard on your employees, stand up for them.
16. Manage and control your emotions. Don't let anger or frustration affect your problem resolution. If you are emotionally invested in a situation, cool down before discussing it or bring in an outside mediator.
17. Learn when to step in. Some problems might resolve themselves if you just let them be, but you need to be aware of times where you'll need to step in and take control of a situation.
18. Get the facts first. Before you pass judgment on a situation, make sure you have the whole story. Listen to employees and refrain from questioning anyone's integrity without first ensuring that you've gathered all the data.
19. Try to depersonalize problems. Let employees know that the problem isn't with them but with their actions. Don't make it personal.
20. Create milestones. Creating milestones for you and your team will help you keep track of your progress and also give you a sense of accomplishment as you reach each milestone.
21. Delegate tasks. Spread work among your employees in a way that doesn't leave anyone overburdened while also allowing the project work smoothly.
THE FUTURE OF THE ORGANIZATION
6 characteristics which would determine an organization’s future:
6. The State – the role of governments remain one great unknown about the future of the company.
- The Economist
It is an absolute perfection....to know how...to get the very most out of one’s own individuality.
- Michel de Montaigne
My greatest as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.
- Peter Drucker
Our responsibility: every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Figures won’t lie, but liars will figure.
- Charles H. Grosvenor
Shit happens. That ’s what they pay you for.
- Tom Peters
Management is the study of how things get done.
- Robert Greenleaf
Big things and little things are my job. Middle level management can be delegated.
- Konosuke Matsushita
There are a hundred rods to Rome; the important thing is to get there, not to use the same road.
- Herb Kelleher
There are only four types of officer. First, there are the lazy, stupid ones. Leave them alone, they do no harm…Second, there are the hard- working, intelligent ones. They make excellent staff officers, ensuring that every detail is properly considered. Third, there are the hard- working, stupid ones. These people are a menace and must be fired at once. They create irrelevant work for everybody. Finally, there are the intelligent, lazy ones. They are suited for the highest office.
- General Erich Von Manstein (1887-1973) on the German Officer Corps
The common wisdom is that.....managers have to learn to motivate people. Nonsense, employees bring their motivation with them.
– Tom Peters
Think small and act small, and we will get bigger. Think big and act big, and we will get smaller.
- Herb Kelleher
All you need is the best product in the world, the most efficient production in the world, and global marketing.
- Akio Morita
THREE BASIC MANAGEMENT STYLES
There are quite a few management styles found in management literature:
However, Paul Thornton has simplified and come up with only three basic management styles: Directing, Discussing and Delegating.
Managers tell people what to do, how to do it and when to have it completed by. They assign roles and responsibilities, set standards, and define expectations.
Managers using this style ask questions and discuss relevant problems, opportunities, and work projects. What happens in a good discussion? People present ideas, ask questions, listen, evaluate information, and provide feedback. It's important to make sure ideas are fully discussed and debated. Managers often perform the role of facilitator, making sure the discussion stays on track and everyone has a chance to contribute.
Managers using this style usually explain or get agreement on what has to be accomplished and when it must be completed. The how-to-do-it part of the equation is left up to the employee. Responsibility and authority are given to employees to get the job done.
- Paul Thornton
Management is nothing more than motivating other people.
- Lee Iacocca
You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.
- Zig Ziglar
SEVEN WAYS OF LEADING / MANAGING
1. Opportunist - Wins any way possible: Good in managing emergencies and sales.
2. Diplomat - Avoids overt conflict: Good in bringing people together.
3. Expert - Rules by logic and expertise: Good as individual contributor.
4. Achiever - Meets strategic goals: Good in managerial roles, action and goal oriented.
5. Individualist - Interweaves competing personal and company actions logics: Good in venture and consulting roles.
6. Strategist - Generates organizational and personal transformations: Good transformational leaders.
7. Alchemist - Generates social transformations: Good at leading society-wide transformations.
- David Rooke & William Torbert, Harvard Business Review
THE MANAGER AT WORK
Henry Mintzberg identified the following characteristics of the manager at work:
1. Performs a great quantity of work at an unrelenting pace
2. Undertake activities marked by variety, brevity, and fragmentation
3. Has a preference for issues that are current, specific, and non-routine
4. Prefers verbal rather than written means of communication
5. Acts within a web of internal and external contacts.
6. Is subject to heavy constraints but can exert some control over the work
FAYOL’S 14 GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
1. Division of Work
2. Authority and Responsibility
4. Unity of Command
5. Unity of Direction
6. Subordination of individual interest to general interest
7. Remuneration of Employees
9. The scalar chain
12. Stability of Personnel
14. Espirt de Corps
- Fayol (France) in 1925
FAMOUS MANAGEMENT DECISIONS
In 1998, the American Management Review celebrated its 75th year and came up with a list of ‘75 Greatest Management Decisions ever made’ in the magazine Management Review.
Among these were decisions which were marketing breakthroughs like when Walt Disney almost named his cartoon mouse Mortimer instead of Mickey; or when Heinz new slogan mentioned 57 varieties of its food varieties.
Other examples include CNN – ignoring market research, Ted Turner launched the Cable News Network in 1980. No one thought a 24 hour news network would work. It did;.
The founding of the society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, in 1540 by Ignatius de Loyola provided an organizational model with an emphasis on practical work rather than contemplation. It became, according to Peter Drucker , “ the most successful staff organization in the world”.
Bill Gates, in 1981, decided to license MS/DOS to IBM, while IBM ceded control of the license for all non-IBM PCs. This laid the foundation for Microsoft’s huge success.
Sony chief Akio Morita noticed that young people liked listening to music wherever they went. He and the company developed the Walkman, first made in 1980. There was no need for marker research. “ The Public Does not know what is possible. We do.”, said Morita.
In 1914, Henry Ford started paying his workers $5 a day. It was a great leap forward in HR management. Also, with this Ford effectively created the market for his own product, the Model T, by ensuring his workers could afford to buy a car.
Michael Dell decided to sell PCs directly and built to order from his university dormitory room.
"Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people."
- John D Rockerfeller
JOSEPH SCHUMPETER AND “CREATIVE DESTRUCTION”
Originally neglected, Schumpeter’s view that the entrepreneur is a critical component in the economy was finally accepted in the 1980s. Schumpeter considered Capitalism “unruly and disconcerting, a system of flux rather than equilibrium”.
In his book “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy” (1942), he wrote about capitalism as a process of “creative destruction”.
“Entrepreneurs create new industries that displace others in a painful and disquieting way”.
HOW TO IMPROVE CORPORATE PERFORMANCE
1.Eliminate low-return activities.
2.Improve labor productivity revenues and profits per employees).
3.Improve operating efficiency (speed, reduce wastage)
4.Improve Capital productivity (ROCE)
5.Look for Growth opportunities ( new products & markets, expanding market
6.Build competencies ( new capabilities and resources )
7.Organizational capabilities ( revitalize the organization and people)
MEASURING CORPORATE PERFORMANCE
When you measure Corporate performance it is advisable to group factors and criteria under the headings provided below:
1. Manufacturing Performance: Organization & Human Assets, Customer Service, Utilization/Efficiency/Effectiveness, Quality, Inventory, Cost Structure
2. Financial Performance: Return on Assets, Sales per employee, Overall market share, Over all pretax profitability, Offshore sales volume, Total sales volume
3. Critical Success factors: Global Capabilities, Overall Customer Service, Overall product pricing and cost, overall technological leadership, Overall flexibility/responsiveness.
4. Competitive Alternatives: Higher product value, Lowest Priced products, Low cost producer, Hold prices, Alliance with domestic firms, alliance with foreign majors , new products for existing markets, growing by acquisitions, Growing Market share
25 UNWRITTEN RULES OF MANAGEMENT
1. Learn to say, "I don't know." If used when appropriate, it will be often.
2. It is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it.
3. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
4. Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what's there, but few can see what isn't there.
5. Viewgraph rule: When something appears on a viewgraph (an overhead transparency), assume the world knows about it, and deal with it accordingly.
6. Work for a boss with whom you are comfortable telling it like it is. Remember that you can't pick your relatives, but you can pick your boss.
7. Constantly review developments to make sure that the actual benefits are what they are supposed to be. Avoid Newton's Law.
8. However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.
9. Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties, discouragement, or indifference. Don't be known as a good starter but a poor finisher.
10. In completing a project, don't wait for others; go after them, and make sure it gets done.
11. Confirm your instructions and the commitments of others in writing. Don't assume it will get done!
12. Don't be timid; speak up. Express yourself, and promote your ideas.
13. Practice shows that those who speak the most knowingly and confidently often end up with the assignment to get it done.
14. Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports.
15. Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.
16. Don't overlook the fact that you are working for a boss.
* Keep him or her informed. Avoid surprises!
* Whatever the boss wants takes top priority.
17. Promises, schedules, and estimates are important instruments in a well-ordered business.
* You must make promises. Don't lean on the often-used phrase, "I can't estimate it because it depends upon many uncertain factors."
18. Never direct a complaint to the top. A serious offense is to "cc" a person's boss.
19. When dealing with outsiders, remember that you represent the company. Be careful of your commitments.
20. Cultivate the habit of "boiling matters down" to the simplest terms. An elevator speech is the best way.
21. Don't get excited in engineering emergencies. Keep your feet on the ground.
22. Cultivate the habit of making quick, clean-cut decisions.
23. When making decisions, the pros are much easier to deal with than the cons. Your boss wants to see the cons also.
24. Don't ever lose your sense of humor.
25. Have fun at what you do. It will reflect in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump.
- The Unwritten Rules of Engineering, a 1944 text by UCLA professor W.J. King
THREE SECRETS OF THE ONE-MINUTE MANAGER
by Kenneth Blanchard
1. The First Secret: One-Minute Goals. All good performance starts with clear goals. The first alternative for poor performance should be redirection, which means going back to goal setting trying to find out what went wrong and getting them back on track.
2. The Second Secret: One-Minute Praisings. One can't say enough about the importance of praising.
3. The Third Secret: One-Minute Reprimands. What do you do when people do not perform well or make limited or no progress toward their goals? You have to hold them accountable.
Never reprimand or punish a learner -- you'll immobilize them. If you are dealing with somebody who knows better, who as performed a similar task well in the past, then a One-Minute Reprimand might be appropriate.
MANAGEMENT AS A FORCE FOR GOOD
A very different philosophy of management is arising. We are moving beyond strategy to purpose; beyond structure to process, and beyond systems to people.
.... Asshole management is not inevitable.
- Sumantra Ghoshal