The Rules of Management – Managing yourself

As I mentioned in my previous post, the book “The Rules of Management” – by Richard Templar is divided into two main sections; managing yourself and managing your team.  Last time I wrote a few of the points mentioned in managing your team section.  Today I will list some of the points mentioned in managing yourself:

1- Set an Example / standards:

You have got to be what you want them to be.  If you come to office on time and even early and finish your work on time and finish it properly with high quality, and if customers love dealing with you, expect that your team will strive to be like you.  But if you come to office late and delay tasks and lose your temper on customers, don’t expect that your team will be any better. You have to be a role model. Whether you like it or not this is the way it works, your team will be affected and inspired by what you do not what you say.  So, if you try to preach what you don’t really practice, it will never work.  I liked the quotation he used “You’ve got to give your staff something to aspire to.”

2- Have principles and Stick to them:

“There has to be a line beyond which you will not go. You have to know where that line is drawn.” Some people won’t stop at anything to get a job done or reach their objective, no matter what the cost is.  But it is very true that when you have principles, when you have a line that you’ll never cross it really pays back.  Stick to your principles and learn to say NO and you will see that it will pay back.

3- Seek feedback on your performance:

Always seek evaluation of your performance, from your managers, your team, your peers and your customers.  Assess yourself and compare your results with the assessment of others to you.  See where you went wrong and learn from your mistakes.  See the performance of your team and know it is a reflection of your own performance.  Believe that you can be wrong and do things the wrong way sometimes, but learn from your mistakes.  Be thankful to anyone who tells you where you went wrong.  Always remember to seek FEEDBACK not PRAISE.

This is book is a nice guide to people who are aware of what it takes to be true leaders and successful managers, but people who think they are always right will not benefit from it.  This is not because the book is bad but because these people don’t listen except for themselves.

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The Rules of Management

I am currently reading a book titled “The Rules of Management” – by Richard Templar.  It is really a group of hints and tips and pieces of advice on how to be a good manager.  I talks about how to manage your team from one side and yourself from another side.  I will summarize a couple of the points mentioned in the book (The ones that I like and believe that MOST managers lack!)

1- Make your team better than you

This means you have to trust them, get them the best resources, train them, give them your experience, encourage innovation, give them space to be creative.  To be able to do this you have to have  a lot of self-confidence.  Many managers don’t like their team to be better because they are afraid one of them will jump to take his position.  I personally see this as sick.  You are a leader ONLY if you create leaders.

2- Let them make mistakes

I liked this point.  In the book, the author used an old Chinese proverb that says ” Tell me and I’ll remember for an hour; Show me and I’ll remember for a day; But Let me do it and I’ll remember forever.”  You as a manager have to give your employees space and be ready to fix their mistakes, this is the only way they will learn.  It is like raising your child, at first you let him spill food and drinks on himself and the floor when he first learns how to eat on his own.  Gradually he learns how to eat on his own without spilling.  But if you keep feeding him yourself, he will never learn.  If you don’t leave room for your team to make mistakes and learn from them, they will always be dependent on you and you will never have an effective, productive team.

3- Create a good atmoshpere

This is not easy and it is one of the things we lack much.  A manager has to be polite, friendly and kind.  He has to respect his team if he wants them to respect him.  Treat them in a civilized manner even if you are in the process of issuing a penalty for someone who made a mistake.  Be cheerful and helpful to motivate them and encourage to come to work everyday and do their best.  I like the quotation he used in the book “Without them you are nothing. with them you are a team.”

4- Don’t always have to have the last word!

This is something that is really crucial. Some managers think that being a manager then he has to dominate and he has to have the last word and force everyone to do what he thinks and says! well not true! You have to use your ears. Listen to what your team members have to say, don’t rush into speaking, just listen.  If you listen well and understand and postpone speaking and getting angry, you might be amazed by what you hear.  Some good ideas can come out of your team.  Encourage them to speak out and contribute with their feedback.  And in the end you can judge reasonably whether they have something of value or not.  But be reasonable and don’t always just listen to yourself.

I’ll keep reading the book and I’ll write again if I find something else interesting as well.

How true Leaders should start the New Year – On Harvard Business Review

I read this article “Three Questions Executives Should Ask for the New Year” by Melissa Raffoni on Harvard Business Review

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/01/three_questions_executives_sho.html

It summarizes beautifully the traits of true leaders and executives.  People who deliver results share those qualities and people who don’t lack them.  I agree with her and I think it would be a good start for the new for every manager, executive and Leader to read this article and evaluate himself.