Friday, November 18, 2011

Today’s Tacit Management Rules

For the last couple of days, I have been thinking about this topic for quite sometime now and finally came to a conclusion which I thought that I should share with you. MBA students undergo proper sessions on management for 2 years which carry lots of credence in their resume. If studied well and diligently, you might even do well professionally; however, what is not shared there are some very practical, yet hidden rules which are practiced more often than what we studied for these 24 months. Let’s take a quick sneak peak at them.

  • Challenge the Status Quo. For this it is first and foremost critical that you demonstrate the art of questioning at the right time to the right person in the right manner.
  • Read between the lines for what is the missing context. Many know how to improve what's there; few can see what isn't there.
  • Delivering a business presentation: When something appears on a slide in your PowerPoint, assume the world knows about it and deal with it accordingly.
  • Don’t work FOR anyone; work WITH…just work FOR YOURSELF
  • Remember, if you are heading a team, you MANAGE IT, you don’t BOSS IT.
  • Have the mettle to share things with your manager and people around – communicate verbally more than clogging everyone’s mailbox with a series of emails.
  • Constantly review developments to make sure that the actual benefits are what they were supposed to be.
  • Set your expectations right at the workplace…do you really want to take calls once you reach home in the evening or probably when you are holidaying or rather when you are living the most cherished moment of your life? Believe me, some of you will say that “I am in a Sales function, so even if it is late night, I still have to take my manager’s calls”…This is absolutely crap. There is no selling which is done once the markets close after 2100 hrs and moreover if you have to share day-end figures, why not just communicate them next day, first thing in the morning…Am sure there is no business review which is scheduled at 2200 hrs, for which your manager needs the figures immediately at night! Remember, YOU HAVE TO SET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT.
  • Don’t be known as a good starter, but a poor finisher…if you have taken accountability of a task…OWN IT from womb to tomb. 
  • If you are a manager, keep in mind that you need to get the work done by your team; which means that only if you care for them, will they demonstrate care for you.
  • Confirm the instructions you give others, and their commitments, in writing. Don't assume it will get done.
  • Project your work to the hilt. Remember, if you don’t make your colleagues and team members realize how you have impacted the business / work culture, no one will. Don’t expect that your manager will flash your work, no matter how good he is. (Even God helps those who help themselves).
  • Have your numbers right…you should know them at the tip of your tongue whenever, wherever and in front of whoever. It enhances your credibility and people start looking up to you.
  • Give only as much information as is required. No need to open the entire Pandora’s box.
  • Be selfish with information by learning to keep certain information to yourself; however, don’t forget that when it comes to your team, be as much transparent as is possible. Let them feel connected and engaged.
  • Don’t promise if you cannot deliver. As Indians, we have lived in a culture of not saying ‘NO’. Well, if you want to survive in this Amazonian corporate forest, say NO.
  • Always keep your manager informed with what you are doing…in case you are stuck only he can save your skin.
  • Instead of writing a negative feedback on email or message, walk up to the person and have the strength to share your thoughts in person. If you cant do it in person, then work on improving your communication skills before pointing fingers at anyone else.
  • Let your team take the credit of the good things that are done. (Don’t worry people know that they would have done it under your guidance). Stand at the forefront protecting them in case there has been a flaw from anyone in the team.
  • Remember, YOU create the culture of your team…watch out for all your habits – your work timings, style of speaking and carrying yourself, crisis management, etc…just everything. They will replicate you to a very large extent.
  • Instead of giving solutions, let them come up with options to solve an existing problem. This way they will also feel empowered and will start taking responsibility for what they do.
  • Don’t ever lose your sense of humor, no matter what role you play in the organization. You want to be felt approachable by other colleagues. Besides, it is very important to have fun while working, else monotony and work pressure will kill you.
  • Appreciations are good (all do it to make the other feel great, you never know when you might need him); but also ensure that genuine feedback on areas of improvement is shared.
  • You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100% of what you feel 
  • One-up Funda - Once you become a manager, from day 1, start behaving and thinking like a senior manager, otherwise don’t be surprised if you are at the same designation for 3, 4 or more number of years.
  • A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person (this rule never fails)
  • Think creative and start taking risk. Safety is just an illusion in today’s workplace. Just grab the right opportunity or rather create it and capture it…success will follow. Inventions and discoveries happen only to people who take risk.
Feel free to share your feedback on this post...


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