People often ask: “What characteristics should managers have?”
When asking this question, the questioner will set an image of a manager in his mind. But this kind of ideal manager only exists in our imagination or the depiction of the media, and does not exist in reality.
As much as there are differences between people, there are so many differences between successful and capable managers:
Some people have strong analytical and calculation skills, and work in an orderly manner, while others are impulsive, emotional, and jumping in thinking; some managers are extroverted and good at communication, and some managers are more introverted and withdrawn…
European management leader Fredmond Malik believes that high business capabilities and success have almost nothing to do with these factors. The key is not who they are, but how they do things.
Highly effective people in all walks of life have a common feature, that is, they will follow certain principles in their actions. As managers, we should also regard these principles as guidelines for action.
01Follow the results
Mountaineering is result-oriented. If a climber chooses to give up when approaching the top of the mountain, for whatever reason, no matter how many meters away from the end point, he fails.
In the eyes of climbers, it is important to achieve the preset goals. In addition, they will also pay attention to some similar issues:
What kind of success should be achieved?
When will it achieve results or actually achieve the goal?
Efficient managers also follow the principle of “focus on results”-this reflects their professionalism, but it does not mean that they can always achieve their goals.
On the contrary, just like the constant failures and re-attempts in the history of mountaineering, managers will also encounter setbacks and failures and make new attempts and explorations afterwards. Just like mountain sports, performance is the only measure of their success.
Good managers will not cover up facts, let alone use excuses to evade responsibility. Integrity and responsibility are the basis for managers to gain the respect and trust of others, as well as their capital.
In management, results come first. But for managers, the result does not only refer to economic benefits, but refers to all the elements related to the smooth operation of the enterprise.
Good managers will not find excuses to escape, but based on facts. We often hear a meaningful sentence, namely: the journey itself is the harvest. This expression can also be seen as an excuse for ineffective management, thinking that having a “process” can be regarded as a success, even if no results are harvested.
The consistency of thinking and actions of excellent managers is prominently reflected in the focus on results. They are only interested in the results, and other things must be concessions for the goal. Their attention to the results can sometimes even reach a morbid level, which makes people around them feel unpleasant. However, for them personally, the importance of the result cannot be shaken.
Experienced managers know that guiding employees to continuously focus on goals and results is not easy. Human nature tends to focus on input rather than output. Therefore, most people are more oriented toward hard work and hard work, rather than performance and results oriented.
To strengthen the organization’s notion of focusing on results, managers need to continuously and systematically work for it. Therefore, this principle is also regarded as an important guiding principle for management.
It is worth noting that I refer to the above-mentioned principle of “focusing on results” as a management principle, rather than a general life principle. Many times, we will compare management principles with life principles, or even confuse them.
Whether or not to apply the principle of “focus on results” to one’s own life depends on each person’s own choice.
In my personal life, many things I do are not for results, but for many completely different reasons: because I like it, I find it beautiful, interesting, meaningful, etc.
02Contribute to the whole
We need to pay attention to the results, but it is not enough to get the results. The important thing is to get the correct results.
Although the work content of each organization is different, one thing is the same, that is, people need to jump out of their own work areas and professional scope, and take a larger pattern to consider the overall level at the overall level. This is to achieve the correct result. premise.
We must think: “What should I do in my position to contribute to the overall development?”
Perhaps the stories of three masons can better help us understand this principle:
One day, three masons were working on a construction site. Someone asked, “What are you doing?”
The first mason replied: “I’m making a living.”
The second mason said: “I’m doing the job of the best mason in the world.”
The third person thought for a moment and replied: “I’m here to participate in the construction of a cathedral.”
In the organization, we need these three people, but only the third mason has the real managerial potential. According to Frankel’s understanding of meaning, the third person believes that his work and tasks serve the whole.
The higher the division of labor and the degree of specialization, the more likely people are to lose their understanding of the whole and its goals, and the more likely it is that the results achieved will drift away from the overall goal.
This situation tends to force managers to participate more and more in the coordination work within the organization, and ultimately leads to the management of the organization in a centralized manner. This result is unwilling to see.
Only when each employee continuously reflects on “what kind of contribution can I make to the whole in my own way” can this situation be prevented from happening and can it prove that an organization is capable of self-regulation, self-coordination, and self-organization.
The adjustment, coordination and organizational ability of the organization comes from the ability of employees to serve the whole by their own actions on the basis of a deep understanding of the overall goal. This is also the most effective way to make full use of talents.
People generally have an unrealistic idea, expecting specialists to expand into other professional fields in addition to their own, but this does not make specialists generalists. What we need to do is to require professionals to combine their talents with the overall goals and integrate their own professional knowledge into the overall framework of the organization.
The larger the organization, the harder it is to answer questions about contribution. Therefore, finding a clear and persuasive answer to this question is becoming more and more important. This is one of the most important tasks for managers, and it is also an important step from efficiency to benefit: from doing things right to doing things right.
Only when we focus our attention on our contribution to the whole, can we determine the correct goals at all levels within the organization, make rational use of resources, find appropriate benchmarks for outcome evaluation, and build trust and justice.
Therefore, managers need to think carefully about “what contribution can I make to the whole”, “what contribution my employees have made, and what contribution should be made”.
For such questions, we can always easily give simple answers. However, good managers are different from ordinary managers and non-managers. They are often extremely cautious in dealing with these problems, and are never satisfied with an answer.
If we conduct an in-depth analysis of the contributions of various departments, we will find that there are many problems within the organization. For example, the goals of the entire organization are not clear, and the contributions of various fields and departments cannot be clearly defined.
Therefore, we can only find a solution through full consideration and in-depth discussions with employees, colleagues and superiors.
In the process of solving problems, we will find that if managers want to maximize their contributions in a huge and complex whole, they must master the art of balance, weighing, and integration.
Therefore, there is never a single-dimensional answer to questions about contribution. There are always issues at all levels that require people to consider, integrate, compromise, and weigh the pros and cons.
The advantage of good managers is often that they can coexist with the ambiguity and inherent uncertainty in reality and learn to seek breakthroughs in uncertainty, instead of constructing an illusory, seemingly clear and certain environment.
03Focus on the key
If we focus our efforts on the results and contribution to the whole, we will soon realize that it is difficult to achieve multi-task parallelism in our work.
To focus on results and the big picture, we need to focus on a few priorities. Even if we have the ability to handle many things at the same time, there is no guarantee that we will be successful in everything at the same time.
Peter Drucker once said: If there is any secret to achieving high performance, it is “focus.” Effective managers will prioritize tasks, start with the most important things, and only do one thing at a time.
However, in management, it is not enough to just be “focused”. If we want to make a difference and succeed, we must focus on a few carefully selected focal points. When choosing priorities, it is necessary to carefully, seriously, and comprehensively consider various situations and practical experience.
Sometimes, we hear a voice of opposition: this principle is outdated and cannot be applied to more complicated situations.
However, the actual situation is just the opposite. It is precisely because the environment has become more and more complex, networked, and interactive that this principle has become crucial.
In the past, the importance of this principle has not been highlighted-the reason is very simple, in a simple environment, people do not need to apply this principle. Basically nothing will distract us, so people will automatically abide by this principle.
Whether it is a farmer in the field, a worker in a steel plant, or a stonemason in the Middle Ages, they will not be as distracted as managers (especially high-level managers).
In addition to coincidence and luck, wherever results and success are achieved, people can see the principle of focus. In fact, almost all successful people are focused on one thing, one task or one problem. Their concentration is often to the point of obsessive or even pathological (which of course is not what I recommend).
What is more enlightening are those who are in trouble, such as illness, disability, and heavy work, but are still able to work efficiently and achieve success. Their success is without exception, because they can concentrate on themselves under harsh conditions. work.
This is particularly important for mental workers, who are among the fastest growing groups in various organizations. Mental workers need large and undisturbed time to work effectively. Every interruption of work will cause them to re-spend time to adapt to the work content and find ideas, thereby increasing the time required for work.
This is different from manual laborers, even if their work is interrupted, it will not cause any loss of productivity.
If the manager’s own work efficiency is low, then he will often become the main reason for the distraction of employees. But if the manager has reached a very high level in working methods, and can even be regarded as a model, then one of his management tasks is to guide employees to work attentively.
The best way is to assign complex and important tasks to employees, and it is best to schedule only one task at a time.
It is true that very good employees can still efficiently complete two to three tasks at the same time. But in this case, people have to bear the risk of energy dispersal and fragmentation.
04 Take advantage of
So far, we have discussed that the basis for improving management effectiveness is to focus on results, clearly analyze its effect on the entire system, and first concentrate on solving several key priorities. Now, by combining the first three principles with the fourth principle, they can give full play to their role and achieve excellent performance.
The best way to concentrate is to take advantage of people. Making full use of existing advantages is the “secret” that can help ordinary people create extraordinary achievements.
I will not go into details here, but it needs to be emphasized that this principle is equally important for managers and their subordinates. Employees of the company also need to pay attention to the advantages of the boss and colleagues in the team.
Those who only see their own weaknesses will eventually put themselves in deep troubles, but as long as they can adjust their way of thinking and discover and use their own and others’ strengths, the troubles will disappear on their own. This has become an iron law.
Most organizations today are facing increasing performance pressures and expect to achieve optimal performance in all areas. But the fact is that most of the staff in the organization are ordinary people, and there is no guarantee that they will achieve the best performance every day.
There is only one way to solve this contradiction, and that is to strictly abide by the principle of using advantages. Discover the strengths of employees, and when assigning tasks, as many employees as possible to work in their respective areas of expertise, it is possible to produce outstanding performance.
05 Mutual trust
Trust is one of the basic conditions for an organization to realize self-regulation and self-management, and it is also the most important skill for grasping complex affairs.
If measured by textbook standards, although some managers’ actions are clearly wrong, they have created an excellent environment for the organization and achieved good performance. And some managers act according to textbooks, but the organizational environment is very bad, and even problems always occur. How can this be explained?
For this phenomenon, almost all explanations are: the first type of managers successfully won and maintained the trust of employees, colleagues and superiors.
As long as a foundation of trust can be established, a solid management environment will be formed. This kind of solid management environment is sufficient to deal with management mistakes-mistakes happen every day, and managers actually don’t want and often don’t realize these mistakes.
The important question is not whether mistakes have been made in management, but the severity of these mistakes. There are some mistakes that can be diluted and adjusted by a solid management environment based on trust.
Although employees will suffer setbacks and occasionally be angry and dissatisfied, they know that their bosses can be trusted and relied on. This principle also applies to relationships between colleagues.
The principle of good managers is: pay attention to mutual trust, rather than each other’s motives. Therefore, good managers will do their best to create a trust-filled management environment to prevent any damage to trust from happening.
Although we still know very little about trust, it is certain that trust does not belong to the category of psychology. This is contrary to popular belief.
In the final analysis, trust is trustworthiness and predictability. We need to know our ranking in the minds of superiors and colleagues.
Integrity is of utmost importance, and this means “same heart, consistent words and deeds.”
We can observe this very well in mountain climbing.
The mountaineering team is not necessarily based on friendship, but it must be based on mutual trust. Make sure that climbing partners or expedition members have the experience and abilities necessary for climbing to ensure that they can complete the task smoothly.
The most important thing is the trust in professionalism.
Friendship is born from trust. It is indescribable; even if it is not a friend but only a community of goals, mutual trust can at least achieve goals and achieve success.
06 Positive and constructive thinking
At present, there are many interpretations about positive thinking. Such interpretation often make people think, just by virtue of their own positive way of thinking, we will be able to create a foolish old man move mountains miraculous.
but it is not the truth. If we want to really move a mountain, what we need is a bulldozer. Our way of thinking determines our attitude towards “mountain”. It can determine whether what we see in the mountains is danger or opportunity, and this determines our actions to a large extent.
Good managers often have a positive and constructive way of thinking. If they encounter an unsolvable problem, they will force themselves to think in this way.
They are not naive optimists, nor do they rely on miracles to happen. But life teaches them to be able to see the positive side of things even in difficult circumstances.
A negative attitude is a stumbling block on the road to success, while a positive attitude and expectations will at least create opportunities for success.
Control your thinking, and then control your attitudes and expectations. The importance of this ability is reflected in the following two aspects:
First, shift from focusing on problems to proactively looking for opportunities to solve them;
Second, shift from relying on external incentives to self-motivating.
Good managers will constantly ask questions like: “What kind of opportunities are hidden in this problem, and how can it be effective?”
Positive thinking can encourage excellent managers to motivate themselves in difficult environments without waiting for external incentives. Even if they find that the current situation is still very bad after evaluation, their first consideration is still: What should I do now to change the status quo?
Too many people always use their own environmental factors as an excuse to have a passing life or even no performance at work. Some people claim that only by getting rid of the constraints of the environment can they make a difference. They don’t think about how they can get rid of these restrictions, but just sit back and wait for others to change for them.
People with this attitude can always be the first to know what is not feasible under what circumstances, what they can’t do, what can’t be done now, and what can’t be done here.
They will point out all the difficulties they can see, or indicate that they have insufficient resources and budget, or that they are unable to complete the task due to lack of framework conditions. Their motto is: “Not here, not now, not under current conditions.”
In fact, people just need to stop and change their way of thinking: “Let me think about how can I reverse the situation…”
To achieve high efficiency, we can change our attitude to fight against negative thinking, that is: No matter where you are, give everything to you and do your best.
In many cases, we are unable to accomplish all the things we want or must do. This is human nature. But we should not use this as an excuse for inaction. The powerful response to this excuse is: do your best.
In the face of what we want to achieve, the available resources will never be enough. Even large organizations will be constrained by various resources, whether it is capital, manpower, or ideal conditions suitable for the current environment.
Therefore, we should hold such an attitude: instead of complaining to get limited resources, it is better to make good use of existing resources.
Some people always claim that they are willing to do things, but they always procrastinate:
Do not do it now, but do it after promotion;
Do not do it in the current position, but wait for the next position to do it;
Not in this company, but in another company.
These are usually excuses for laziness, and they don’t actually want to act.
Therefore, we should not waste time on such people, we can give them one or two opportunities to make changes. If they are young people, maybe we can spend more effort to support them, but after all, external forces are limited.
Fortunately, there are still enough people in the organization who want to really do things, and we don’t need to give them lengthy explanations or teach them how to think positively. We should work with them to provide them with opportunities to perform, set these people as role models, and provide references for everyone.
Regardless of the type of organization, if it is necessary to provide incentives and give reasons before employees can start doing things, then there must be a problem with the operation of this organization.
The same is true in mountaineering.
Compared with other fields, we will encounter more situations in which we feel “I can’t do it anymore” in mountain climbing. Positive thinking and imagination help us to mentally rehearse events.
In other sports training, people have also discovered this method, which will perform psychological simulations of some complex movements until they can be truly achieved in reality. This is especially important in difficult climbs.