Playing the Management Role

As a manager, you use 80% of your time managing and 20% doing the things that you have to do yourself. In actuality, you spend that 80% of your time in fulfilling various managerial roles, depending on tasks at hand, expectations and circumstances. There are roles that you play most often, some occasionally, some rarely, and some not at all (or not yet). Understanding these roles is the first step towards recognizing your current management skills, especially those where you are weak at, and improving them.

One of your major roles is an informational role. You have to communicate effectively to your staff your organization’s strategic goals and objectives, in order for them to recognize how they contribute to the achievement of those goals and objectives. You have to clearly provide necessary information or instructions to your subordinates. You need to disseminate, within and outside of your own organization, useful information concerning your organization. You need to seek current developments in the industry/field you are in and share them with your colleagues and team.

To effectively fulfill your informational role, it is evident that you need to develop and master good communication skills. This means honing your writing and oral presentation skills. This means learning how to conduct team briefings and meetings and learning how to represent your organization in public gatherings. For gathering and processing information, you need to learn how to look for reliable information sources, use existing search engines, separate what is useful or valuable from what is worthless and avoid information overload, and process materials rapidly, but thoroughly.

Your other major role is an interpersonal role. You are the leader of your team and, as such, you provide your team members inspiration and guidance. They look up to you as an authoritative figure. You manage your team’s performance and see to it that they perform their responsibilities effectively. You coach them when needed, provide feedback and advice, encourage them to be creative and innovative, and enable them to learn how to work independently. You also need to network with outside contacts.

For this role, you need to build and improve your image, learn how to be humble and empathetic, set to be a good example and a role model worth emulating. Be aware of the leadership qualities that you lack and develop them. Find out what your emotional intelligence quotient is and improve it. Learn the Results-based Management (RBM) approach and how to use it in managing the performance of your team, your project, and even the entire organization, in order to produce desired results. Learn networking skills.

As a manager, you make decisions on various matters. Thus, your third major role is a decision-making role. You decide on how financial, human and other resources are best used of. You prepare, manage, and adjust budgets, allocating and approving funds to fulfill various needs. You select/recruit staff and assign them appropriate positions. You handle problems and take charge of their resolution. You handle disputes and participate in negotiations. You initiate necessary change and manage it.

For your third major role, you need to learn how to prepare a budget and to be cost-efficient. Although you may not be a finance person, you still need to learn how to read and interpret financial statements in order to efficiently manage your budget. To handle conflicts and problems, you need problem-solving skills and techniques in handling and resolving conflicts. Since change in an organization is dreaded most of the time, you need to build your change management skills in order to overcome opposition and enable the change to be implemented.

What are the roles that you do most often? Are you strong or weak in those roles? Develop and improve the skills you are weak at, starting with the roles that you often do. Then move on to your other weak points.

Develop to be an inspiring, engaging and effective manager! Do not be the type of manager that people who resign from their jobs cite as the number one reason why they quit. Be the reason for a team’s effective performance, an organization’s success, and a person remembered and thanked for being instrumental in somebody’s growth and advancement in life.