1. There is an inverse relationship as you move up the management ladder. Increased responsibilities over functions actually mean less personal performance of those functions. A good supervisor doesn’t merely delegate, they empower and trust those they manage to perform the functions. This is a nervous proposition and sense of lost control for those used to ‘doing themselves.’ Although the end product is not what I would have done – it gets the job done and done well and on time and generally the person feels good they achieved something.
There is a caveat to this rule. Less personal performance of functions does not mean a complete abrogation of responsibility. Oversight, guidance and interaction are still essential elements of the proper management process.
Balancing personal performance with support and oversight of others is a daily learning process because situations change daily and require constant monitoring and adjustment.
2. Communication is the essential tool in all management interactions. The more communication the better. Even if it doesn’t change the outcome, providing participants information, or even better providing participation, leads to better implementation. Our campus finance officer believes in transparent decision-making. While I am under no illusion that I am in charge of anything, I feel more involved and understanding of the campus perspective and priorities on financing. Lack of communication can create false impressions that are not at all intended. This morning I read an article about the importance of management self-awareness in the workplace. Increased communication (two-way communication is best) prevents this kind of management isolation.
So my management advice (and everyone is a manager at some level) is to communicate, cooperate and explore the collaboration possibilities before just ‘getting it done.’ Don’t assume you are alone. Successful management is about working with others together.