Instant Translate

23 Mar 2014

Making a Difference as a Manager in 6 Different Ways

Most managers are doing their job well, in fact, too well, and that's the problem.  They do not make any difference to their organization, the people and most importantly themselves.  Just ask any manager this question and you'll get stares from them: "What is the most difficult decision you made in your career and how has this decision turned up now?"  Many managers will be asking you this question instead, "Am I supposed to be doing this?  I am a good manager, you know..."

To me, if a manager does not make a difference, he is irrelevant and will either be by-passed or made redundant.  Just look at many companies where they don't make any replacements for resigned managers and you'll know what I'm talking about.  In fact with today's workforce being more educated and experienced, many jobs can be done directly, with the staff reporting to the boss without a middle manager.  In many cases, the staff just report to the client directly and there is simply no boss for him!

How can a manager really make a difference?  It all starts with the manager having understanding that he is not just a manager but also a leader.  That is, he must lead and not just manage. For key differences between a manager and leader's job, see the picture below. A good example is not just ensuring that people do their work, but also people do their work with some standards that is rising, not falling. The other 6 ways to make a difference as a manager includes:
  1. Looking Beyond Profits, especially quarterly profits.  If you just look at profits you're missing a bigger picture: Organizational Value (OV).  For anyone can create profits but few can create a truly lasting value for the organization.  For this to happen, the manager needs to master the Balanced Scorecard, and how to take care of the key interests of stakeholders instead of just profits. 
  2. Build People ,not Just Build Business, Building people is to make people better than themselves.  A MD (Make a Difference) Manager is one who uses ordinary people to produce extra-ordinary results.  He can turn a non-performer into a performer, and turn star players into decision-makers.  A good example is Apple's Steve Jobs, he made Jonathan Ive, an industrial engineer designer, into one of the world's greatest designers.  The iconic iPhone5S and iPad Air all came from Ive. 
  3. Lead Leaders.  Yes, a MD Manager leads his bosses too, who sometimes need the leverage of a middle manager who can see things from all angles instead of just from the top.  A MD Manager is not a yes man, he is a "Yes, but this is better" man.
  4. Innovate and Create.  Innovation is new ways of doing things while creativity is about creating value out of day-to-day processes.  The 6 ways to create value in a company is to increase sales, improve profit margins, enhance cash flow, reduce cost, ramp up productivity and minimize risk. 
  5. Doing the Impossible.  Rise above all criticisms and voices that tell you 'You can't' and turn them into 'You Can'.  
By Andy Ng, whose courses on management are listed here.  Related articles:

No comments :

Post a Comment