We have all had a bad manager and a manager who is so angelic. The thing about management is that there are two types of managers. There is the leader and the boss. Your manager can be either. This therefore means that if you are dreaming of being promoted someday you must make a difference and be a good manager. So what do good managers do?
- Select the right people
It all starts with getting the right team in place – together, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. You need to select the right people for the right jobs, build a complementary team, and align your people with your organisational goals and culture.
As Wallace Lee, a project manager with Westpac, puts it, ‘Recruit right. Make sure the person not only has the right skills but, more importantly, fits the culture.’
- Show empathy
Empathy is the ability to listen to people, relate to their emotional experience and let them know that you are doing so. According to Iain Crossing, it is the most important core competency for managers and leaders.
Best management practice goes a long way towards the success of an organization. It all adds up to improving quality.
Improving business operations through best practice
Most businesses have some operational issues that can be improved through the introduction of best practice methods, including:
- Quality management
- Stock control, delivery and supply chain management
- Purchasing and ordering
- Information management
You can identify which operational areas will benefit from best practice methods by:
- Internal analysis
Reviewing appropriate national and international standards
See measure performance and set targets and make best use of standards.
Areas for improvement could include the introduction of quality management systems such as Total Quality Management or ISO 9000, automated stock control, just-in-time ordering and delivery and ‘lean’ manufacturing and supply. See quality management standards.
When you have identified the areas for improvement, you can implement changes. It is important, however, to keep your employees, suppliers and customers aware of what you are doing, and to make sure that the changes do not cause unnecessary disruption to your business.
For a business manager to truly succeed in implementing best practice they will have to do an analysis of their performance. It is important to know your strengths and weakness so as to know where to improve and where to correct.
Here’s how to identify where your biggest challenge may be and how to overcome it as a leader:
- If you have trouble making the case for an idea, you may not love–or be good at–analytical thinking. Consider an idea you have and ask yourself “What issue does this solve?” and “What will the benefit be to our specific objectives?”
- If you’re challenged by details, you likely don’t have a preference for ‘structural’ thinking. Focus on laying out the plan five steps further than you think you need to. Ask “What is every contingency that someone would need to know?”
- If you don’t always think about the ramifications decisions have on others, you may not have an natural inclination for ‘social’ thinking. Focus on gaining consensus for an idea from employees, customers, or shareholders before pushing it through and ask things like “How will this impact you?”