Are you an effective manager?


Like to share you the details of a study conducted to find out what “Effective Managers” do differently from “Average Managers”. The study was conducted by Luthans & Associates and detailed in the book “Real Managers”

Before getting into the details of results, it is good to understand the kind of activities that a typical manager is supposed to do. Please don’t get surprised if you are not doing many of the below. Awareness is the first step 🙂

The first one is the “Traditional Management” activities like planning, co-coordinating, leading and controlling which most of the managers do. The second one is effective “Communication” with team members, to the boss, to his colleagues and to customers. The third is typical “Human Resource Management” tasks like hiring, training, motivating, disciplining and managing conflicts. The last one is “Networking” activities like Socializing well within and outside organization as well as politicking (Ensuring you get the best deal by whatever means it is).

In the study on basis of observing 450 managers it is found that, an “Average manager” spends time in the below order on the above major activity types 

  1. Traditional Management (32%)
  2. Communication (29%)
  3. Human Resource Management (20%)
  4. Networking (19%)

 In contrary to the above “Effective Manager” spend time in the below activity types 

  1. Communication (44%)
  2. Human Resource Management (26%)
  3. Traditional Management (19%)
  4. Networking (11%) 

The comparison reveals great insights on how “Effective Communication” within your organization to your team members, boss, colleagues and Customers followed by Human Resource Management play a key role in making you an “Effective Manager”. My observation is that many managers lack communication skills and thinks HR activities are to be performed by HR department and not by managers themselves which is not right. 

With my experience how I interpret is if you play a role of effective communicator and take care of hiring right people and keep them retained and motivated to achieve Organization goals it reduces automatically the time that you have to spend on “Traditional Management” activities. So in net I agree with the above study results

Now comes another third breed of managers called “Successful Managers”.

Sounds interesting? Yes very much as many times you wonder how some people achieve quick promotions / increments and move up the ranks even though you are sure that they may not be that effective. This study provides some answers to this too. On basis of observation of “Successful Managers”, it is found that they spend time in the below set of activities which is neither like “Average Managers” or like “Effective Managers” 

  1. Networking (48%)
  2. Communication (28%)
  3. Tradition Management (13%)
  4. Human Resource Management (11%)

From the above it looks very obvious that these “Successful Managers” spend most of their time in socializing (being in good books of his boss, customers, partners etc) and politicking to ensure they get the best deal than any of the other key managerial activities 

Though focusing on Success is not a sin, Organizations better be beware of Pure Successful Managers (Who focus only on their personal success) as their focus is more towards improving their personal gains than really working for their team’s gain or company’s gain. They also completely demotivate their peers. I am also personally not sure whether it is really possible to be “Pure Successful Manager” without being effective over a long run of stay in the same company as they can be identified over due course even if not in a year or two.

On the contrary one thing that I have noted personally on networking / politicking aspects is, having better relationship with your clients and playing effective politics in your clients environment (having multiple vendors / groups to work with) helps both the Manager as well as Organization as you grow when the business grows. I personally feel an effective mix between being “Successful” and “Effective” may do some wonders to your career as well as to your company 🙂

Sounds interesting? Share your views / Experience…

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3 thoughts on “Are you an effective manager?

  1. “Pure Successful Manager” one of the reason could be he is able to bring in more business because of his network. Here company gains so he too gains.
    Demotivating of peers, look at it from different view the peers normally are envied at the success.
    Is he really a treat ? Maybe few!!

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