Friday, February 05, 2010

Life as a Manager - What kind?

I've always had the opportunity to work with large teams - either in the capacity of a facilitator or as a participant but now after my MBA, I'm actually managing a team of close to 5 people. And as the days go by, I realize a few things....

One, that all the issues that come across in an organization don't seem to be because of anything other than people to people communication! Of course, we do put processes in place to try and offset this issue.... but all the same at the end of the day, when we try to take stock of the concerns and issues that we are plagued with... it all boils down to people. My entire office encompasses about 15 people. And in this small setup, I have been watching all of the problems that people are having. With small sub groups being formed and little silos being created. And if things can be like this in such a small setup, how about companies with thousands of employees! No wonder, most of what we learn during an MBA is about Corporate Culture! Most MBA students would throw up hearing the word "Culture"! But then that seems to be what's out there in the business world....

Now in the midst of all this, as I am now managing people, I wonder what kind of manager should I be. I see others in my organization who prefer to maintain a distance from their team and are usually strict - The stereotypical manager! But, I have over the past preferred to be close to my team and actually work more as a friend than anything. Of course, there is a flip side to this whole arrangement. Sometimes, people do take you for granted and even go to the extent of laughing of anything you say! Those are the times I wonder if I made the right move to manage people in this fashion. But then, at times I am learning to be able to deal with difficult situations. I am also learning how to control my anger in certain situations and look seemingly cool and composed!

The next year in my life is the most crucial... or atleast that's what I think.. As it's going to mould the kind of person I am... especially in an Entrepreneurial frame of reference. I have been lucky to be in the organization I am... where every business unit functions as a separate entity and I have almost autonomous powers in my BU and get to manage with the least amount of interference! People trust me and value my opinion. I am learning at such a quick pace and now know most of my short-comings in a business setup and am working hard to correct those issues!

Just some random musings from my side.... But remember one thing! Managing an organization is managing people. If you get that formula right, any workplace would become about 5 times more productive!

1 comment:

Athena said...

Agree! People management is an art by itself. Its a double edged sword which you need to use wisely. You cant be too friendly, you cant be too aloof!

And coming to Managerial Engagement of employees, it is the most difficult problem to solve. To most employees, their immediate supervisor is the face of the company.Each employee is different and they need to be treated differently.

Once you have learnt the nuances, you would be the most adorable person!