Posted by: bkivey | 10 March 2010

The Four Rules of Management

Today is a bonus day, because I am going to share useful management advice that you won’t learn in business school. I know this because I had several professors write this down: I hope to impart to future classes. .

These are the Four Rules of Management; if you follow these rules you will be able to deal with pretty much any situation you may come across in a supervisory capacity. Rules 1, 2, and 4 were told to me by my father when I opened my first business; Rule 3 I figured out on my own.

Rule 1:   Ask Questions First

Sounds simple, but not everyone practices it. As someone once said “No one ever learned anything with their mouth open.” The point is to get information relevant to the situation at hand without suffering ‘paralysis by analysis’. Listen. Think. Act.

Rule 2:   A Manager Carries Water

You are there to support your staff, not the other way around. Remember, your job depends on how well your staff is able to do their job.

Rule 3:   People Work to Expectations

In my experience, the vast majority of people want to do a good job, and  they want to do a good job for people that expect a good job. Setting standards a little higher than the norm and setting them the same for everyone gives people a goal and promotes a sense of unity on the team. If you don’t expect much, you’re not going to get much; but if you expect a lot without being unrealistic, people will amaze you.

Rule 4:   You Volunteered

This one may be a little hard to remember when everything on the back burner is boiling over at once, or you get that phone call in the middle of the night. The fact is that there isn’t a job in this country that someone is forced to do. If you find yourself disliking your job so much that you start blaming others for your circumstances, it’s probably time to rethink your choices.


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