How do managers become successful? By ensuring their work is completed on time? Delegating work to their employees? Is there a secret mantra that they can use to accomplish every objective set for them?
The answer to these questions lies in the primary job responsibility of a manager: ‘to manage’
As a manager, you have to manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously to ensure that the organisation is functioning smoothly. You have to play a variety of roles according to any situation that may arise.
In a one-man play, an actor has to play multiple roles to keep the audience entertained for the entire duration. Similarly, you are the actor who has to play multiple roles to ensure your organisation (the play) continues to thrive amongst its prospects, customers and competitors (all comprising of the audience).
According to Mintzberg’s management roles, managers need to play 10 different roles to get the best out of everything and everyone. These are further categorised into Interpersonal, Informational and Decisional depending on their nature.
You need to plan for the future and prepare a path accordingly. Be innovative and initiate the change that is required for organisational development. This would also involve anticipating potential problems and be prepared to tackle them efficiently.
You should have a vision as to where do you want to see your organisation in the future and what are the measures required to ensure you reach your destination.
Conflicts and disturbances are bound to happen when a large workforce and multiple departments are involved. We have all seen the blame game that’s played between Marketing departments and Sales departments, each vehemently believing that the other is at fault. Disputes can be between employees too and as such lead to loss in productivity.
As a manager you have to handle such situations in the most efficient manner and take fair corrective measures.
You have numerous resources at your command, be it employees or funds. You should be able to plan and allocate every resource based on the priority of the task.
Your budget is limited so it is essential that you utilise it optimally.
You should have the organisation’s best interests at heart when you enter into negotiations. These could be within the team, departments or even outside the organisation. Any decision you take, can have a major impact so it is best to be prepared to consider the best and worst scenario and strive to achieve a balance.
The old adage is, every leader need not be a manager. But with changing times, it is of utmost importance that every manager should assume the role of a leader. As a leader it is your responsibility to motivate others and ensure that they work to the highest of their capabilities.
You should be able to manage the performance of everyone in the team and lead them to collectively achieve the overall objectives. This should be the sole purpose of almost all the interactions with your employees.
As the name suggests, you need to appear as a figurehead or a person with authority. Your presence should represent a symbolic leadership that everyone looks up to. You need to take care of social, ceremonial and legal responsibilities.
It is your responsibility to host functions, greet guests, attend ribbon cutting ceremonies and similar other events. And it doesn’t hurt to have your pictures taken at the right time for all the social media promotion.
Managers must maintain consistent communication with internal and external contacts of the organisation. You should participate in meetings and events that may involve representative from other organisations of from different departments of your organisation.
You should take the initiative to network effectively on behalf of your organization or department, as may be the case.
You need to regularly monitor the external environment for important information related to your company. You need to be updated with new trends that can give your company a significant advantage or for any change that could be potentially harmful. They need to attend relevant seminars and training programmes where they can gain knowledge of new techniques.
Internally you can monitor your team’s performance and seek methods to consistently develop them.
Managers need to communicate relevant information within the company as well as to the public outside.
As a spokesperson, you are perceived as face of the company and are responsible for the information that you share. You need to be an expert on the topics that you are going to talk about. You need to participate in conferences or trade events and share information about the company’s progress or any new products/services that are being launched.
While it is essential to communicate information about the company to the public, it is equally important to disseminate information, received from outside, to the team. Depending on the type of information, it should be either relayed directly or it should be interpreted to match the team’s understanding.
Information can be received in the form of forecasts and trends. It is the responsibility of the manager to break this down and explain the implications to the team.
Looking at the varied roles that a manager has to play to be successful, isn’t it obvious that very few managers actually stand out as successful ones?