How To Decide Upon My Management Priorities

There is just too much to do – this applies to all aspects of life but is especially true of the manager’s role. You cannot (and should not) do everything and therefore you must make some decisions on what to action and what to leave.

This is NOT about just writing endless lists of tasks and crossing them off, adding more, ignoring some and just wasting time in the process.

A better way is to ask two important but connected questions.

  1. Who is in the position to do me the most harm?

This is a basic model that identifies damage limitation: the value of doing this is all in seeing who will or may create the most pain or difficulty for you and putting their name(s) on the top of that list and giving them the most time need attention that you can.

  1. Who can help me the most?

Again, make the list and allocate time and attention accordingly. Set out your approach so that the selection reflects actual performance expected of you rather than blatant career-progressing networking!

In both cases above it is not necessarily the person at the top of the organisation that is important here; the view that senior managers may have of you is very important but it is often more important to know whose word they take as being important when forming their opinions of you.

Identifying the wrong person is a real danger here. Always remember that there are many people who can, and do, inflict damage on you, not all of which are senior to you!

There are many people who act as “gatekeepers” who will control and restrict key pieces of information across the organisation – they need to be on your list too, as do those who run important and influential informal information and communication systems!

Good Luck!

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