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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Managing Managers

Leading managers is not similar to leading rank and file employees I tell you... Well, in some respect they are, but there is so much that a manager who suddenly finds him/herself given that big responsibility of heading over a number of departments, sections or teams with managers and supervisors reporting to them need to know and consider in order to succeed. Here are some of them:

  1. With 1st line employees you give detailed direction if possible, with managers, you set goals and general direction. If you are used to dealing with the ranks and suddenly you are given this responsibility, don't make the error of attempting to give the managers under you instructions on things that they probaly know more and have more experience than you do.
  2. Your job with the rank and file employees involve getting them to do things right, with the managers your job is to get them to do the right things and deliver results.
  3. With rank and file employees you might find your self doing much of the telling. when you work with managers, you'd be better off doing more listening and responding, than trying to tell them what to do.
  4. Protocol is also a very important part of Managing managers. You have to respect the fact that they are responsible and accountable for their people and goals and have (or should have) the authority to work with their people in order to achieve their goal. When you go over their heads with their people, it's like saying you do not respect them at all. I personally avoid giving orders directly to the staff of HR supervisors in my department. When I feel that urge or necessity to do so, I inform the supervisors of my concern and intention to talk with their staff.
  5. Seek commitment and go after them when they don't meet it. Do not breath down their necks trying to see the nitty gritty of things and seeing to it that they are doing things exactly as you would. They may have strategies that are entirely different from yours, but doesn't necessesarily mean they'll fail to deliver the goods
  6. Level expectations and seek agreement and commitment. This is I believe, the best way to lead people whether they are managers or frontline workers.

Till next!

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