Pick up any book, read articles or browse the web for some insights into the role of a manager and chances are you will find a whole range of differing views.
At it’s very simplest the role of the manager is to get things done and ensure that the objectives or targets set by the leaders are achieved.
However in my experience the manager does not just have one role, they have several roles.
A big part of a managers’ role is in day to day planning. This includes things like determining the relative priorities from the mass of things that need doing. Allocating work to the best person for the task in hand. Making sure that you are making the best use of all the resources that you have at your disposal. Trying to avoid the situation where the hardest workers end up doing a disproportionate share of the work.
When you are managing a team or a project or processes things are not always going to be going perfectly so chances are you will find yourself having to deal with quite a few problems along the way. It can be frustrating at times but try to view it in a positive way as clearing the blocks so that you can achieve better results.
Often you will find that there are conflicts or competing demands which will necessitate you taking decisions. There will also be decisions between alternative courses of action that people will look to you to take.
Sometimes your boss (or leader) may well be asking for things that are going to be difficult to achieve and you may well find that you have to act as the intermediary between your boss and your staff.
To get things done you need to create a balance between getting things done and keeping people motivated. Part of your success is in knowing your people and what makes them tick.
As a manager you need to manage yourself and not fall into the trap of trying to do it all by yourself because it appears easier. You need to delegate if you are not going to get overloaded, stressed and burnt out.
The final thing I want to mention the importance of making best use of your time. I can recall the days when people said that technology would revolutionise everything and make us all more efficient. I think that the reality is that it has just created an additional layer of pressure. The reality is that time is your ultimate limiting factor. You have 24 hours in a day and it is how you choose to invest that time that makes the difference.
The Bottom Line: Being a manager is challenging and rewarding. At the same time it is important to remember that in reality to be a successful manager you need to master a range of areas not just one.
Duncan Brodie helps professional people to become highly effective managers. He invites you to sign up for his free management mastery e-course
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.