3JM Company Inc.
3JM Profile
Credit Dynamics
D&B Schedule
Publshed Articles
For More Info

Published Articles by David Balovich

Title: Supportive Management
Published in: Creditworthy News
Date: 5/14/03
The last column produced several emails from readers with little or no management experience who, due to circumstances among them downsizing, have found themselves in the position of having to “manage” others for the first time. The recurring theme in all of these inquiries was that they did not have sufficient time to accomplish their job and manage what others were doing as well.

These emails brought to mind the story that Dave Thomas, the late founder of the Wendy’s fast food chain, used to reveal about his early work habits. Dave admitted that he worked very hard as a manager and tried to do everything and be everywhere at once seldom stopping during his sixteen-hour shifts to take a break. One day a faithful customer inquired of him “Dave, when are you going to start running your business?” What the customer meant Dave recalled, “ Was that instead of me running the business the business was running me.” “I needed to rely more on my staff and stop trying to do everything myself.” By doing less and managing more Dave came to realize that he could run his business more efficiently.

It’s an important lesson that many of us never learn. In every field there are those who are so talented in their jobs that someone gets the bright idea to promote them into management without considering the consequences of the action. Managing requires different skills then doing the job, but how many of us, upon being promoted, were shipped off to some resort for three to four weeks to develop skills in motivation, delegation, training and communication?

Being a manager means that instead of just thinking about our own performance, we have to think about the performance of the people who report to us. The cash applicator that always finished her job on schedule now has to motivate others to do the same. The credit analyst who carefully compiled and reviewed each file now has to supervise a staff that may not have the same sense of pride in a job well done.

Motivating people to do quality work on time and within budget can be a real challenge, and it’s as much of a specialty as any other kind of work a person may have previously done or trained for. The essence of managing is working with and through other people. One cannot program people, like computers, to carry out their instructions. Managing is a fine art that must be learned. Former President Dwight Eisenhower once defined management as “The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

This can prove difficult for the new manager to learn, because when a job isn’t going according to plan, their first impulse is to take over and do the job themselves. Instead of giving subordinates authority and accountability they often contribute to the employees inability or slowness to learn.

The number one job of the manager, regardless of environment, is training. We have to begin from the employee’s skill level and train them continuously until they reach the desired level we expect. A good manager does not burden the employee in the beginning with high expectations and must recognize that being too critical can curtail the development of employee self-confidence.

The following six things, we should never forget, will help us be better managers:

Look in the Mirror: If we want to succeed the first thing we need to do is evaluate ourselves objectively. Where and what do we need to do to improve?

Establish Goals: Write out what we want employees to be responsible for, and communicate it to them clearly, so everyone knows what is expected and why.

Begin Teaching: We got here because management felt we were the best at what we do. We need to share what we know, make suggestions, give advice, and help our subordinates.

Build Confidence: Praise good work and encourage initiative. Catch them doing something right. Treat them like adults and don’t burden them with a lot of rules. Let them develop their own ways of doing their job.

Back Off: This can be the most difficult but we have to step back and let the employees do their jobs. That’s what they are being paid for.

Increase Responsibility: People do not work to their full potential. Give them more to do as soon as they are ready. Don’t forget to add authority when increasing responsibility.

Managing involves a different set of skills then the ones we mastered in doing the job that led to our present position. We have to relinquish some of the habits we’ve picked up and learn some new ones if we want to stimulate and excite the people who we’re asking to follow us.

I wish you well.  

This information is provided as information only and not legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from a competent, licensed attorney, in good standing with the state bar association.

This site is copyrighted (C) by 3JM Company Inc., Lake Dallas, Tx
Website by Creditworthy Co.