Manager myths

What you do and don't need to know as the boss

New managers can increase their chance of success if they are aware of some misconceptions about the role of managers, The Times of London reports.

Myth 1: Managers wield a great deal of authority. Fact: Managers feel more constrained than free, caught as they are in a network of conflicting relationships with bosses, peers and subordinates.

Myth 2: Authority flows from the manager’s position. Fact: Authority, trust and power must be earned; they are retained by a constant demonstration of character, competence and influence.

Myth 3: Managers must control direct reports. Fact: Managers who share power tend to command influence; those who allow initiative to flourish build credibility among subordinates.

Myth 4: Managers must focus on establishing good individual relationships. Fact: Getting the best out of a team does not depend on building one-on-one relationships with the members of a team.

Myth 5: Managers keep things running smoothly. Fact: Initiating change often necessitates overturning the current order of things; without changes in the way work is done, process improvement is not possible.

New managers will do well if they realise no one can be expected to have all the answers — the trick is to draw on the support and collective wisdom of their teams, peers and bosses.

The Weekend Australian

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