I’ve been listening to The Personal MBA recently. It’s chock-full of great information. I just finished the section on management & wanted to capture a few notes that I found especially helpful.

Management Fail

The book is a refreshing contrast to many of the management scenarios I’ve experienced.

Management is simple but not simplistic.

Definition - Management is the act of coordinating a group of people to achieve a specific goal while accounting for ever present change & uncertainty.

The 6 Rules of Effective Management

  1. Recruit the smallest group of people who can accomplish what must be done quickly & with high quality. Don’t gloss over recruiting. It is a critical first step to good management.

  2. Clearly communicate the desired end result and who is responsible for what. Everyone on the team must understand the intent of the project, the reason why it’s important, and know what specific parts they are individually responsible for.

  3. Treat people with respect. Use courtesy & appreciation. The more your team works under mutually supportive conditions, the more likely they will gel and become a cohesive unit that respects you as a leader.

  4. Create an environment where everyone can be their most productive… then get out of the way. Provide the best equipment & tools. Shield your team from distractions. e.g. Beauracracy & meetings

  5. Avoid unrealistic expectations regarding certainty & prediction. Create aggressive plans, but remember that they are little more than guesses.

  6. Measure to verify what you are doing is working. Don’t fall victim to the fallacy that your plan is perfect. It’s not. It will require constant adjustment, measurement, & learning.

Nuggets of Wisdom

  • Command & control styles of management cannot compete in the modern workplace. In fact command & control is a tell-tale sign of poor & ineffective management.

  • The best managers don’t act like big-shot executives. Instead, they are more akin to skilled assistants who support their team in making effective contributions.

  • Decisions should be reserved to team members who have the most direct knowledge & experience regarding the area in question.

  • Overreacting to problems is never helpful and will only compound the issues.

  • Sometimes the best course of action is no action.

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