Book Report: Management By Brian Tracy
Management is what defines the author, Brian Tracy’s career. After starting, building, and managing a company for over 30 years, he has concluded that there are no fixed answers. There are no answers that are perfect and precise all the time. The journey to managerial success is filled with never-ending learning and practice. Even for a person such as Tracy, no matter how long he has been in a managerial position, he is learning new things every day. That’s the beauty of practising a certain method over and over again, and after all of it, you will get better at it.
A manager is someone who works together with others or through others to accomplish a goal. So essentially, he is someone who does the right things right. On the other hand, an excellent manager is someone who can achieve the best result by being the best version of himself while releasing that potential on others so that together they can make a massive rather than average contribution to the company. The strength of the organization is measured by the capability and success of its manager at all levels. Their actions and methods are key determinants of corporate success. In my book report, I will be talking about a few concepts that I take away from reading this book.
A vital function of a successful manager is his or her ability to delegate effectively. Tracy defines delegation as “an essential skill that allows you to move from what you can do to what you can control (p.34).” When a manager starts delegating jobs, his influence in business will be multiplied by unlocking and using the full potential of his coworkers.
The first step to job delegation is to develop absolute clarity about every aspect of the task on hand. The next and most important part is finding the right person to complete the job. The crucial part is to carefully match the task to the skills of the employee. It is the manager’s job to make sure that this employee can do the job. He also has to make sure that this person has the required skills and experience to accomplish this task excellently. The quality of the result will highly depend on his choice of employment, and that also affects the determination of whether the task was a success or failure. When a manager delegates the job, he needs to explain his expectation of the results and why he wants those results. Tracy explained that people tend to prioritize the “why” more than the “how”. He went further saying that if people know why the manager wants it done that way, it gives them greater flexibility in making decisions whether they choose to accept the job or not. The next thing Tracy emphasized in his book is that when a task is delegated verbally with nothing in writing, the chances of miscommunication increases. By the time the employee leaves the office and returns to their desk, they had forgotten half of what was assigned to them. So the best way to avoid situations like that is to have the employees write down the assignment as you’re talking about it, and then have them read it back to you. One thing a manager should always keep in mind is to avoid interfering as an employee is working on it. Managers should resist the temptation to look over their employee’s shoulders, offer ideas, and make comments on how the employee can do the job better. As he is delegating the job, he should express complete confidence in the employee’s ability to get the job done as expected. Finally, managers should schedule regular meetings to review the employee’s progress. During a regular meeting like this, it gives the manager a chance to stay on top of things. One major reason for meetings like this is to get feedback on how well people are doing with their assignments and how the person is is progressing through it. Sometimes, a manager may overlook his employee’s capabilities by assigning a job beyond what he can do. The employee still wants to get eh job done, but maybe unsure how to go about it. If that ever happens, the manager may give them additional resources or break the job into smaller parts and assign a partner and have them complete it together.
I’m glad I got a chance to read this chapter because I will need this skill as I advance into my career as a registered dietitian. A registered dietitian is not a one-person job. It is a team of dietitians working together in a department with other medical professions from different medical disciplines. Hence, proper task delegation is extremely crucial to make sure that I can get my point across and to prevent any misunderstandings.
Being a manager also requires you to become a role model for your employees. All managers should strive to become the person others look up to and want to be like. An excellent manager knows that he is constantly being observed by his employees and that behaviour depends on the standard their leader sets. He should keep in mind that his employees will work the way he does. For example, if I am a kitchen manager and I want my kitchen staff to come to work on time, I have to have a point to be punctual myself. If I want them to dress appropriately when they come into work, I must dress appropriately as well. If I want my staff to prioritize their task better, I must be able to do then same. Over time, my staff will mirror my attitudes, values, opinions, behaviours, and the habits that I demonstrate. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “ Every company is merely the lengthen shadow of one man.” A manager can never expect to be any different or better than the person he is.
Lastly, a manager can no longer except to be “part of the gang” as he was if he was an employee. His primary role is no longer to his coworkers but rather to his higher commands. He is expected to set the rules and standard for everyone that reports to him. An exercise that Tracy suggested is to make a list fall the ideal work habits and behaviour of an employee. Then pick the ones you can see yourself keeping and practice them as you interact with others. For example, if I want my kitchen staff to treat each other with kindness and respect, I should treat my coworkers with kindness and respect too. Bottom line is, if a manager wants his employees to have good work habits, it should start with himself first. Becoming a role model that everyone admires is not an easy task, but it is one of the most vital contributions you can ever make as a manager.
In a nutshell, I agree with Tracy when he said that “successful managers are made not born. They are self-made, through continuous and never-ending work on themselves (p98).” This is true, most managers started from the bottom, as a mere employee, and works his way up through continuous hard work, diligence, discipline, and determination. One of the many ways that I can be a successful manager is to follow the footsteps of other successful managers. This way, I can be a role model for others.
- Tracy B. Management (The Brian Tracy Success Library).; 2014.