Read the text and be ready to comment on each task a manager must perform. To what extent do you agree with the point of view of the author?
How to Be a Great Manager
At the most general level, successful managers tend to have four characteristics:
- they take enormous pleasure and pride in the growth of their people;
- they are basically cheerful optimists -someone has to keep up morale when setbacks occur;
- they don't promise more than they can deliver;
- when they move on from a job, they always leave the situation a little better than it was when they arrived.
The following is a list of some essential tasks at which a manager must excel to be truly effective.
Great managers accept blame: When the big wheel from head office visits and expresses displeasure, the great manager immediately accepts full responsibility. In everyday working life, the best managers are constantly aware that they selected and should have developed their people. Errors made by team members are in a very real sense their responsibility.
Great managers give praise:Praise is probably the most under-used management tool. Great managers are forever trying to catch their people doing something right, and congratulating them on it. And when praise comes from outside, they are swift not merely to publicise the fact, but to make clear who has earned it. Managers who regularly give praise are in a much stronger position to criticise or reprimand poor performance. If you simply comment when you are dissatisfied with performance, it is all too common for your words to be taken as a straightforward expression of personal dislike.
Great managers make blue sky:Very few people are comfortable with the idea that they will be doing exactly what they are doing today in 10 years' time. Great managers anticipate people's dissatisfaction.
Great managers put themselves about: Most managers now accept the need to find out not merely what their team is thinking, but what the rest of the world, including their customers, is saying. So MBWA (management by walking about) is an excellent thing, though it has to be distinguished from MBWAWP (management by walking about - without purpose), where senior management wander aimlessly, annoying customers, worrying staff and generally making a nuisance of themselves.
Great managers judge on merit: A great deal more difficult than it sounds. It's virtually impossible to divorce your feelings about someone - whether you like or dislike them -from how you view their actions. But suspicions of discrimination or favouritism are fatal to the smooth running of any team, so the great manager accepts this as an aspect of the game that really needs to be worked on.
Great managers exploit strengths, not weaknesses, in themselves and in their people: Weak managers feel threatened by other people's strengths. They also revel in the discovery of weakness and regard it as something to be exploited rather than remedied. Great managers have no truck with this destructive thinking. They see strengths, in themselves as well as in other people, as things to be built on, and weakness as something to be accommodated, worked around and, if possible, eliminated.
Great managers make things happen: The old-fashioned approach to management was rather like the old-fashioned approach to child-rearing: 'Go and see what the children are doing and tell them to stop it!' Great managers have confidence that their people will be working in their interests and do everything they can to create an environment in which people feel free to express themselves.
Great managers make themselves redundant: Not as drastic as it sounds! What great managers do is learn new skills and acquire useful information from the outside world, and then immediately pass them on, to ensure that if they were to be run down by a bus, the team would still have the benefit of the new information. No one in an organisation should be doing work that could be accomplished equally effectively by someone less well paid than themselves. So great managers are perpetually on the look-out for higher-level activities to occupy their own time, while constantly passing on tasks that they have already mastered.
Task III. Work in pairs. Choose four best qualities of a manager from list A below and rank them in order of importance. Then choose four worst qualities from list B and rank them. Explain your choice.
A Ė considerate, creative, decisive, diplomatic, efficient, flexible, inspiring, interested, logical, organized, rational, responsible, sociable, supportive.