Ø How to manage things better as manager
There are many reasons you might be interested in improving your management skills.You may have found yourself thrust into a management position because you’ve proven yourself capable of meeting challenges head-on, despite having no formal management training.
Perhaps you don’t currently work in management, but want to improve your skillset to gain the experience you know you need to eventually make the leap. Or, maybe you are an entrepreneur and understand that running your own business will require you to learn how to manage yourself and others more effectively.
Whatever the case, if you’re looking for advice you can leverage to become a better manager, keep reading. Below, we explore the key roles and responsibilities of effective managers and offer advice and tips you can quickly put into action to improve your management skills.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Manager
For most organizations, managers occupy an important spot on the organizational chart, existing between the company’s leadership (CEO, vice presidents, directors, etc.) and rank-and-file employees. As such, managers are responsible for understanding leadership’s strategic initiatives and goals and using that understanding to direct the actions and work of individual employees in a way that aligns with those goals.
Depending on the size and complexity of the business, the organizational chart can be flat (with a single layer of managers between workers and executives), vertical (with middle management forming an intermediate layer in between), or matrixed (with some individuals reporting to more than one supervisor or leader).
While the specific tasks and duties managers are expected to perform vary substantially depending on the organization, business segment, or department they oversee, management responsibilities largely fall into the following categories:
- Managing processes: Managers are broadly responsible for conceptualizing and implementing the processes and workflows that must take place for the organization to meet its goals.
- Managing people: Managers must direct employees as they complete discrete tasks and ensure that these tasks are connected to specific outcomes, metrics, or goals.
- Managing expectations: Managers must manage the expectations of direct reports (what work is to be done) and the c-suite (what realistic outcomes are possible for a particular initiative).
Ø How to become a better manager
Becoming a better manager isn’t something that magically happens overnight, it’s a process that occurs by implementing simple tips and changing your current habits. It is important to remember that every industry and company has different management styles but these general tips can help improve daily interactions and relationships between employees and managers.
· Get to know your employees and what they want. Take the time to get to know them both on a personal level and a professional level. Know their career goals but also know their personal interests and passions.
· Communicate. Try to be forthcoming with your team. Let them know pertinent information and realize the effects that lack of communication can have on your staff.
· Listen to your employees as much as possible. If an employee comes to you with an idea or concern, try to make time and give your full attention to the issue.
· Be a motivator. Encourage employees to work hard and give them good reason to work hard.
· Be a leader, not just a manager. Provide a clear direction and goal for your team, show them how to achieve success in your organization.
· Improve yourself. While it’s important to improve your team, don’t forget about yourself. Examine your weaknesses and work on improving them every day.
· Acknowledge success. Try and see the positives in your employees and their work. Don’t focus on what’s missing or what your team isn’t doing but rather on their successes and hard work.
· Be human. Just because you are a manager does not mean you are superhuman. Admit your mistakes, ask for help when needed and let your team see that you’re just as human as they are.
· It’s okay to be friends with your employees. Just because you are a manager does not mean you have to be cold and unfriendly. While it is important your staff knows you are the authority, chat with them, have fun with them and make your organization a great place to be.
· Lead by example. Make sure you operate with integrity and ethics in the workplace. Act the way that you would like your staff to act.
Ø Difference between manager and leader
When you are promoted into a role where you are managing people, you don’t automatically become a leader. There are important distinctions between managing and leading people. Here are nine of the most important differences that set leaders apart:
1. Leaders create a vision, managers create goals.
Leaders paint a picture of what they see as possible and inspire and engage their people in turning that vision into reality. They think beyond what individuals do. They activate people to be part of something bigger. They know that high-functioning teams can accomplish a lot more working together than individuals working autonomously. Managers focus on setting, measuring and achieving goals. They control situations to reach or exceed their objectives.
2. Leaders are change agents; managers maintain the status quo.
Leaders are proud disrupters. Innovation is their mantra. They embrace change and know that even if things are working, there could be a better way forward. And they understand and accept the fact that changes to the system often create waves. Managers stick with what works, refining systems, structures and processes to make them better.
3. Leaders are unique, managers copy.
Leaders are willing to be themselves. They are self-aware and work actively to build their unique and differentiated personal brand. They are comfortable in their own shoes and willing to stand out. They’re authentic and transparent. Managers mimic the competencies and behaviours they learn from others and adopt their leadership style rather than defining it.
4. Leaders take risks, managers control risk.
Leaders are willing to try new things even if they may fail miserably. They know that failure is often a step on the path to success. Managers work to minimize risk. They seek to avoid or control problems rather than embracing them.
5. Leaders are in it for the long haul, managers think short-term.
Leaders have intentionality. They do what they say they are going to do and stay motivated toward a big, often very distant goal. They remain motivated without receiving regular rewards. Managers work on shorter-term goals, seeking more regular acknowledgment or accolades.
6. Leaders grow personally, managers rely on existing, proven skills.
Leaders know if they aren’t learning something new every day, they aren’t standing still, they’re falling behind. They remain curious and seek to remain relevant in an ever-changing world of work. They seek out people and information that will expand their thinking. Managers often double down on what made them successful, perfecting existing skills and adopting proven behaviours.
7. Leaders build relationships, managers build systems and processes.
Leaders focus on people – all the stakeholders they need to influence in order to realize their vision. They know who their stakeholders are and spend most of their time with them. They build loyalty and trust by consistently delivering on their promise. Managers focus on the structures necessary to set and achieve goals. They focus on the analytical and ensure systems are in place to attain desired outcomes. They work with individuals and their goals and objectives.
8. Leaders coach, managers direct.
Leaders know that people who work for them have the answers or are able to find them. They see their people as competent and are optimistic about their potential. They resist the temptation to tell their people what to do and how to do it. Managers assign tasks and provide guidance on how to accomplish them.
9. Leaders create fans, managers have employees.
Leaders have people who go beyond following them; their followers become their raving fans and fervent promoters – helping them build their brand and achieve their goals. Their fans help them increase their visibility and credibility. Managers have staff who follow directions and seek to please the boss.
AirCrews Aviation Pvt Ltd.
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