Our Management Philosophy
One of the most difficult questions you will be asked as a manager is: What is your management philosophy? How you manage is deeply personal and is framed by your upbringing, company, personality and values. To make the question even more complex, there are no clearly defined management styles. While there are titans of the management practice (Jack Welsh, W. Edward Demming or Peter Drucker) individuals do not refer to themselves as Welshian or Drukerian in their management philosophy.
Management is the art of extending your will
Effective managers continuously stretch themselves beyond their immediate day-to-day engagement to extend their reach into their team. A manager’s purpose is to drive his or her personal passion, goals and values into their team. A manager should think of their team as a body. Each part of the body is operating as individual parts in concert with one another. Overall the body is accomplishing what the mind desires. The mind extends its will across the body.
Remember you are not imposing your needs, desires or goals onto your team. You are extending your will. You are managing people to perform what is required to reflect your will. As a manager, you want your team to act cohesively.
Management is relationships
A manager must understand effective professional relationships. As a new manager, you inherit a new type of relationship in your life. You have gone beyond a professional peer relationship into a new world of manager/employee relationship. One of the challenges of this relationship is that you have limited experiences to draw upon to understand the relationship.
The media is full of various types of relationships—romantic, paternal, familial, friend—but rarely is the employee/manager relationship depicted, or if it is, it’s often portrayed poorly (note: Horrible Bosses, Office Space, etc.). To make matters worse, you may have more employee relationships than family or friend relationships, and those employee relationships may all be given to you at once, as opposed to friendships, which are often made sequentially.
Management requires accountability
As a manager, you must balance an additional level of accountability. You are accountable to the company, to your manager, and to your peers. But as a manager you are also accountable to your employees.
Managers must understand and balance those accountabilities, which are often in tension. Your employee may want a day off, while the company needs someone to answer the phones. You need to understand what your accountabilities are to each of these stakeholders. Trading off these accountabilities can be difficult.
The three core tenets of our management philosophy—extending your will, relationships and accountability—is our approach to managing people, however you will likely develop your own approach as you develop as a manager. Management Mentor: Techniques For New Managers will help you practice the basics of management as you develop your own personal philosophy.