Products, projects, teams or businesses do not fail. Leaders fail.
This note is about management as human organization engineering. The note has been written from the leader point of view.
Managers focus on the big picture:
- Benchmark the past and plan the future of your team.
- Set clear objectives and goals.
- Asks for outsider input and advice when making hard decisions.
- Improve efficiency of individual workers.
- Understand and improve the working environment.
- Balance work loads equally.
- Be the information hub for your team.
Management should lead by example:
- Always be the first in and the last out.
- Don't expect people to be motivated if you aren't motivated.
- Don't expect people to work hard if you aren't working hard.
- Don't expect people to keep their word if you aren't keeping yours.
- Don't expect people to do stuff that you yourself wouldn't do.
- Don't micromanage, let people do their jobs and evaluate the result.
Managers should be supportive. Employees should feel appreciated. That is manager's number one job.
- Personally say good morning to everybody every day.
- Ask about emotions and attitudes.
- Give 9 positive comments for each 1 negative comment.
- Don't shoot down ideas until it is necessary.
Don't make decisions unless you have to. Teams should be encouraged to decide themselves.
Don't manage more people than you can handle. Maximum of people that one person should be allowed to manage is 8. After that, each additional person you manage will reduce your efficiency to fulfil your duty as a manager. There more about team building in teamwork notes.
Results over effort. Reward a team or a individual when they do a good job monthly or quarterly. One employee might work for 12 hour days and get nothing done while other person might work for 4 hours and get more done than the previous guy in a week. But don't supervise the quality and volume of individual person's daily work.
Understand that failures are inevitable. Don't blame people for failures, only tell about them when you notice them. Ask yourself how you allow to set up the context that lead to the error. When you are wrong yourself, fix your mistake as quickly as possible and move on.
Don't point fingers. If there is an error, don't blame the worker who made it. It is the whole team that failed, the management included. Why did you create an environment that made the error possible? If one person makes mistakes all the time, you should fire them but still do not blame or humiliate him. Be professional.
Help with employee career development. Express interest in employees' personal success and well-being. Provide specific feedback. Have regular one-on-ones.
Use knowledge charts. Knowledge chart shows what people can do and want to learn. Good way to understand what fields start to lag behind and how to form teams.
4 = Knows it so well that can teach and sell it. 3 = Knows it well. 2 = Knows it ok. 1 = Does not know it, but is willing to learn. 0 = Does not know it and does not want to learn. Person 1 Person 2 Person 3 Process Subprocess 1 3 1 Extra info Subprocess 3 3 5 Extra info Subprocess 3 2 3 Extra info Process Subprocess 4 4 3 Extra info Subprocess 2 4 5 Extra info E.g. Process = Creating a web site. Subprocess = Designing the visual layout. Subprocess = Implementing the visual layout.