Business managers have three skills to learn:
- How to find things. For example, they can find a good location for a shopping center: there are lots of customers near there, the rents are cheap, and there are plenty of empty buildings.
- How to deal with other people. For example, finding the right online employee management software to guide them in decision making.
- How to deal with change. For example, they can anticipate likely changes in their market, respond to those changes, and make money from them. But it is difficult to predict which changes will happen, and when.
What you need to know
You may be thinking, “I want to become a manager, so why should I care about what smart managers do?” Well, becoming a manager is risky. And being smart—being as smart as the most successful managers—is the best insurance against being riskily wrong. There are two ways to become a good manager. The first is to learn by imitation. The second way is to engineer your own path.
The engineering path is exemplified by Steve Jobs. The engineering path begins with the recognition that every manager is his own worst enemy. Steve Jobs might have found a better engineer, but being an engineer himself, he knew that was impossible. Instead, he invented his own management style: management by shooting.
The engineering path begins by identifying the obstacles in the way. This often means asking a question like “Whose job is it?” and realizing that the answer is “Yours.” And then, armed with that answer, the engineer must ask “How am I going to do this?” And the question is hard to answer, because the answer depends on problems you can’t solve. The best strategy is to start by coming up with some vague ideas, and then to try to develop them a little at a time. This attitude is called “Doing Nothing.” It is also called “developing a framework.”
Then, when the framework is ready, it’s time to build something small. But be careful. Don’t start too big. If you start too big, you will fail. Steve Jobs was famous for saying “Appreciate the failing faster,” but what he said was “Appreciate the fast failing.” The faster failing is the failing you can recognize sooner.
The world is full of people who are really good at something and terrible at everything else. They are often tempted to spend all their time doing their thing and neglect everything else. Some do this because they love it, some because they fear they will lose it, and others both. The result is always the same: they achieve some measure of success with the thing that they are good at, but at the cost of not being good at anything else.
Successful managers are good at everything. They have to be. They manage a whole company, and their success depends on managing the company well. And their manager’s job is to make sure that everything that is done is right. When things are done right, management is easier than when they aren’t. When they are not, it is easy. And management requires overseeing the work of many people, and those people depend on their manager’s understanding of many subjects.
Make smart decisions in business
Let’s start with the basics. A business manager needs to be able to make smart business decisions quickly. They need to know how to find customers, how to find locations, and how to find landlords that will rent them space. These are simple skills that can be learned by anyone. Management is not hard, it just requires common sense and experience. The best way to make the right decisions in all projects is to use online project management software for business and get your team to work towards common goals.