Help, I’m a Manager!

UnknownI was recently with a team of leaders, and we were talking about the importance of taking information from the leadership team back to the people you manage directly.  One person asked me this question: “I’m managing 1 person. What am I supposed to do?”

The reality is that many managers aren’t in management because they’ve been trained for it. They become managers because of growth in the organization, because they’ve been there the longest, or because they’ve proven themselves as good workers, so the natural next-step is management!

I recently read this anonymous article on the 4 pillars of management and I think this is a great place to start. Let’s unpack these:

Basic Management Skill #1)  Plan

Management starts with planning.  Good management starts with good planning.  Without a clear plan, you will never succeed.  Many times we begin without a plan, without a goal.  Start with the goal in mind, than figure out the best way to accomplish that goal.  As you plan, think through obstacles that might come up, problems you may encounter.  Evaluate the resources you have on hand and what you’ll need to accomplish the task.  Planning is critical and as a manager, this is your job.  This is also something great to do with the people who will be helping you accomplish this goal.  Bring them in, listen to them, help them take ownership.

Basic Management Skill #2) Organize

Now that you have a plan, you have to make it happen. Organize your team, the finance, the tools, the resources. Do your due diligence by being prepared, being trained, being ready.  You already have the plan in place, now lay it out. Think about the timeframe, create a work-flowchart, motivate  your team, define the roles of everyone that will be involved, cast the vision and be ready!

Basic Management Skill #3) Direct

Now, GO!  Tell people what they need to be doing.  Think about your role as being the conductor of an orchestra. Your job is to help people to know what they need to do and when.  You are connecting the dots, keeping things moving, motivating your team (again and always), and keeping the goal in mind, you’re watching the clock and making sure things are on target.  You’re the director!

Basic Management Skill #4)  Monitor

Now that everything is moving, you have to keep an eye on things.  What’s not working? What problems are you finding? How is your team feeling?  Are they still motivated?  Do you need to make any adjustments to the plan and model?  Don’t take your eyes off of the goal. Sometimes at this stage, it’s easy for managers to go and do something else.  Finish the task.  Do the job right. Reach the goal.

When you manage right, you add value.  Your team is able to accomplish more and they’re motivated to be challenged and to hit the goal.  A manager’s job is to simply walk through these 4 stages, again and again, helping your team and your organization experience success, growth and your vision.

If you’re a manager, and you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, start here.  The rest will come.

Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 29 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. Write directly to Russ at: rcline@extremeresponse.org www.extremeresponse.org www.leadermundial.org twitter: leadonesource, leadermundial

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