THOSE of a certain age will remember the song ‘Power to the People’. Perhaps John Lennon didn’t have business on his mind when he wrote it but the message rings true – giving the people in your company the power to move the organisation forward is vital for future growth.
As Naked Leader founder David Taylor says, your people are not just your number one asset, they are your only asset. So managing them in the right way is vital.
Management can be defined in different ways. Achieving a certain goal through planning, organising, directing and controlling is one. Gleaning results through other people is another. To do that you need to give those at the front line the tools to do the job.
A company’s inspiring mission statement – including goals, strategy, challenges – are commendable. They are worth nothing, though, without the staff being committed, enthusiastic and motivated to drive through the company’s ethos. So, managing people couldn’t be more important.
Having people skills is perhaps the most important skill a manager can possess.Getting out among your people, showing interest in what they are doing and obtaining vital feedback, is key. Ask them how they feel, what drives them, how they view their department – and do it regularly, making sure you are not hunched over a computer in an enclosed office.
Make contacts, cultivate informal networks, find out things through the grapevine to get a better understanding of what is happening. You need to tap into other people’s knowledge and experiences. For instance, a problem you may encounter is sure to have been faced by somebody else. The more networks you are plugged into the better. Some will be more useful and reliable than others and yet most successful people have an extensive range of contacts, which are worth their weight in gold.
Challenge assumptions, ask questions, listen to answers. Obtain a different perspective from different people on the same issue to form a balanced opinion. Listening is important so in some cases, as they say, patience is a virtue too. Be honest, show integrity, be truthful, industrious, reliable, accountable, loyal, trustworthy – all things that have been around in management through the generations.
You don’t have to know all the latest theories to be an effective manager. And don’t forget to use your common sense – while allowing staff to add their suggestions too through effective communication. Giving them the power to make decisions – while delegating specific tasks – will benefit you, them and the business.
(Based on an extract from The Greatest Management Tips in the World).