What is Management?

by Lina Céspedes. 

Management is the art of bringing out the best
in resources, people or oneself
in an organized and timely manner.

Or according to the University of Toronto, Faculty of Information Studies 1995. Management is the process of getting activities completed efficiently and effectively with and through other people. You don’t have to be a business owner to manage because we are all having to complete activities constantly. In this sense, we are all managers and we all could use good management skills . We are constantly managing our things, our resources, our homes and kids but most importantly ourselves. For example, we all have the same amount of time but some of us are more efficient in the use of it than others. In our finances for instance, some of us get more effective results in multiplying them. Management is a daily practice that we perform whether we realize it or not.

Effective is doing the right thing at a high level.

Efficient is doing things right, quickly and intelligently”

 

The ideal Business Manager’s Profile

As it relates to our current topic of interest, a business manager’s role is to run the organization and improve its performance through systems, programs, plans, tactics or tools that get people together in order to obtain a given purpose.

A good manager is one that achieves targets and is good at obtaining results; looks into the future and brings it into the present by bringing fresh ideas and offering creative alternatives to solve problems. He looks to innovate, he makes changes and adapts to new circumstances; makes mistakes but learns from them and very important, a good manager applies the 80/20 rule. (The Pareto principal that states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the activities). But in order to execute effectively all of the above, the ideal manager’s priorities should be the following:

  1. Think
  2. Ask questions
  3. Make decisions

Does that sound like you? Well, I said the ideal manager not the real manager. However, the good news is that we can work on it and grow. With a little direction and focus we can improve if we chose to. But this has to be purposeful.

However, keep in mind, the owner of a small business should not always be the manager and the manager is not always the owner. Having a good business idea, being ready, willing and able to see it through doesn’t mean a person has can automatically run a successful business.

What can you do if you don’t have this ideal profile yet ?

Don’t panic, keep calm and keep doing what you do best. Focus on your talents because that’s what the money is. You can train or you can delegate.

Great managers aren’t just born, they become good with training, practice and determination because management skills can be learnt; Becoming a better manager requires setting time aside as part of the duties to learn, it requires that you make training a priority. Experience will come with time but the learning will be accidental and not intentional; reactive and not proactive. In the same attitude, as we improve and become better at the art of managing, we should help others in our organization get better at it with good training and by setting an example to improve the overall performance of the organization. Give what you receive is the principle.

And what if you don’t have the desire to train yourself or the discipline? There are personality types and character traits that give some people a natural advantage to be more efficient at managing and/or leading than others. For instance, being supportive or having drive, and being Influential. If you feel that you don’t have these personal strengths or the interest in developing good management practices, a wise decision would be to hire a skilled manager –That is as your business grows-. Move aside and focus on your expertise. Hire an administrator that reports to you and that understands where you want to take your business. Be the creative director, concentrate on your art and leave the business managing to someone that earns your trust.

By delegating management, you can avoiding distractions from the things you are not good at. Performing your ideal job with your unique set of skills will produce more revenue in the long run.The amount of money allocated to this managing person will be well worth the investment.

However, no amount of delegated management can replace your responsibility for exercising leadership. 

You need to be clear on where you want to go so that others can follow. Your vision will need to impregnate your organization in such a way that you are comfortable stepping aside.  You can achieve this greatly by having a written business plan. The Bible says it clearly “…Write down your vision, make it plain on tablets so he may run who reads it”. Habakkuk 2:2 .  There are multiple benefits of having a written business plan. It is an effective way to communicate your vision, your goals, your strategies, your principals and other critical aspects of your business to people around you and most importantly a business plan is a powerful tool for your own visualization and clarity.

Thank you for reading. I am a learner first and foremost!  Success to me is not reaching everyone but touching someone in a positive way, so If anything I mentioned resonated with you, please leave a comment below and tell me about it. Your insights are so valuable to me and they may also inspire others beyond my simple words.