Purposeful Management may be a phrase you are not familiar with, however, when you think about it, purpose matters in everything we do. Management involves not only administrative responsibilities, but often includes overseeing and supervising others.
What does it take to be a purposeful manager? Why is it important to the bottom line?
Hopefully, these two critical questions will be answered in the following Seven (7) Guiding “E” Principles to Purposeful Management:
1. Establish Ethical Boundaries
You know about the downfall of those who have chosen to disregard ethical codes of honor and the negative outcomes of those choices. Many of these unethical behaviors were influenced by the desire for greater power, wealth, material gain or selfish pride and greed.
Managers who find themselves lured by these temptations are vulnerable to ethical transgressions. Today’s most successful businesses operate from a values perspective, choosing to uphold moral standards with integrity. By establishing ethical boundaries, one can protect their honor and avoid the traps of greed.
2. Encourage and Endorse Diversity
One of the first steps to encouraging and endorsing diversity is to first examine one’s own personal values and beliefs. Ask the hard questions of yourself about how you view those outside of your own ethnic group or class.
Are you aware of your own hidden biases that can unconsciously direct your behavior toward others with whom you interact with on a frequent basis? Diversity means “different”. Different means “no two exactly alike”.
To respect and appreciate differences within your organization in regards to socioeconomic status, class, gender, age, culture, and various other determinants that often cause discrimination and stereotyping is a positive way to encourage and endorse diversity.
3. Elevate and Educate Others
Recognizing the strengths, talents and abilities of those whom you manage and providing the necessary supports and resources to further their development is to the organization’s advantage and to yours. The cost to hire new employees is much greater than to retain current employees.
To retain quality workers is a desire for most organizations. When employees are rewarded with advancement opportunities and training venues based upon merit and capabilities, statistics reveal that those employees are most likely to be loyal to the company and to give their very best efforts. Elevating and educating current employees through mentorship and promotion serves as a positive reflection upon you and the organization, especially when good employees are recognized, rewarded and retained.
4. Strive for Excellence
Excellence does not mean the same thing to everybody. Some people think that “excellence” means “perfection”. Others think “excellence” is “doing or being the very best”. Since no one is perfect, I concur that excellence is best described as “doing and being one’s very best.”
With that as the mark, striving for excellence is to aim to be and do the very best that you can. Mediocrity is unacceptable. Having a mindset or mentality that the mark of excellence is what you are aiming for and desiring to achieve sets the tone for those you are leading. Excellence begets excellence.
5. Be the Example
A friend of mine told me about an organization that she was unexpectedly fired from by a new manager who came on board. He was referred to as a “micro manager” who abused his power of leadership through intimidation and fear tactics of control.
The environment became quite hostile and the production of the employees decreased significantly as did their morale. Fortunately, he was terminated after the first year, but it was too late for my friend and her colleagues who had already quit.
The moral of this story is to exhibit the behavior you want to see. Having a disposition of hardness and mean-spiritedness creates alienation, not unification. Micro management in this case did not result in positive outcomes.
The old saying that “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” certainly applies in this situation. Most people respond positively to kindness, respectfulness and consideration of their needs. Being the example requires not only talking the talk, but also walking the walk.
6. Be Equitable
The principle of equity is all about being fair, impartial and honest. Another friend shared an experience he had recently with his supervisor when he had asked to be off for a couple of days to attend his aunt’s funeral. He never misses work and is considered one of the most productive workers in the company.
His supervisor told him he would not approve his leave request because too many people were already out. However, my friend knew several of the other workers who had been approved for such things as the loss of a pet and personal business, and both workers had irregular attendance and only satisfactory work ratings. My friend had to threaten to file a grievance before the supervisor reluctantly granted him emergency funeral leave. Was this equitable treatment? You decide.
7. Embrace Humility
Shun egotism. John Bright defined an egotist as, “A self-made man who worships his creator.” To embrace humility is a characteristic oftentimes lacking in management because it is incorrectly perceived as weakness.
Quite the contrary. Humility is a strength that outranks pride every time. It takes humility to admit mistakes. It takes humility to respond with calmness in chaotic situations. To embrace humility is to emanate nobility.
Purposeful management matters, not only for the bottom line of the organization, but to the line of employees that make it happen.
Please provide comments and input on this article to this guest blogger.
About the Contributing Blogger:
Gloria Thomas Anderson, LMSW, is a licensed master’s level social worker, educator, and diversity facilitator. Currently, she is a Clinical Instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the School of Social Work and is a frequently requested lecturer/presenter on issues of diversity, grief and loss and end-of-life care. To learn more about her services and products, visit her website: www.gloriathomasanderson.com or email her directly at email@example.com .
20 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Seven (7) Guiding “E” Principles to Purposeful Management”
Thank you for your contribution to our course, Ms. Anderson. It is very timely and well informed.
Your “E” principles should not only be embraced in the business community, but also in the lives of those fortunate enough to find them.
Thank you for your comments Daniel. I agree wholeheartedly.
Best to you!
Gloria Thomas Anderson
Insightful article! Thanks for covering this topic.
Ms. Anderson, these principles are wonderful. I’m a supervisor to a staff of 7 and constantly seek to do all these things each day. It’s good to know that I’ve been on the right track. Now I have these E’s as a reminder and will share them with my staff in our next staff meeting. I look forward to new posts from you. Thanks!
I agree with Daniel. The above “E” principles should be embraced by the business world as well as individuals. While they might see basic to some, it is amazing how many people do not include them in how they conduct themselves in business.
Thank you for taking the time to contribute to our on-line learning.
That was a great list of “E” principles for managers or anyone else Ms. Anderson. I found them especially “real” as I know of some managers who tend to micro manage to their own decrement and that of their team. I really see how they do not manage by example as they also do not elevate or educate others. The other extreme is also evident where I work. They can be too compassionate and kind to the point where they get run over by their employees. They end up dong the work for others in order to make their subordinates happy. I am trying to find a mix for myself between being too rigid and too kind. It is a tricky skill to learn indeed.
Ms. Anderson, I found the Seven (7) Guiding “E” Principles a great handbook to live life by. Your outlined principles made me think of a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article that focused on a similar topic in regards to leadership. The article outlined four non-negotiable human needs that transformational leaders embrace.
1. The need to love and be loved; which in management means the ability to focus concern and action toward another exclusively for that person’s good. The transformational leader understands the importance of being a tough-minded caring leader to foster a successful workforce.
2. The need to grow, by creating an environment that fosters growth we expand as lenders, employees and human beings.
3. The need to contribute as an employee allows the employee to feel they are empowered and part of the team.
4. The need for meaning, if employees are not engaged in some larger purpose they will not feel satisfied in life regardless of their success.
Stevens, C. (2010). What employees need from leaders. Bloomberg Businessweek
Thank you so much for taking the time to post to the blog. Your blog on the “Seven (7) Guiding “E” Principles to Purposeful Management” was very informative and especially useful as I plan to move into management in the future.
Thank you for your intriguing blog and for sharing the 7 principles. I couldn’t agree with you more, especially on number 7. Too often people enter into management as lose all humility. It is nice to see managers who take their responsibility seriously, but who don’t project egotistic qualities.
Thank you again!
I complete agree with the 7 Guiding “E” Principles. It’s important to be a purposeful manager because these principles put in to perspective what it takes to synergize yourself and others around you. When we’re looking at what it takes to be a manager with purpose, we also need to look at the person and the task at hand. According to Steve Roesler, we need to be “matching the right tasks with the right people breeds the kind of productive experience that offer satisfaction as a result of accomplishment. That kind of matching means that managers have to know their people well enough to know what their individual talents are–then use them accordingly”. As a manager it is your responsibility to be the example you want others to use, that’s the bottom line.
Roesler, S. (2009, April 29). Purposeful passion and managing engagement. All things workplace. Retrieved on April 13, 2011 from http://www.allthingsworkplace.com/2009/04/purposeful-passion-and-managing-engagement.html
Couldn’t be said any simplier than the way you put it. Managers must know and understand their employees and what motivates them or drive them as well for effiecient and using each other potentials and efforts at full value. it is a key essential for team effort as T.E.A.M standing for together everyone achieve more concept.
Basically the concept of T.E.A.M attitude.. together everyone achieve more. Managers must know their teams and what drives or motivates them for efficiency and use of values. its a basic principle in a successful business. unity of command principle.
Management : leading and collaborating in competitive world
chapter 8 , page293
Thanks – where is article source?
Interestedly, this particular article source came from within me, my experience, my own knowledge base and by listening to others. Everything has an origin, however not every thing comes from without.
Thanks for asking avto-ru.
Very insightful blog post! The step pushing managers to elevate and educate others stuck out to me most. We all know that co-worker; the individual who uses every opportunity to remind fellow employees that he/she is frustrated with work and will never get a promotion. The purposeful manager knows it’s their responsibility to use their high level of energy and focus in order to educate and motivate every member of the team. These purposeful managers know how to best utilize their employees’ talents to achieve tasks and goals. But, rather than focus on tasks, these managers direct the team’s focus on outcomes and recognize achievements. Several articles I read stated that only about 10 percent of managers are actually purposeful managers. The rest are either disengaged, distracted, or procrastinators, depending on their energy and focus levels.
Von Achen, B. (2011, February 18). The purposeful manager. Best Practices for Business. Retrieved April 14, 2011, from http://bestpracticesforbusiness.com
I think that we need an overall cultural change from top to bottom in the business world. In many cases, stockholders do not want to recognize the principles that you illustrate in your comments. There seems to be a winner take all approach that the management in many companies turn into cultural values. Many companie forget that their employees are their most precious asset. It is refreshing to see your wonderful principles and like Daniel, they should be lived and demonstrated in the everyday walk of life.
These seven principles best sum up how every manager should strive to manage a workforce. A manager that embraces these principles can best influence and motivate his/her employees, regardless of the nature of the industry or business. I believe that the key ingredient to having productive employees is motivation. For example, Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory includes that certain factors in the workplace result in job satisfaction (American-business.org). The third principle, “Elevate and Educate Others,” is a major way that managers can motivate and grow current employees. Ongoing education and promotion also proves to employees that their managers have a vested interest in their well being and performance. “[Being] the Example” and “[Being] Equitable” are admirable and respectable traits for managers to uphold, given their positions of power in the organization. I believe that there is much truth in the saying “actions speak louder than words,” and to have a manager that exemplifies this truly illustrates his/her level of commitment to the organization and employees. Managers that practice these principles understand the forces that motivate workers, whether the forces are intrinsic or extrinsic.
“Two- Factor Theory of Motivation.” American-business.org.
Great article enjoyed reading it and just want to thank Gloria Thomas Anderson again for her time. I agree 200% with Gloria and her seven guiding principles for a great company. Having a ethical code for any size company is not only a good thing it’s a requirements these days. Number 2 principles which say “encourage diversity” I take it as part of the ethical code each company should have. Every one is equal and having different types of people with different background is a healthy thing to have for a group, it promotes diversity and new ways to think and analysis problems. Number 3, 4 and 5 are saying you should push your self to be the best you can be but also push the people around you to be the best they can be, a great team consist of great members not a single person, so be an example of perfection but also help the people around you to do the same. The last 2 principles talk about being fair and embracing humility. The best way to explain is to “Leave society in a better place than you found it.”
Mayne, Paul (June 18, 2010). The Embrace life with hope, humility. Retrieved April 25, 2011, from: http://communications.uwo.ca/com/western_news/stories/embrace_life_with_hope,_humility_20100618446511/
I want to acknowledge each comment posted on my recent blog article, “Seven (7) Guiding “E” Principles to Purposeful Management.” Your contributing thoughts are insightful and appreciated.
Best to all of you!
Gloria Thomas Anderson, LMSW
I’ve never met an executive or manager whose business life isn’t characterized by long work days and a “to do” list that’s a mile long. Yet, despite multiple demands on their time, a handful of managers actually succeed in getting things done, while others succeed only in looking busy. ( Powerful managers by Bill Von Achen).
What distinguishes managers who take purposeful action from those who don’t? Why are some managers highly energetic and focused, while others procrastinate, disengage or invest energy in unfocused busyness?
The tasks of managers are complex, requiring creativity and innovation. They often strive to meet multiple and conflicting goals, many times on long-term projects that require a sustained effort. Ambitious goals, high uncertainty and extreme opposition can seriously limit the ability of many managers to maintain focus.
When managers can make things happen under these conditions and when they consistently exhibit purposeful action they’ve learned to harness the power of their will.
This is often really important piece of this issue. Willpower is the force behind energy and focus, enabling managers to execute disciplined action. Even when uninspired by the work and tempted by other opportunities, purposeful managers maintain energy and focus through willpower. They’re committed to achieving results and, no matter what, won’t give up.
Having a great manager accommodates the job task the employees.
what needs to be done is basically known and staffs are well trained and less stressed. I does facilitate the job outcomes for everyone.
references : Best practice for business. The purposeful manager by Bill von Achen February 18, 2011