If companies had no business problems and every employee knew exactly what to do without instruction, then companies wouldn't need managers. Yes, that's right, they wouldn't need us. That said, next time your department has a problem that you must address or an employee needs your assistance, smile inside, from ear to ear, and know that your company needs you.
We all know that managers perform other department functions, such as defining department vision, defining and overseeing department p(Full Text . . .)
In this week's blog I would like to tell you two stories dealing with managers who, as you may expect from the title, had too many things moving at once.
Story #1: I was working with a small organization that was trying to replace its VP of Finance and its Head Bookkeeper at the same time. This may have sounded like a good thing at the time, but it caused the organization major problems. The reason was that the CEO underestimated the complexity of the accounting processes that were be(Full Text . . .)
Both types of people are enormously important and productive and I have no preference or bias toward either work type. In fact, I find myself to be continually vacillating from one to the other. I have days when I find myself jumping from task to task, seemingly working on many things at once. There are also times when I get in the zone working on a single task and can't seem to stop until that task is complete. Because I personally seem to vacillate between multi-tasking and single-tasking; (Full Text . . .)
As time moves forward, it seems that more and more companies are creating multi-location workgroups and allowing people to work from home. As a result, new and experienced managers alike are having to learn to run meetings via speakerships, Skype sessions, and other distance shrinking communication tools. It may sound easy, but running an effective virtual meeting is much harder than it seems because you have the following things going against you:
An enormous amount of research, analysis, commentary, and advice has been written on the advantages and disadvantages of different management styles. My question for you here is not an academic exercise of which style works best in which specific circumstances. Rather, my question for you is what kind of manager do you want to be? That is to say, what style works for you personally? The reason I'm asking you this question is because at the end of day, we are not just managers, we're people. (Full Text . . .)
The title of this column may sound like an odd question to ask, but if you read the job description of most management-oriented jobs, they generally talk about providing vision, building processes, overseeing activities, delegating work assignments, motivating the team, and other similar activities. That said, these same job descriptions don't generally discuss understanding your team member's needs, helping your staff move toward their long term career goals, and really understand your team's n(Full Text . . .)
As a manager, it's important to know the difference between coaching and mentoring from two perspectives. First, is how coaches and mentors can help your staff in the performance of their jobs and as part of their career development. Second, is how coaches and mentors can help you in your current job and career development.
Let's begin by talking about the difference between coaching and mentoring, and then talk about the difference between your staff and you.
The title of this column may seem like a simple question, but the answer has major ramifications on your department's goals, activities, priorities, and organizational structure. This is best explained in a quote by General and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower 'We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.'
From a management perspective, this means, at least from my perspect(Full Text . . .)
It's truly amazing how many great management books have been written. These books are on every conceivable management and leadership topic, from delegation to managing up, from motivation to innovation, from tactical planning to strategic thinking, and so on.
As a manager, at any organizational level, from a first time supervisor to the CEO's seat, being well read can greatly enhance your effectiveness and help facilitate your professional success.
Staff meetings are like dentist appointments. We know they're good for us, but about five minutes before the meeting you can think of about a thousand different things you would rather be doing.
That said, don't underestimate the importance of staff meetings and the very positive effect they can have on the organization. These effects include improved department communication, psychological team building, and improved group productivity. From a communication perspective, staff meetings enhance(Full Text . . .)
Congratulations! You got permission to hire a new person into your group, worked hard to hire the best possible person, and he/she agreed to take the job. Now what?
When a new person is hired into your group, you're job as the manager has just begun. Remember, if you made the decision to hire this person, his/her success or failure at the company is an illustration of your decision-making ability and your competency as a manager. That said, it's in your best interest to help assure the succes(Full Text . . .)
Wow, if you are a manager and love to surf the net, this week's column is for you. It can help you legitimize your wish to be on the internet during work time. This, of course, also assumes that you are doing it for the right reasons and taking my advice.
As a manager both Google and YouTube can be a great source of information, research, and inspiration. Let's start with Google, or the other search engine of your choice. Google can be used to:
For those not familiar with the expression 'Bench Strength', it is generally thought of as a sport-related term. It refers to the quality and ability of the replacement athletes you have sitting on the bench that can take the place of your star athletes if/when they get tired or hurt. On a personal note, I have a deep understanding of bench strength. As a kid of marginal athletic ability, I have a fair amount of experience sitting on the bench.
I would like to begin this week's column simply by saying that if you are a manager, to your team, you are the head of the fish.
Giving credit where it's due, the expression 'A fish rots from the head down' is an old proverb of unknown origin, but claimed by various countries and cultures. Also, my limited research into the biological accuracy of the expression leads me to believe that it's the fish's inner organs, rather than its head, that actually rot first. All that said, this is neither (Full Text . . .)
Upon occasion, I've written columns related to hiring new employees. These column titles have included:
Getting Permission to hire
Deciding which person to hire
Interviewing Job Candidates
Hire people that love their work
In this week's column, I would like to discuss hiring from a different perspective, namely, the importance of hiring the right people. By the right people, I don't necessarily mean hiring the person who is the smartest, the most(Full Text . . .)
Wow, in today's economy and business environment this may seem like a very strange time to be writing about what to do when your group has extra time on their hands. In many cases, staff reductions over the last few years have left companies lean to the point of very often being understaffed to perform needed tasks.
With that said, then why am I writing this column now? The answer is that many jobs have work cycles. Accountants tend to be busiest at the beginning of each month, when trying t(Full Text . . .)
When I first became a manager, I thought I needed to know all of the answers to all of the issues in my department. You know what, I was wrong. I quickly learned that management was more about asking questions, communicating, making decisions, management process, and leadership. In this week's column, as the column name alludes, I would like to specifically discuss asking questions, and its first cousin, listening.
Let's begin with the old saying that 'God gave us one mouth and two ears, ther(Full Text . . .)
When I was little my mother told me it was dangerous to talk to strangers. When you are a small child, this is great advice that will help keep you safe and out of harm's way. As an adult, however, not talking to strangers can dramatically
Reduce your ability to network professional
Minimize the chance of finding new potential opportunities
Lessen your chances of expanding your professional contacts
Decrease the likelihood of widening your professional horizons though chan
As you move up the organizational ladder (get promoted), regardless of your chosen profession, you will eventually be managing business functions that are performing tasks that you have no personal ability to complete. Additionally, because these departments are within your responsibility, you will be required to make high level decisions and approvals regarding their funding, business direction, staffing, and organization. As a result, the sooner that you learn how to make decisions based on t(Full Text . . .)
It's a story that is often told. You love your job. You love your boss. You love the company and all is well with the world. Then, something changed that upsets your universe. It may happen all at once or it may happen slowly over time. In either case, however, you wake up one day and say to yourself, 'Wow, I'm no longer happy with my job.'
Organizational Shift are the changes that happen over time to all organizations that modifies its culture, values, environment, and/or general atmosphe(Full Text . . .)