Article: “I Thought I Knew What Good Management Was”
“I Thought I Knew What Good Management Was” examines the genesis of management skills acquired by the general manager of Westinghouse Synthetic Fuels Division W. Peace throughout his period of office. It looks closely at the issues that can occur when a manager is only focused on the company’s business objectives, neglecting the most valuable resource of the company – its employees and their perspective on what is going on within the institution. The title of the article perfectly exposes the content – W. Peace admits his mistakes made during the first years of leading SFD and he dwells on gaining more and more valuable knowledge about effective management in practice with time thanks to those mistakes.
Taking readers through the story of company’s development and his leadership there, the author of the article clearly states that there cannot be any efficient management unless a manager keeps balance between the general rapport at the workplace and applicable business model and processes in the company.
Explaining the dynamics of problems occurring and solutions for them found by the management, W.Peace tries to teach and interpret key principle of successful management in the company. As he states, commitment is one of the most important trait that a good manager should posses. Being committed to the firm does not only mean believing in its business plan and achieving business goals, it also presupposes having strong attachment to people who make this company tick, people who work there. Literally saying, one should see the business as their child and care for everything that is connected with it.
One more important principle of good management is the ability to learn and change if needed. As the author claims, people tend to perceive only their own point of view, whilst a professional manager is required to understand other workers’ opinions and try to get into the essence of their perception as well.
First of all, as it was previously stated, full commitment to the company as a whole is required – a manager should not just concentrate his attention on the commercial success and profits. Very often a leader should look closer to his or her personality and even try changing some aspects of it if needed.
Secondly, W. Peace mentions what he has learned from the lessons that dealt with trust, perceptions and communications. Managers should profoundly analyze how their decisions can be perceived by other. Staying in touch with the rest of workers is quite hard task to accomplish, but when a manager does, he or she has much more chances to understand general atmosphere in the company and employees’ perception of the decisions managers make. Moreover, once a manager get along with the staff on all communication and business levels, trust will be built immediately. The latter is described as ‘love in marriage’ – with it people become one unit and, thus, effective.
Furthermore, the quintessential idea of the article is that a manger should not be selfish. This includes not being focused too much on their own goals and themselves in general. Likewise, employees should not be treated like children – managers often make a common mistake deciding what is good for workers without actual participation of the latter in discussion of the decision. Manager should learn how to hear employees.
The relevance of this article is that it teaches managers the basis of being an effective leader in the company and ability to acquire as many useful skills from troubles occurring at the workplace as possible. The article also provides a good insight into interpersonal relationship in a group managed by a leader. Although a leader is the only one who makes a final decision, he should previously investigate its perception by other participants of the company’s life and gain as much trust as possible, because it will definitely lead to consistent decision-making and, thus, to success.
A real story of one real company is more than didactic – I strongly believe that people are more prone to believing and absorbing knowledge when they are given real facts and practice cases, not just theory. SFG is a perfect example of a company which achieved great success specifically thanks to its leader – William H. Peace. Despite the fact that many problems occurred in the beginning of his career, he got around to examine and change his managing style as well as his personality in order to correct the flaws in the business process that took part at SFD.