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Management

  • Her talent lay exclusively in seeing that other people employed theirs.

  • A good executive is one who makes people contentedly settle for less than they meant to get, in return for more than they meant to give.

  • An order then should always be given not as a personal matter, not because the man giving it wants the thing done, but because it is the demand of the situation. And an order of this kind carries weight because it is the demand of the situation.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • ... many rules could be made for the giving of orders. Don't preach when you give orders. Don't discuss matters already settled unless you have fresh data. Make your direction so specific that there will be no question whether they have been obeyed or not. Find out how to give directions and yet to allow people opportunity for independent thinking, for initiative. And so on and so on. Order-giving requires just as much study and just as much training as any other skill we wish to acquire.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • The message to organizations is this: You have to increase the number of categories of contributing, or the types of career paths, which people can experience as successful. You cannot restrict esteem to the fewer and fewer who will be climbing up the management ladder. You need to have the majority of your people feeling like winners.

  • Always hire people who are better than you. Hiring dummies is shortsighted. You can't move up the ladder until everyone is comfortable with your replacement.

  • Delegation is necessary and risky. People will do things differently. Your instructions will probably be misunderstood. What you say is likely to be different from what they hear.

  • If I believe that I am in control because you have accepted my ideas, then I am deluding myself. There is a lot of self-delusion in management. You can control people only when you intimidate them and remain there to keep up the pressure.

  • Effective management begins with the inability to leave well enough alone, with a preoccupation for betterment.

  • The manager with the in-basket problem does not yet understand that he must discipline himself to take care of activities that fail to excite him.

  • Work is what we make it. If it is based on fear, if it induces alienation, if it punishes creativity, it is not doing what it should. The activities of work can be changed. It is easier to change work than to change people.

  • Organizations benefit when they require that managers always consider honesty an alternative. Sometimes the whole truth is inappropriate. You must distinguish between truth-telling and telling everything.

  • Developing the abilities and attitudes to deal adequately with change — particularly those that appear to be negative — should be our highest priority.

  • I don't mind how much my ministers talk — as long as they do what I say.

  • A woman's authority as new manager may be questioned, but her ability to do the work is not. Women have made their reputation within the company on their task performance, diligence, and concrete accomplishments. They face a turnaround in their priorities when they move from worker to manager. Their task, as manager, is to stop doing so much of the work. Paradoxically, the strengths that elevated a woman to manager are transformed into shortcomings within that position. Women who have always done more than their share of the work must learn to relinquish the substance of tasks to their subordinates.

  • The thesis of this book ... is that expressive behaviors — namely, a sensitivity to personal needs and to alliance building — are just as important as task-oriented behaviors — setting high standards for oneself and others — in managing today's workforce and improving productivity. This blend of male and female qualities — androgynous behavior — is the promise of better management in the future.

  • As women, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians began to move into the world of management, the emphasis was not on learning from them. Efforts focused, instead, on fitting minorities and women into what once was the domain of white men. These efforts almost totally missed the point by failing to take advantage of the new resources being brought to the management world. Interestingly, though, as affirmative action has gained ground, management theory and practice are expanding the concept of what makes a good manager. The new members of the workforce exhibit many of the behaviors that are being discussed and very tentatively tried out by managers.

  • ... we have created trouble for ourselves in organizations by confusing control with order.

  • Leadership and management are not incompatible, no more than leadership and followership are at odds with one another. Managers produce orderly results, concentrate on the short run, seek consistence, and solve problems. Leaders by contrast produce significant change, develop long-term visions, establish new directions, and produce innovative and creative opportunities. Managers thrive on order and control, while leaders embrace chaos and empowerment. Managers tend to avoid conflict, while leaders find creative value in conflict. ... An effective balance between leadership and management is essential for organizational survival and success.

  • Never hesitate to show your own staff that you need help. They need to be reminded how important they are to the process. In life and in business, we rely on each other to be responsible for individual tasks that benefit everyone. People sometimes forget how much interdependence there really is in a successful business. Learn the art of asking for help to empower and motivate others, and you will have learned a very powerful management strategy.

  • ... some bosses are so greedy (for themselves only) they forget underlings are not thirteenth-century peasants who can be satisfied with a glass of mead and three festivals a year.

  • It is common to hear dedicated working women say they have to be twice as intelligent, three times as industrious, four times as enthusiastic, and work for half the money paid their male counterparts. Even then they may not be taken seriously. Many women feel that no matter how excellent their qualifications, the rise into management is blocked.

  • If you look at what is currently being highlighted as the ultimate managerial style — the secret for management in the late eighties and early nineties — most management seminars will continually put up the Japanese as an example. Japanese managerial style is all about the very skills and qualities that have been traditionally described as feminine. The Japanese are personified motivators. They are into participatory style ... not into aggressive-dictatorial style, which is typically addressed as masculine. They are listeners. Empathizers. These are all the qualities that have historically been described as feminine. And they also, ironically enough, are what are being described now as Japanese. Heaven forbid they should be described as feminine!

  • In Business School they taught us about cash flow, not about corporate politics; about return on equity, not about egos and pride. Oh, there were optional courses on 'Organizational Behavior' and 'Managerial Skills,' but these were a little too bloodless to convey what I learned on the job.

  • When you get promoted, you may find yourself having to give assignments and criticism to people with whom you formerly had a very different relationship — quite equal and quite friendly. It can be a difficult predicament. Your friend or ex-peer may not take your requests seriously, or may not take you seriously. He or she may in every way resist the shift in rank and continue to treat you in the same old way. The company has promoted you — but your friends won't.

    • Janice LaRouche,
    • in Janice LaRouche and Regina Ryan, Janice LaRouche's Strategies for Women at Work ()
  • If people take a breather and enjoy themselves, you'll get a thousand times more work from them. The best work is done when people are motivated, and enjoyment is a major factor.

    • Janice LaRouche,
    • in Janice LaRouche and Regina Ryan, Janice LaRouche's Strategies for Women at Work ()
  • ... there do appear to be more differences between women managers and nonmanagers than there are between women and men managers.

  • A good manager spends a lot of time teaching. It's very hard to practice this because it doesn't seem immediately productive. It usually takes less time to do something yourself than to explain how to do it to someone else. But then you may have to do it a thousand times instead of explaining it only once.

  • The rule of good management is that when things go wrong in your area it's your fault; when things go right it's because of the people who report to you.

  • Managers who are basically untrusting usually make snap judgments based on outward appearances. They don't take the time to gather the facts and objectively evaluate situations. Consequently, the people who work for them spend enormous amounts of time and energy manipulating outward appearances, since that's all that matters.

  • The insecure manager feels that he must 'have something over' the people who work for him, and all too often that something is valuable information that the people need to do the job.

  • Hands reach out for us, the hands of middle management, the people who stop exciting things from happening.

  • When you can't afford to hire the best, you hire the young who are going to be the best.

  • Some of the most successful people managers are also the best listeners.

  • I believe every person has the ability to achieve something important, and with that in mind I regard everyone as special. A manager should feel this way about people, but it's an attitude that can't be faked. You've got to be honestly convinced that every human being is important.

  • Whenever I meet someone, I try to imagine him or her wearing an invisible sign that says: Make me feel important! I respond to this sign immediately, and it works wonders. ... I think it's essential that every manager remember that invisible sign: Make me feel important!

  • If you're good to your staff when things are going well, they'll rally when times go bad.

  • It wasn't hard to hire good managers, but I had to learn how to give them leeway and make sure that they used it. I told them, don't expect me to second-guess you. Success or failure is up to you. There's no point in hiring able people if you don't give them a chance to use their abilities. With the responsibility squarely on their shoulders, people learn to act decisively. I have always looked for another me. If I found that person, I reasoned, my company would be twice as good.

  • If someone was to tally the number of human hours wasted in business by people trying to accomplish objectives without being given the authority to do so, we would all be appalled.

  • ... one of the most demoralizing behaviors — based on employee complaints — is the failure of management to lead by example. 'Walk the talk' is now a popular adage touted by disappointed followers who observe would-be leaders displaying lofty ideals in their mission statements, while behaving in ways that are contradictory. The net result is a loss of credibility that impedes management's ability to lead.

  • Your attitude as a leader will set the pace and tone for your employees. People tend to mirror each other, and employees especially tend to mirror their managers.

    • Marilyn Manning,
    • in Marilyn Manning and Patricia Haddock, Leadership Skills for Women ()
  • ... studies indicate that the average manager is interrupted every eight minutes!

  • Just as managers must allow themselves to fail, so should they allow — even encourage — their subordinates to do so. Not to say that repeated mistakes are acceptable, but if your employees fear failure, they will never takes risks, never learn from their mistakes, and never do their best work.