Have We Managed to Misinterpret Management?

I recently saw a post on Facebook  by a friend who stated that, though he has an MBA, he was going to have to learn to manage people through good ol’ life experience.

In that moment it struck me.  Maybe the trouble with the whole idea of management is that we think it’s people that need managing.  Instead we should focus on managing circumstances.

Think about.  If we focus on managing circumstances, we create environments and situations that are more conducive for people to perform their best.  By managing circumstances, we’d be more likely to

– provide employees enough time to get work done

– think in terms of work flow, which would naturally translate into making better choices about work assignments and distribution of responsibilities

– guide customer expectations in the context of staff capabilities and workloads

– turn away opportunities that aren’t good fits

– effectively anticipate challenges and identify areas of improvement—and have responses on the ready

– provide the necessary tools, supplies and training in advance of an urgency

– structure teams to work efficiently and effectively

– place attention on the betterment of the entire work environment, even when issues relating to an individual employee must be addressed.

That last point is pivotal to me.

I think back to times when I was in management roles with direct reports, and I immediately remember the burden I felt.  I was so focused on “managing people” that I felt very responsible for their moods, motivations and their every-little-moves.  If I’d seen my role as a manager of circumstances, I would have been able to make decisions more quickly and easily.

I’m definitely going to revisit this angle on management as I run my own business.  Yes, I’m a sole proprietor, but ‘management’ still applies when I realize it’s the circumstances that require my supervision.

OK… there’s my 2-cents’ worth.  Where are yours?  Please share over with us on Facebook!

Thanks for reading,

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This entry was posted in Biz Communications Tips, Business Administration, Business Ethics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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