Management Pros

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					Management Pros Share Their Secrets
From F. John Reh,
Your Guide to Management.
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Who better to offer tips and insight to someone just starting their management career than
the seasoned professional manager. We are fortunate to have such a group of
management professionals frequent the Management Forum on this site. Recently, I
asked them this question:
        "Remember way back when - when you got your first management job. What do
        you wish someone had told you then? What would be the one tip you would give
        to a manager just starting out?"

Their answers reflect the character and style of these individuals; their wisdom; their
experience.

Here's a list of Ten Top Tips:

      (M) Consult, consult, consult.

      (A) You are managing people, not projects or product development or customer
       service or any other departmental mission. People are complicated and messy.

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       They aren't machines any more than you are; they won't be the same every day,
       no matter how much you'd like them to be. So stay alert to what's going on with
       them.

      (K) For the first couple of days, sit down and get to know your staff. Find out
       what they do, what their goals are, what they like to do in their free time, etc.
       Several years ago, I watched a new manager start with a company and for the first
       month or so, didn't talk to any of his staff. A month later, he wondered why
       people were handing in their two week notices.

       Get to know your staff!!
      (R) Learn how to deal with problem or resentful employees. I was promoted into
       my position over a longer-term employee. She was made my assistant. (Before
       everyone raises the sexism issue, I was the ONLY male manager and was
       promoted on performance.) She had a great deal of resentment and worked
       against me at every turn. After floundering around for a while, I finally took her
       into the office and calmly explained the facts of life to her, that I was the manager
       and if she couldn't work with me one of us would be leaving and it wouldn't be
       me. She straightened out after that and we eventually developed a good
       relationship.

       Avoid re-inventing the wheel. Everything doesn't require your unique hand-print.
       Some things probably work just fine already. Also don't think or act like you
       know everything, nothing breeds resentment more than arrogance. You may be
       smart, but there's always someone smarter.

      (MC) You are responsible for everything that happens in your scope of authority.
       Don't ever think that just because you may not be doing the actual work, you are
       not responsible---you *are*. Unless you are comfortable with this basic fact,
       management is *not* for you.

       The rewards come at a price. You will have to make decisions that will benefit the
       company as well as your staff....and quite often they are in direct conflict with
       each other. (You cannot be all things to all people....)

       You do have a right to be human. Just because you are now management, does
       not mean that you can (or should) throw emotion out the window.

       Laugh with your people....let them know that you are not a humorless troll.

       Be honest with your people...you expect the same from them. Even if it's bad
       news, honesty does help lessen the blow.

       Defend your people! They will reward you with their loyalty.

As exciting and as insightful as these tips for new managers are, there is one more we
should add. Management is not for everybody. As (A2) put it "it's never too late to say
thanks but no thanks....I'm happy where I am."

				
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