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The Essence of Management
"Management" is an umbrella that covers a host of activities: leadership, working through others, planning, organizing, communicating, controlling, and making decisions, to name a few. How can you grasp all of these things? Fortunately, you don't have to.
The basis of effective management tactics activity is to keep control of a situation without enough information, assets, or power to justify that control. That, as it happens, is also the essence of management.
In some ways management needs no introduction. Most of us do it one way or another every day-in families, social groups, clubs, and businesses. Management is universal; it exists whenever two or more people try to do something together. You may not notice this, however, because only mismanagement makes headlines. Planes arrive late, companies go bankrupt, orders are lost, and the Pentagon pays defense contractors several hundred dollars for parts that cost a few bucks Wal-Mart because management has somehow failed.
People become managers by several routes. Those who work for family-owned firms inherit the job. Others may have worked their way up the organization or married the boss's son or daughter. Be especially suspicious of people who declare that they're "born managers," however. They can be identified by their total ignorance of management and their supreme confidence that their every decision is right. But how can you masquerade as a real manager? Very easily, as it often turns out. Few managers really take the time to clarify or analyze their objectives, actions, and motives for what they do. If you, on the other hand, spend even a fragment of your work day thinking about what you're actually doing, you can rise above the rest of the pack. Especially if you maintain steady eye contact, dress neatly, and act sincere. In the words of George Burns, "Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you've got it made."