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Beneficial Managerial Leading In The Philippine Setting – Part 2

Managerial Checklist For Satisfying Employee Goals

Many times management has problems in getting employees to accept company and departmental goals. The reason this problem occurs is that management goals are not necessarily employee goals - unless they ARE made employee goals. Employees have their eyes trained on what the job offers them as individuals. Management looks ahead to making a reasonable profit which is essential if it is to create jobs in the first place.

The challenge to all levels of management is to make it possible for employees to select and achieve their own objectives while, at the same time, reaching company goals.

Surveys have identified the following ten goals of employees. Here is a checklist which can help a manager assess how well he is satisfying each of these goals:

1. Full Appreciation of Work Done.

Do you always make sure that full recognition and credit is given to an employee for his ideas and suggestions?

OR

Do you give credit only when failure to do so will be noticed by the deserving employee and others?

2. Feeling “In” on Things.

Do you share information on such matters as: a) Facts about new machines and processes? b) Company plans for expansion? c) Performance records? d) Methods changes? e) Customer complaints and compliments?

OR

Do you play it close to your chest and consider everything “confidential”?

3. Sympathetic Help on Personal Problems.

Is your contact with individual employees so close that you know enough of each man's personal situation to have sympathetic appreciation for his problems and can offer advice?

OR

Do you feel that personal problems should be checked at the entrance when a man comes to work?

4. Job Security.

Have you given consideration to what the next step should be in the advancement of each of your employees?

OR

Do you consider people's future prospects only if they come to you expressing concern for their job security?

5. Good Wages.

Do you try to get for each employee as high a wage rate as his ability deserves, according to your company wage scale; and do you train and coach people so they can improve?

OR

Do you feel wages are the province of the personnel department?

6. Work that Keeps Me Interested.

Do you: a) structure jobs with interest and challenge? b) select and place people in accordance with their talents and vocational interests? c) give men a sense of purpose and accomplishment? d) build a spirit of “proprietorship” or “job ownership”?

OR

Do you feel that as long as a man gets paid it should not matter to him what kind of work he is asked to do?

7. Promotion and Growth in Company.

Is it your regular practice to seek opportunities to promote deserving employees without waiting for them to request such consideration?

OR

When you get a good man on a job, do you try to hold him there rather than take the time training a new man to make his promotion possible?

8. Personal Loyalty.

Are you always ready to defend a subordinate, even though blame for the mistake may fall on you?

OR

Do you ever let a subordinate take the blame for your mistakes?

9. Good Working Conditions.

Are you constantly seeking every practicable opportunity to improve working conditions?

OR

Do you take the attitude that, if a man has steady work with good pay, working conditions on the job need not concern you particularly?

10. Tactful Disciplining.

When it is necessary to discipline a man, do you always wait till you “cool off” and talk to him privately?

OR

Do you sometimes lose your temper and call down a man in front of others?

Group Attitudes

Once communication gets started, people begin to realize how much they have in common. Communication breeds community. The experience of having made a successful investment in the group makes the members eager to invest still more and to commit themselves to the group and its goals still more deeply.

Furthermore, the experience of community, as bracing as fresh air, makes people desire to communicate this experience to other organizations to which they belong. They reflect on past experience with various organizations, some of which may have started with a bang and then collapsed after two or three meetings. Other organizations may continue existing in a state bordering on death, kept alive by continuous injections from a handful of “leaders.”

This desire to communicate their community experience to their other organizations makes the members reflect on such questions as these: How can individuals become a group? What makes groups fall apart? How can individuals work together when they have different individual goals? By reflecting on their experience in the self-discovery group, they may find some answers to these questions.

Teamwork

Five men playing on a basketball court as individual starters will surely lose to five equal men playing as a team. A team is more than five individuals. What is this “more”?

Five men are not a team just because they happen to be playing on the same side simultaneously. A team “becomes.” If once upon a time there were only five men, now they are a team. What has been added?

One might come up with an answer in a simple formula: Team = individuals + group attitudes + group skills

“Group attitudes” means the realization that there are five men working together for one identical goal which cannot be reached by a number less than five. “Group skills” means mastery of the techniques by which the individuals can work together as a team. Without techniques, attitudes become mere novelties. Without group attitudes and techniques, there will only be individuals but no team.

Groups as Teams

When we speak of groups we mean teams because a true group is made up of several individuals acting together for an identical purpose. Groups “become” because it usually takes time for individuals to acquire the specific attitudes and skills for working together. Once acquired, such attitudes and skills make it possible for an individual to enter into other groups more rapidly and easily.

According to the identical purpose that group members have, a group is either task-oriented or member-oriented, or a varying combination of both. The task-oriented group, like the basketball team, has a job to do, whether it be to pile up points, or to pass legislation, or to defend a country against invasion. The member-oriented group may enjoy each other's company, whether it be at the seashore, or in a sewing circle, or in a movie balcony. In any case, it is the identical purpose which brings a group together and makes it the kind of group that it is.

While individual members are sure to have other purposes besides the group purpose, group effectiveness will depend on their commitment to the group purpose and their willingness to subordinate their individual purpose to the group’s. For instance, where individual congressmen are more interested in gaining popularity and prestige back home than in passing badly needed legislation, the group effectiveness drops proportionally and the techniques of Robert's Rules of Order become mere rituals.

What keeps members from acquiring a group attitude? The question is crucial.

The Acquisition of Group Attitudes

One of Freud's great contributions to modern thought is his discovery of the “defense system.” These are emotional blocks which prevent a person from perceiving some faults which might be alien to his total “work view.” Accordingly, lectures and exhortations to commit oneself to a group goal are useless as long as the defensive block remains unnoticed inside the self. A more effective strategy would be to work on the block first so as to free the person to perceive the relevance and importance of the group goal.

The relationship between self-confrontation and group endeavor thus becomes clearer. For instance, the first step of the filibustering congressman is to admit to himself the fact that his individual goals prevent him from working for the group goal. To do so in public would harm even his individual goals. Accordingly, even in private it becomes difficult to “report” the real events going on inside him. But unless he is placed in some circumstances that will force him to face himself, he will not change and he simply will remain unable to work for the group goal.

Group Attitudes in Self-Discovery Groups (SDG)

Self-confrontation and communication, therefore, are major steps toward the acquisition of group attitudes. To bring this fact home to participants in SDGs, a discussion of the following questions becomes imperative:

1. What was our group purpose? What is it now?

2. What were my real purposes in coming to this seminar?

3. What form bf behavior was expected of group members who were really committed to the group purpose?

The fruits of this discussion should be a clarification of the meaning of “membership” as well as a commitment of individual members to the group goal. There should be a realization that the member is one of several but he has real power to help bring the group to its goal.

Clearly, no one should confuse statements of commitment to group goal with the real commitment itself. Commitment is a process that moves in a spiral. What one hopes to do at an individual meeting is to set the spiral moving. As individual humility, self-confidence, and commitment grow, so does the group.

Group Process

After individuals have spent several hours in earnest communication with one another, they begin to feel as if they had known each other all their lives. Suspicions drop away. Communications suddenly increase in depth and in quantity. Agreement comes more naturally and spontaneously. The members realize that they have come a long way toward becoming a “group.” It is at this point that they now reflect on their own experience in order to obtain more understanding of group process and answer the question, “How do members acquire a group attitude?”

They might now realize the meaning of the saying “A group becomes.” Like a tree, a group is the result of a process of growth. The mere fact that a number of individuals have written a constitution and have elected officers does not mean that they are now a group. To become a group there is a need for much communication, a sharing of ideas as well as of experience. To communicate there is a need for removing the block to communication, a need to acknowledge hostilities and distrust that members have towards each other. To get rid of these hostilities and this distrust, there is a need for some initial communication of real feelings. In other words, ascending spiral systems have to be set up in order that a group may grow. Continued interactions between individual and group must be structured in order that the spirals keep on moving.

Stages in Group Process

If they look back the way they have come, they might pick out the various stages that they had to go through in order to become a group. Various groups may pick out different stages, but generally speaking most groups pass through the following:

1. First Acquaintance. At this stage the air is filled with smiles; at times strained, at other times seemingly self-confident. People carefully keep others at a psychological distance, measuring each other.

2. Agreement on Surface Agenda. Goals are set up in words that everyone can agree on. There is a sense of optimism: “We have a fine group.” Few, if any, speak out their real minds.

3. Confrontation. People begin to drop their masks, begin to speak out their real feelings about each other. Hostilities emerge, causing much anxiety not only among the warring parties but also among the bystanders. Some think of quitting the group.

4. Frustration. People discover that they are not getting what they originally wanted or thought they wanted. Individual goals begin to emerge which seem contradictory to one another. Dissatisfaction with the leadership is voiced.

5. Mutual Acceptance. People realize that they are different from each other and begin to accept their differences. Conflicts are reconciled and creative solutions are reached to solve disagreements. The leadership begins to be appreciated.

6. Commitment. People begin to identify strongly with the group. There is a feeling of unity and a sense of power in that unity. The “group attitude” has come.

These are the stages that most groups go through. The third and fourth stages are so painful that some members refuse to go through these stages, preferring the line of defensiveness and of seeming security. Such members rarely reach the stage of genuine commitment because the hostility that they refuse to acknowledge within themselves will ultimately express itself, either by withdrawal from the group, by passivity, by heel-dragging, or by some other nonviolent way. Differences must be aired and accepted before they can be creatively reconciled. Thus “charitable” people who are terribly afraid to face their own and other's hostility rarely make good team members.

Commitment

Membership commitment is the inner dimension of group growth which many people fail to see. When the statement is made that “the group is growing,” the usual meaning attached to such a statement is that the group is growing in numbers. As long as such an attitude persists people will be more concerned about “How many members does a group have? ” “How many people attended a meeting?” Some groups are more interested in taking attendance than in asking how committed the members are to one identical goal. And yet it is the inner dimension of growth that is really more important since it is only by the acquisition of an ever-deepening commitment to a group goal that a group “becomes.”

How A Managerial Leader Solves Problems And Makes Decisions For Effective Management

A managerial leader must lead and decide. A certain amount of speed and decisiveness is found in the makeup of every managerial leader. A leader must be ahead of those who are following him. He must be alert, charting the course ahead, and able to decide quickly the right course of action when problems come up. This requires a degree of mental toughness and courage. A leader with this type of decisiveness and courage will bounce back from defeat or adversity. Even though his course of action may sometimes be unpopular, he will have the spiritual and mental resources to see it through and he will not be deterred by criticism or adversity.

Decision-making is the work a managerial leader performs to arrive at the conclusions and judgments necessary for people to act. It is making judgment about a course of action to be taken.

There are two types of decisions: 1) spontaneous decisions which are based on prior actions, with little effort to determine facts, and 2) rational decisions which are based on a logical analysis of a problem.

Techniques of Decision Making

There are several techniques which can help a leader in his task of decision-making and problem-solving. They are the following:

1. Identify the right problems.

2. Get facts and opinions.

3. State the real problem.

4. Consider alternatives.

5. Select the best solution.

6. Sell the solution.

7. Implement the solution and follow up.

A leader must use a decision-making method that fits his problem and must define the suitable problem-solving method. A managerial leader's job is to be effective and effectiveness can be learned. However, a leader's effectiveness is related directly to the quality of his decisions. His work in planning, organizing, leading, and controlling is based on decisions. The efforts of his subordinates are predetermined and guided by the decisions he makes.

Problem solving is a process that follows a logical sequence. The process begins with identifying the problem, continues with an analysis to find the cause, and concludes with a decision-making.

Decisions may not be always right but if situations are carefully analyzed, the probability will be that the one made is the best available answer.

The promising places a decision maker might look for trouble are the following:

- People: motivation and attitudes, skills and abilities, performance and productivity, development and growth, health and safety.

- Organization: relationship among units, functions, and persons; communications; responsibility and delegation; formal and informal organization; coordination.

- External Influences: economic trends, competition agency image, legal, and governmental.

-Ideas and Processes: security, proprietary positive, and adoptability.

- Materials: sources and availability, quality, handling, and storage.

-Money: capital fixed, cost and expenses, return.

-Output: quality, quantity, pace, and timing.

- Personal: goals and plans, strength and weakness, and interests.

The leader can ask other suggestions from his people to help him find holes in his proposed decision. A “pessimist” is a good man for this. The consequences should be weighted in terms of seriousness and impact.

Therefore though an alternative may have first priority, because of the possible threat according to the probability estimate, he chooses the next best alternative that it is safer and carries fewer threats.

Following the philosophy of delegation of authority and responsibility according to ability and accountability, decisions should be made at the point closest to the activity where the following criteria are to be met:

1. The personnel who are most expert in the matter at hand participate in making the decision.

2. The personnel malting the decision ascertain that it is compatible with other operations.

3. The personnel making the decision ascertain that it is within their scope.

4. The personnel making the decision will stand accountable for it.

In implementing decisions, the major management functions are involved-planning, organizing, staffing, executing, and controlling. These functions, like the spokes of a wheel, are interrelated, continuous, and interdependent. If one of the spokes is broken or missing, the wheel is weakened and its purpose thwarted. During the planning phase of implementing a decision, realistic objectives, policies, procedures, and strategies need to be carefully considered and selected. Organizing involves helping personnel to understand the decision and the procedures for implementing the decision. Staffing involves deciding who should assist in carrying out the tasks and when they should be done; that is, selecting the right people for the right job. Once the people are selected for the tasks, leadership and direction need to be provided to activate the decision. It involves manipulating the environment in such a way that groups within the total system can accomplish the task of activating the decision.

Once the decision maker starts to implement his decision, every adverse consequence he considered earlier becomes a potential problem. He should prevent these consequences by analyzing them for possible causes and taking preventive action to remove the cause, or failing to remove possible cause he can decide on a contingency action to be taken if and when the problem actually occurs. He should recognize that other difficulties may occur so he must carefully plan for implementing his decision.

If objectives are met, then the situation is closed, but if not, the decision maker goes into the same process again.

The Evidence of Decision

There is few straight opportunity to analyze the fundamental operations of decision. Those decisions which are mostly directly known are the authoritative communications, that is, orders. Something is or is not to be done. Even in such a case, the basic decision may not be evident because it may require several communications to different persons which appear to be complete in themselves but in which the controlling general decision may not be disclosed.

Again, a firm decision may be taken that does not result in any communication whatever for the time being. A decision properly timed must be made in advance of communicating it, either because the action involved must await anticipated development or because it cannot be authoritative without educational or persuasive preparation.

Finally, the decision may be not to decide at all. This is a frequent decision. Every alert leader continually raises, in his own mind, questions for determination. As a result of his consideration he may determine that the question is not pertinent or it may not be pertinent now. He may determine that it is pertinent for decision now but that there is a lacking adequate date upon which to base a final decision. He may determine that it is pertinent for decision now, but that it would or must be decided by someone else on the latter's initiative. He may determine the question as pertinent, can be decided on or will not be decided on except by himself and yet, it would be better that it be not decided on because his competence is insufficient.

The fine art of managerial decision making consists in not deciding on questions that are not pertinent now, in not deciding prematurely, in not making decisions that cannot be made effective, and in not making decisions that others should make. Not to decide on questions that are not pertinent at the time is uncommon good sense, though to raise them may be uncommon perspicacity. Not to decide on questions prematurely is to refuse commitment of attitude or the development of prejudice. Not to make decisions that cannot be made effective is to refrain from destroying authority. Not to make decisions that others should make is to preserve morale, to develop competence, to fix responsibility, and to preserve authority.

Back to Part 1

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