Learning How To Manage

Not everyone is cut out to be a manager.  Some people might be great at their jobs and be very successful, but if you were to put them in a management position, they would fail.  This is because of a few reasons touched on by our book, most of which I feel goes back to being ready for the position.  People aren’t always prepared when they take over as a manager and in fact, I would say that they aren’t prepared most of the time.  I feel like in order to be a successful manager, you have to be adaptable and open to your peers.  Becoming a better manager is done through fundamental acts.  Being open to ideas, expecting excellence, and communicating are just some of the ways that people can be a successful manager.

People learn how to be managers.  The first page of the chapter states that it is a problem when people who become managers look at what their past manager has done by watching them on the job.  I feel like this could be partially good and bad.  The book says that a subordinate’s view of a boss or manager is very limited.  This part is very true and I would agree that what people see in the workplace is just a small sample of what a manager has to deal with and work with.  I don’t think that this means we can’t learn from them in this way.  I feel like observation of a manager is important.  It allows people under you in the workplace to see how you handle certain situations.  These situations could be how you handle success and how you handle failure.  Yes, we don’t see the thought process behind what a manager is doing and sometimes don’t see the “big picture” but I think that we can learn a lot about how to run a business by being observant of those managers we have had in the past.

An area that in some ways is undervalued is the importance of having a mentor.  If you are in an entry level position, it is important to have a mentor, whether they are in your company or not.  A mentor can and will help you through some of your decisions because they have been in those situations before.  It is equally important to find someone who has your best interest in mind.  You want someone who cares about your well being and wants you to succeed.  Even when you become a manager, it is important to have someone to go to so you can brainstorm.  Having someone to talk to who is in the same field, or similar field, can provide some helpful ideas.  As a manager, you can’t really go to the people under you and ask for managerial advice, you need someone who is in a mangers role or someone who has been there before and been successful.

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One thing that a lot of managers don’t like is seeing a job that they used to do being done poorly.  A lot of people would rather do something themselves rather than teach someone something to do, especially if they know they can do it better.  It can be incredibly difficult to sit back and watch someone do a job that you know how to do and it takes a good amount of mental strength to refrain from telling them to get out of the way and let you do it.  Being able to teach someone a job will help them be more productive.  As an individual worker, if you can make yourself 10% more productive, that is great. But as a manager, if you can make 15 people 10% more productive, you will make a much larger impact on your business and your success.  Having the mindset of improving others can make you a better manager.  “A leader doesn’t create followers, they create other leaders.”  This quote, though I do not know where I heard it first, speaks to the idea that as a manager, building the people around you makes your team better and therefore creates a better chance they they will also be productive leaders if they are put in the position to be a leader or manager.

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