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Preparing For Management Responsibilities

Aug 17, 2007
The Webster dictionary describes a manager as 'someone who handles or directs with a degree of skill'. But this definition is not rigid as are the responsibilities. Alternatively, you can think of a manager as someone who controls resources and expenditures. A manager has 4 basic roles to play in such areas as planning, organizing, directing or leading and supervising. Is this all that it takes to become a manager? Unfortunately not; you have to be answerable for failures while credit may not be given to you for successes (unless you are the owner). To understand how to prepare for management responsibilities, let's look first at desirable managerial characteristics:

Attributes Of An Outstanding Manager

An outstanding manager is respected by both his peers and upper management. He is respected because he possesses qualities which others wish to have.

1. Manager Is A Task Maker: A manager sets realistic targets achievable through hard work and breaks them up to share them among the team members.

2. Industrious In Nature: Typically characterized by a hard working nature and perseverance to work meticulously to promote goals.

3. Approachable: He is a vivid listener and is easily comprehendible. Available for discussions and is eager to help solve matters.

4. Respectful: It is perhaps for this character that he inspires respect from teammates. He never disrespects an individual nor does he demand the impossible. He has a perfect judgment of individual capabilities, so he acknowledges difficulties and frustrations.

5. He Is Charismatic And Cheerful: Positive in outlook and bubbly in nature.

6. Never-Say-Die Attitude: Above all else, this character self-motivates the manager. It keeps him spontaneous and resourceful.

How To Prepare For Management Responsibilities

At the core, a manager has two responsibilities. Overseeing the day-to-day activities and leading the team or organization to next level. Preparing for both of these necessitates certain carefully cultivated habits.

Dealing With Day-To-Day Activities:

The first thing to understand is that, come what may, daily activities can't be ignored. Even if there are bigger and better plans, what makes the wheel run is daily activities. Cultivate habits like following routines; ask about problems being faced by workers, don't be impatient and lose your temper, ask how you can help them finish their tasks, etc. Unless you master the daily grind, a manager can quickly find himself behind.

Leading The Team:

Taking Things With A Grain Of Salt: It might feel like you are being weighed down by the workload. But you can't just wish it away. Learn to be judicious and willing to take calculated risks. You should not differentiate workers on personal levels but must be aware of the abilities of each one. Solving problems and disputes instantaneously, not only saves the day for you but wins confidence from everyone.

Putting Your Experience To Use: Develop analytical abilities. This helps you to both envision plans and put them into concrete steps. Draw from past experiences, wherever necessary. Don't hesitate to ask questions and accept suggestions. Generate ideas by brainstorming with colleagues.

Goal Setting: Although you are managing daily activities, your main goal is organizational growth and with it, your own personal growth. You should dream big, but also set realistic goals based on assessments of scalability, need and cost factors etc.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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