Join Britt Andreatta for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring manager roles, part of Management Foundations (2013).
- As a manager, you'll play a few different roles. As I go through the five primary roles, think about how you play them over the course of your work week. The first is producer. You must produce the desired results and achieve the organization's goals through projects and tasks. Second is administrator. You must administer systems, policies, and procedures so that the organization runs efficiently. Third is innovator. In order to enact change that serves the organization's future, you'll need to be creative and innovate new ideas or solutions.
Fourth is mediator. Not only will you need to help our employees work through conflict, you'll also mediate any tensions between the employees' needs and the organization's. Fifth is culture builder. You must build a work environment and culture that values its members and supports the organization's goals. Each role requires different skill sets and you may be better at some than others. You want to play to your strengths and develop the areas in which you still need to grow. Also, think about how you can utilize the strengths of your people to balance you.
It also happens that these roles can actually be in conflict with each other. For example, administering a policy might actually limit innovation, or enacting change might threaten the current culture. Part of being a manager is knowing how to balance these roles, and also when to prioritize one over another. This can be confusing, because there's actually two primary perspectives to consider. One is the employees' perspective, which focuses on the experience of the people under the manager. This is the one we're all most familiar with, because we've all been under a manager at some point in our careers.
The other is the organization's perspective, which focuses on the effective completion of work that drives the organization's success. Every manager must find a way to live at the intersection of these two different and sometimes competing perspectives. Let's take a deeper look. I'm going to start with the organization's perspective, because it really does come first. Everyone is employed to help the organization accomplish its goals. It's also true that the organization's perspective is what has driven management style since the 1800s. The organization's perspective includes several key questions like, are the assigned projects and tasks completed? Does the work get completed on time and within the allotted budget? Is the level of work quality sufficient to accomplish the goals? Is the organization protected from lawsuits by compliance with state and federal laws and regulations? Does any innovation occur that enhances the organization's success? Does the manager hire and develop employees who make positive contributions to the organization over time? From this list it becomes obvious that from the organization's perspective, key management skills include project management, time management, resource management, communication, decision making, people skills, and performance management.
Now let's switch to the employees' perspective. The people who report to a manager have several key questions like, are my tasks and responsibilities made clear? Am I given the training, guidance, and resources to complete the tasks? Are my skill sets effectively used, and am I given opportunities to grow? Am I treated fairly and with respect? Can I see that my contributions make a difference, and are they measured accurately? Is my worth accurately assessed and valued? Is there a clear career path for me to advance and grow? From the employees' perspective, key management skills include communication, people skills, performance management, training and coaching, and fairness or ethics.
There is overlap. The employee interaction is in service of the organization's goals, and the organization provides meaningful work and fair compensation to the employee. To be a successful manager, you'll need to find a way to artfully navigate the inherent tensions and opportunities that live between the needs of your employees and the goals of your organization.
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- Choosing a management style
- Hiring employees
- Coaching employees
- Managing team performance
- Establishing trust
- Motivating and engaging others
- Delegating responsibilities
- Avoiding micromanagement
- Managing remote employees
- Knowing HR regulations<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.