The profile of an effective manager

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Formal management education programs typically emphasize the development of skills which enables the future manager to solve problems and to make decisions (‘respondent behaviour). But little attention is given to the development of skills required to find the problems that need to be solved (‘operant behaviour’). Furthermore, the problem solving in the classroom is seen as an entirely rational process, while in reality human emotions make it hard to deal with the problems objectively.

As the research of Norman H. Mackworth revealed[47], the distinction between the problem-solver and the problem-finder s vital. He concluded that managers not only should be able to analyze data of financial statements or other written reports, but even more important they should be able to scan the business environment for less concrete clues that a problem exist. These perceptual skills are extremely difficult to develop in the classroom and must be developed on the job.

We should ask our self the question: Are there people who have more managerial skills than others, because they are able to learn from their experience what they need to know to manage effectively. Livingstone S (1971) found three characteristics of men who learned to manage effectively.

Need to manage: to be able to manage effectively, you should have a strong desire and satisfaction to influence the performance of others. Many of those who aspires high- level positions are driven by the expectations of high salaries or high status, but are not motivated to get effective results through others. Those managers don’t learn how to develop an effective managerial career, because there is a lack of willingness to manage. They are not able to devote enough time and energy to find a suitable way to manage. So the need to manage is a crucial factor in determining whether a person will learn and apply in practice what is necessary to get effective results on the job. For example, managers who are outstanding individual performers, but with a lack to motivate others or to delegate tasks to subordinates, rarely advance far up the organizational hierarchy because they will be blocked by low performances of a large number of subordinates.

Need for power: Since managers are primarily concerned with directing and influencing subordinates, they should be characterized by a high need for power. We could refer to the above chapter about leadership and power.

Capacity for empathy: The capacity for empathy is ”the ability to cope with the emotional reactions that inevitably occur when people work together in an organization” (Livingstone S. 1971). Managers who are perfectly capable to learn from their job experience, or who are able to apply management techniques successfully, often fail because their affinity with others is entirely intellectual or cognitive. They are emotionally blind. They are not capable to deal with the emotional reactions that are crucial in gaining the willing cooperation of subordinates. It is very difficult to teach people how to cope with human emotions.

So we could conclude that there should be a combination of inborn characteristics and acquired knowledge and experience to become an effective manager. There are people wit a higher needs for managing and power and having a bigger capacity for empathy than others. But these features are no guarantee for success. They should be combined with technical and conceptual skills acquired during management education and job experience.

But the effective manger is one, who is able to adapt his personality, skills, knowledge and relationships in such a way that it fits the demands of their specific situation.

3. Can we learn how to become an effective manager?

Last decades, many visions thought that we could learn how to become an effective manager. We could refer to the success of many institutions where MBA programs are offered. Many young high intelligent business men are taught how to become successful. Nevertheless the success of these business schools, there is a lack of correlation between scholastic standing and the success in business. Clearly, what a student learns about management in graduate school, does not equip him to build a successful career in business.

Реферат опубликован: 16/05/2006