How to Think like a Manager

I remembering my struggle as a new manager. I knew I had personal strengths in generating ideas, analyzing and solving problems, and producing results; but not the skills to manage others to get the work done. I was hesitant to ask my peers since they all seemed to know what they were supposed to do, and I felt I should know already (I found at later that this was not true); so I consulted past managers/mentors and read, read and read more books and articles (internet and google was not yet invented!).

A more recent book I have read is Think Like a Manager written by Roger Fritz.  Written in 2006 it would have been a great help when I started. Passing away in March 2011, Fritz was noted to be a prolific author of over 63 books on management development which were distributed and translated in 38 countries and languages.

This book contains a Self Study Test for Managers that helps the manager do a self-evaluation and develop their own learning plan.  It includes sections on the role of manager: management style, planning, information and communication, time management, and delegation. Even the apparently simple question, “Do I have a clear understanding of my role in the organization” may not be simple for the new manager.

A self-rated score is produced that places you in a range in each of the management functions:

  • Strong Area – build on it
  • Acceptable but could be improved
  • Weak area – face up to it
  • Expect trouble if not improved soon

Subsequent chapters focus on the areas of developing people, getting work done and handling tough situations. Each chapter uses a similar approach to building self- awareness and providing suggestions and exercises on how to improve in each respective area.