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productive management tips
Thought Leadership

Top Tips for Effective Management

When it comes to effective management which one of the following combinations is the most important: 

– Vision/Foresight 

– Innovation/Development

– Communication/Counseling

– Strategy/Execution

If I told you that most business professionals opted in for strategy and execution would it surprise you? More than 50% of the people we asked to pick one of the options, decided to opt in for strategy and execution. The second most likely choice was communication and counseling.

Whether “manager" is part of your job title or not, some form of management certainly is. After all, you are accountable for your portion of work, and that includes the way you show up to interactions with other people. 

It’s the group that you work with that makes ideas and efforts a reality. For a business owner, your employees are vital because they make your vision a reality. Therefore, effective leadership is a two-way street. To keep that “street" open, your job is to make sure they can do their jobs aligned to mission and values.

Quick check-in: are you providing employees with the environment and tools they need to remain productive? 

What we prioritize is what we value. Overlooking the impact that clear communication and established frameworks offer can present obstacles to achieving your goals.

Even though there are many ways to become (and remain) efficient at management, you can assess how efficient and resilient your company is right now:

  1. How often do I have open communication with my employees? Do I engage in active listening? What is the level of trust? 
  2. Am I setting a good example to lead by, and how does this relate to my decision-making, time management, and delegating skills?
  3. What are my weaknesses, and which of my strengths can I utilize to help me move forward?

Red Direction tapped ten business leaders to share their top tips for effective management

" ‘Effective’ for me, and my clients, remains doing the vital things and ignoring the trivial. ‘Vital’ has changed over these last six months with COVID forcing some emergency planning and actions to the fore, but we’re getting back to where the vital elements of the business include: vision, mission, goals, strategy, and execution with accountability."  Jerry Comer, Owner, Comer & Associates, LLC

“Effective management in my world means ‘enabling’ growth and productivity. Both for us, the client, and the employees. Any activity that doesn’t support those goals is at best a distraction, at worst wasted effort, time and money." – Mark Searls, Owner / President, TeamLogic IT of Lafayette, CO

“Despite the challenges that many early-stage entrepreneurs are facing, I’ve noticed that those who are willing to get curious about and take action on the opportunities our current situation presents seem to be doing well. Especially when they’re renewing focus on their mission and looking for new ways to accomplish it despite the challenges that all of us are facing – meaning that they’re changing the definition of “effective" from details to strategy." – Stephanie Sims, Founder of Finance-Ability


“The search to achieve effective management has long been a lost crusade for many. Truly effective management has had to change as a result of the pandemic. We all realized there were issues in management before the pandemic but while some in management stepped up in their response, many accentuated the already existing issues and highlighted their individual ineptitude(s) (The Peter Principle). And not only did their businesses suffer but so did the many employees already under the pressures – worrying about their health and those of family members. Unfortunately, the prevalent ‘me first’ and ‘all about me’ attitude has caused more pain for so many others. To survive, management in many businesses MUST change, if they are going to survive." – Mark Carruthers, Principal & Senior Consultant, Avgi Management Consulting

“When it comes to effective management: vision, innovation, communication, strategy, execution … all are important, depending upon what are the specific business needs at that time … what to build first." – Holden Bank, Principal, Chief Legal Officer, Inside/Out Advisors, LLC

“So many people set aside successful marketing plans to jump over and handle immediate changes and shifts. They need to get back to what was working well and find a balance to reactive response reinvention, and adjustments to what was working. Those that do are still succeeding, although it looks so different for them than it did 8 months ago. That has enabled them to let go of old ways of doing things but still, stay on track." Susan Finch, President and Senior Producer, Funnel Media Group

“For a startup, vision/foresight would be super high on the list. If you’re inheriting a dysfunctional team, communication/counseling is key. Managing a group of high performers that already work well together? Then you can focus mostly on strategy/execution. Having said all of that, I think there’s a universal truth: no matter the situation, you CAN’T prioritize all of these. Maintain proficiency in all of them, but only prioritize a couple." Ryan Smith, Founder, Principal at Public Good Talent 

“It is bold to say, ‘Look, this is what we’re going to do. And, we’re going to do it in this amount of time.’ To say: ‘We’re going to do six units of productivity today, we’re not going to try to do seventeen.’ “- Kris Ward, Author, Win the Hour. Win the Day

“You don’t always have evidence to make the decisions you need to make, but if you have the right people with you and you make decisions collaboratively – you’re going to do the best you can." – Eric Brotman, CEO BFG Financial Advisors

“Use active listening. That is listening with your ears, with your eyes, your intuition, your emotion, your intellect – everything you’ve got." – Charles Rose, Executive Coach, Charles Rose Executive Coaching

“Nothing gets done without execution. It is up to you to ensure work continues to get done and your company continues to thrive through new and different difficult situations." – Jess Dewell, Red Direction, Operations and Strategy

As additional reading material, I suggest the following articles:

7 Strategies for Improving Your Management Communication Skills – by By Robert Half 

6 Tips to Improve Manager Effectiveness at Your Company – by Julian Lute

Motivating Employees is Essential to Successful Management – University of Notre Dame

Still feel like you need a bit of help with some business direction on this topic? Then ACT to Plan by contacting me for a 30-Minute Unstuck Quick Consult. We’ll discuss your aims, where you are, and where you should be to move deliberately toward your team-building goals!

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