Aug. 23, 2010, Inc. magazine — “When you work for yourself, as most entrepreneurs do, the notion of ‘managing’ those you have hired to do just that may seem quaint in light of all the work you need to catch up on,” writes Darren Dahl in this week’s issue of Inc. magazine.
“But as the company you started begins to grow, and you hire more and more people to fuel that growth, it is a good idea to take a step back from the day-to-day grind and consider what it might mean to both you and your company if you devoted some of your time to thinking about how best to manage your managers. After all, the more people you empower to make decisions, and that free you up to think more strategically, the faster, at least in theory, your company can grow.”
In the section entitled, “Managing Managers: Measure Tasks,” he interviewed Dr. Alice Waagen. Dahl wrote:
Dr. Alice Waagen, founder and president of Workforce Learning, a leadership development company in Washington, D.C., says that you can even establish clear performance guidelines about what makes up a good manager along the lines of something like:
1. A good manager creates short- and long-term goals for all staff.
2. A good manager sets realistic standards and targets to measure progress to plan.
3. A good manager provides specific, objective feedback on an ongoing basis, informing, enlightening and helping staff members improve their performance.
“For managers to succeed, they need time to learn to manage” she says. “And then, once they do, they need to be held accountable for their results.”
“When you add all that up, it means that you need to clearly communicate to your manager what you expect them to accomplish through his or her staff,” Muzio says. “For example, you might say, ‘Your job is to make sure the five people who work for you make 400 widgets each week,’ or, if the goals change, ‘your job is to make sure each of the five people who works for you has a clear performance target, hits the target, and together those targets roll up to the output goal you and I set together each month. You can vary the structure, but keep the simple focus: Your job is to make sure your people produce what is necessary.”