“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”
– Peter Drucker
Managing is often equated with controls rather than leading and developing a business. The manager feels more comfortable and secure when they are able to put in strict controls on everything that happens in a business organization. This is so especially of Senior Managements where the controls and directing becomes so severe that it erodes any creative freedom for the middle managers to work towards achieving the goals set out for them.
Here are a few simple prescriptions to get the best out of your managers.
Avoid Centralizing Decision Making
This is perhaps one of the best ways to achieve totals control. You feel by centralizing decision making you will be able to avoid wrong decisions. While this may be so to some extent who is to prevent your own wrong decisions. Unless your managers are able to make mistakes and learn from them you will never be able to develop expertise through experience. Centralizing decision making is also the surest method to kill your business growth.
Provide Working Space
The top management often entrust tasks and responsibilities to their subordinate managers. More often than not any specific time frames which are comfortable to achieve the given responsibilities or tasks are discussed. However in their anxiety or aggressiveness and sometimes over enthusiasm you start chasing your subordinate for action and results. If you do it too soon and too often you are severely limited the working space of your managers. They may be spending more time in complying with your commands rather than focusing on operational priorities and important tasks.
If you are not providing sufficient working space for your managers you are surely heading towards disaster as important tasks may be getting neglected to escape from your frequent and aggressive follow ups.
Listen to Your Managers
While experience is an asset it also makes one arrogant and conceited. Sometimes one tends to believe because he is the superior, he always right. The Boss Is Always Right principle looks good only on posters. It doesn’t work if you want to build a Professional organization.
Cultivate the ability to listen to the voice of your managers. Most times they know better as they are more familiar with the ground realities. If you decide on their behalf and just issue orders, you will have clerks in the guise of managers as you have killed their initiative.
Don’t Get Into the Nitty Gritties
Once broad goals and objectives are set with specific time frames and key results are outlined leave your managers to perform. If you get into too many details and meddle with the execution at every stage, you may be sure to mess up the entire process and ultimately the results.
The key to managing effectively is to empower people across the management structure so that they feel part of the responsibility and ownership.