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Management & Leadership - Four Common Mistakes

I have some years of experience in managerial and non-managerial positions. What my managers and I have done wrong were NOT about vision/mission statement, business plans, strategic planning, marketing plans, financial plans, budgeting, scheduling and so on. We all forgot about the main principle of management, which It is Efficiency and Effectiveness!

Below are four(4) main forgotten management principles. Remember(learn) them and practise them NOW to improve your efficiency and effectiveness TODAY:

1. It's all about people.
2. Know the Needs and Respect the Values
3. Stop criticising, Give only FEEDBACK
4. Ask questions, and let others to ask questions

1.It's all about people.

Real estate is all about location, location, location and management is all about people, people, people, and PEOPLE. A good chef knows that to make a great meal, she needs high quality ingredients, So dose a manager who surrounds himself with RIGHT people. What I mean by right people is not an EXPERT in a specific Field, I mean someone with the following characteristics: Honest, loyal, Sincere, Reliable, Persistent, and goal-setting.

I experienced that; Before Knowing WHAT to do in business, I have to know WHO I am going to work with. And I will look for a person who has the above characteristics plus an average knowledge of that specific field. I will not look for an EXPERT who DOSE NOT have one or more of the above characteristics. To get more information about this topic, why don't you read Power of Mastermind chapter in Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and First Who...Then What chapter in Good to Great by Jim Collins?

And the last word from Peter F. Drucker: "No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings."

2.Know the Needs and Respect the Values

I have seen, heart, and read that:

  • You can not understand a man until you walk a mile in his shoes.
  • You must manage businesses by balancing variety of needs, and goals!
  • You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.
  • ...

A good manager knows that she can NOT keep employees happy and motivated if she dose not know their needs. She knows that to keep employees moving forward, she must fulfill their needs. A BETTER manager knows that PLUS knowing needs, she must respect employee's VALUES.

This is simple and You may think you know your employee's, friend's or partner's needs and values and you fulfill/respect them; If YES think again :)

Many managers think It's all about MONEY (financial bonuses, salary, ...) BUT it is NOT. Although I agree with the fact that, Money is reasonably close to oxygen on the "gotta have it" scale, But it is not everything. A good manager know that she can not motivate people only with MONEY, and Better manager know that HUMAN may have the following needs too:

  • Physiology (Breathing, food, sex, sleep, homeostasis)
  • Safety (Security of body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of family, of health, of property)
  • Love/Belonging (friendship, family, sexual intimacy)
  • Esteem (Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respecting by others)
  • Self-Actualization (Morality, greeting, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts)

As you all may know, I did not make the above list it is the Maslow's hierarchy of needs ( ). And you must know that this is not an in-order-kind-of-list, It is dynamic and totally depends on the individual. For example as one knowledgeable scholar has argued, based on extensive research findings from a number of countries:

" Maslow's hierarchy puts self-actualization (achievement) plus esteem above social needs, above security needs. This ... is a description of a value system, the value system of the U.S. middle class to which the author belonged. I suggest that ... for (some) countries [such as Greece and Mexico] ... security needs should rank at the top; for (other) countries [such as Denmark and Sweden] ... social need should rank at the top; and (for still other) countries [such as Portugal and Chile], both security and social needs should rank at the top. "

To get more information about Values and Needs google the following topics: Content Theories, Need Hierarchy Theories, Mclelland's Acquired Needs Theory, Hertzberg's Two-Factor Theory, Process Theory, Equity Theory, Expectancy Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, Goal Setting Theory, Reinforcement approaches.

3.Stop criticising, Give FEEDBACK only.

This is one of the most common problems or mistakes of all people including family members, friends, colleagues, partners, wives, husbands, ... and MANAGERS. I used to criticize (Although I did not know it!), and I worked for some companies that criticism was in the culture of thecompany, SO BAD. criticism is destructive, negative, and efficiency-killer. A right feedback is positive, constructive, and efficiency-booster.

You know what is worse than this? criticism in public. It is a rule of thump: praise in public, and criticism in private. And I prefer to put it in this way: Give negative Feedback in Private, and Positive Feedback in Public.

I can talk about this topic till morning, But I found it more efficient to lead you to Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman's website for great insights, If you love yourself please check out:

4.Ask questions, and let others to ask questions

Here is some common problems in this area:

  • Manager knows everything: So everybody asks manager, and Manager can not ask from anybody!
  • People ask questions But in a wrong way which it creates different kind of resistance. Human beings are different. They have different culture, needs, values, characteristics, personalities, and behavioral models. A good manager knows that there are different ways of communication(Asking questions) tailored to that particular individual(s).

What about reading "Leading By Questions" by Michael Marqurdt to get lots of information?

From my perspective these are the main four mistakes of today's many managers or to put it in a better way individuals in the society. You can learn about these topics in 30 minutes but It needs five years to master it. So Why not start from today to be a great manager and successful person in everyday life?


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