The first blog in a series from AMR’s management leadership – “Insights from the Inside” – in which we highlight and share our insights, philosophy, and values, as they relate to our work at AMR.
When I reflect on my management philosophy, I’m reminded of something Peter Drucker said, “so much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.” I’ve experienced this firsthand, and so at the core of my philosophy is a desire to remove roadblocks and make it as easy as possible for people to not just work, but do so efficiently and effectively.
Still, I admit that initially it seemed like a waste of time to attempt to pinpoint all of the intricacies of my management style into a few principles that I could label as a philosophy. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, much like a mission statement, my management philosophy does help to communicate to myself and to others those core beliefs that should be fundamental to all of my management decisions.
Some things I kept in mind as I authored my list of management principles:
- What the two other managers I admire do (both of whom are former bosses of mine).
- What underlying codes of conduct already guide my decisions.
- What is missing from my current decision-making process.
- Universality and simplicity; must be high level.
With all of the above in mind, I managed to come up with six key principles to inform my 2018 management philosophy:
I believe that the best managers are more than administrators or followers. They do more than focus on structure and processes. Instead they are innovators and influencers. They focus on people and personal development. That includes treating people with respect and honesty. This principle guides most of my decisions as a manager.
Additionally, the best managers will clearly communicate expectations of their team and of themselves while still giving employees the freedom they need to get the job done. When it comes to communicating, I strive to improve on hearing what isn’t being said.
In my experience, the best managers are also positive thinkers. And a little bit of positive reinforcement goes a long way toward employee morale and work drive. I’ve also found that most teams want learning opportunity, variety and additional responsibilities.
As a manager, I try to have a goal for my team members to be successful in their careers and their lives in order to avoid decreased morale or apathy. I do what I can to position people for success. In the end, their success is my success.
Unfortunately, effort does not equal effectiveness. Similarly, quality of work is more important than hours worked. Too often I’ve witnessed people put in a lot of hours only to get nothing done. Processes exist to improve quality but sometimes hamper it.
At the end of the day, the output is what should be judged. Perhaps above all, I believe in never being afraid of change, even to my own management beliefs. I continue to evolve, learn and grow from my experiences.
Connect with Natalya Dawkins on LinkedIn to learn more about how you can partner with AMR!