M. Shafiq - Associate
Asian ManagementInstitute - Iqra
Apr 03 - 09, 2000
Millions of men and women working in business organizations,
industries, government offices and defence establishments around the world fit the
definition of 'manager'. They are all trying to accomplish organizational goals working
with and through people. Their already demanding jobs are becoming more complex with the
onslaught of globalization, IT revolution and quality concerns. Operating at initial,
middle or senior management levels, they succeed or fail in their endeavours depending on
their managerial effectiveness. Through the quality of this effectiveness, they massively
impact their regional economies and quality of life.
The mystique of managerial effectiveness never seems to diminish. Over
the years it has consistently attracted the intellectual prowess of more and more
management practitioners, thinkers, trainers and writers. The attraction basically stems
from the importance, scope and complexity of management in general and managerial
effectiveness in particular.
Effectiveness denotes having a definite and desired effect. In the
managerial context, it would mean timely achievement of goals. However, the two allied
considerations are the efficient deployment of resources and the degree of satisfaction of
all those involved. An effective manager is, therefore, one who achieves his goals in time
with optimum utilization of resources and maximum generation of motivation and job
Managerial effectiveness is a multi-dimensional concept. A number of
factors impinge upon and shape it. These can be broadly divided into organizational
conditions and individual manager's competencies based on attitude, skills and behaviour.
Organizational culture is the product of its mission, vision, values and management
philosophy. To a large extent, it determines and promotes a distinct style of management.
Democratic and supportive organizational cultures generally help to increase the
effectiveness of managers. The manager's personal knowledge of management, which goes
beyond the management functions of planning, organizing, activating and controlling, forms
an essential core of competencies.
It is absolutely essential that these select abilities, which are
organizational, attitudinal and skill based, be focused for enhancing individual manager's
potency. A judicious selection of these core competencies and mastering their application
are the sine quo non of effectiveness. Following is a select set of core competencies,
which are considered highly relevant for enhancing managerial effectiveness.
To start with, a manager has to have a clear perspective of his job.
Why is the manager doing what he/she is doing? How does the job relate to the overall
mission of the division, department and that of his organization? What is the significance
and importance of the managers' functions and his/her contribution to the overall process
chain, operating to produce various goods and services. Who are the managers' internal and
external customers? Examining the job from this perspective can enable a manager to pace,
realign and improve his priorities and contribution to the achievement of organizational
Work process refers to the incremental progression of work under the
manager's control. A detailed knowledge of the inter-linking and synchronization of
various tasks and sub-processes gives an edge to the manager by enhancing his/her
appreciation of critical stages of various activities and determination of logical control
points. It also enables the manager to assign priorities, allocate optimum resources and
arrange efficient logistics, as well as, anticipate diffficulties. Finally, the manager is
in a position to improve productivity and quality by simplifying and improving the work
process on a continuous basis.
Effective managers are essentially good communicators. However, even
skiful communicators need to pay special attention to the art of giving directions. The
important point in this regard is to convey the directions in a language and manner that,
is understood by the directee exactly in the way the manager wishes them to be carried
out. Any flaw in issuance or understanding of directions has the ominous potential of a
colossal waste of resources, including the most precious one i.e. time. In addition it can
create confusion, conflict and criticism. The manager should, therefore, take utmost care
and ensure elimination of any misunderstanding. Every time directions are issued the
manager should ask the directee as to what has been understood. This simple step is an
almost foolproof way of ensuring clear communication of directions.
Another core competency, which can substantially contribute to the
effectiveness of managers, is delegation of authority and work to subordinates. Many a
managers do not delegate work because of the unfounded fear that the subordinates might
mess it up. This fear must be overcome. A manager has to identify and use the strength of
his subordinates through controlled delegation of workload. Appropriate use of delegation
relieves the manager of a lot of mundane workload and at the same time, helps in training
and developing the skills of the subordinates.
Attitude towards subordinates
Manager is a leader. He/she has to help and support the subordinates in
realization of their potential. An attitude of a friend, philosopher and guide laced with
compassion and human touch can go a long way in welding a motivated and loyal team. An
effective manager always treats his subordinates with respect and dignity.
To be successful, a manager has to be proactive. This involves
visualization of possible hurdles in the attainment of goals. These hurdles can be of
different nature; for example, these may be problems of resource shortages, human
conflicts, delayed approvals and unexpected changes in policies. A proactive manager
anticipates such difficulties and events and has his workable contingency plan ready to
rollout, when required. A reactive manager only confirms his/her ineffectiveness in such
Since managers get things done through other people, it is essential
for them to excel in people's skills. It must be realized that the utilization of these
skills is not to be limited to subordinates and peers only. Rather, these must be applied
equally on the boss. After all, irrespective of the reality on the ground, it is the boss
of the manager who evaluates, judges and pronounces the manager's effectiveness. It is,
therefore, of utmost importance for the manager to cultivate the boss by understanding his
approach, style and motives. Since managers do not choose their bosses, sometimes a
manager may get stuck with a boss with a negative attitude or a hidden agenda. Even in
such a catch, the best option is to discuss the problem with the boss openly and alleviate
The core competencies presented above, which encompass both the
manager's quality of work and his/her successful handling of people, form an indomitable
framework for managerial effectiveness. Finally, it must be appreciated that managerial
effectiveness is a dynamic proposition and essentially entails one's ability and
resilience to continuously learn and adapt to change.