Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Management

Matt Perman has a great post on management. Below are the highlights. This post brought to mind a great quote by C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory- "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals who we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours." People seldom think or act this way in the workplace. How would your day change if your perspective moved in this direction?

Originally posted here.

A common definition of management is getting things done through others.

I don’t like that definition very much because it leaves out the human component. This definition could just as easily apply to machines.

I think a better definition is provided by Stephen Covey: management is developing people through tasks. This brings in the human component. Management is not just about getting things done, but developing people in the process.

The result is, ironically, that you will in turn be able to get even more done in the future, since whenever a manager’s team is productive they are at the same time increasing in their productive capacity.

But that is not why you manage in this way. You manage with this goal in mind because it is the right way to treat people — that is, because you are managing people, not machines.

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