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What General Managers Really Do Paper

Assessment 1:Essay by Louisa Cindy General managers are top of employee, who hold major problems and play a big role behind the organization or business. Being a manager takes a great deal of hard work, leadership, and dedication. They have responsibilities to take control, motivate, and monitoring each part of the organization. The pressure of being a manager is not as easy as what people think, they tend to be efficient and effective in the same time.

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, “What effective general managers really do”, (Kotter, 2000) examined the reality of what many managers really do that seems inefficient and contrasting what Henry Mintzberg has pointed out. He found out that their activities are mostly unplanned, sometimes seems to be unimportant and they do lots of conversations that unconnected with work and they do a lot of joking. They also seldom to tell people what to do, they prefer asking or suggesting.

This article also indicate that in the actual behavior manager “looks less systematic, more informal, less reflective, more reactive, less well organized, and more frivolous than a student of strategic planning systems, MIS, or organizational design would ever expect”, (Kotter, 20000, p. 156). In the key points of this article Kotter shows the reader what manager responsibilities and how they working out with uncertainty, great diversity, and also how to getting works done through a large and diverse set of people.

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In simple form, manager need to develop networking, it is one of the processes that will establish the mutually beneficial relationship with people or potential customers or employee. They also need to work based on agenda, agenda it self is what activities to accomplish the organizational goals. In this essay the writer think that the most essential tasks of a manager is to identify weakness, then set plans and try to achieve them in efficient and effective way while also being flexible with the changes happen in the society. When a manager can identify the organization weakness, manager nows the work field better so the manager can define the objective of the organizational goals and priorities. On the other hand, it is also help the manager to bring the company into the right direction. The writer also think that manager suppose to be a role model for the employee and they also need to comes with new ideas and concepts that will improve the quality of the organization or business. When a manager comes as an inspirational model, manager has power to affect the environment, it would help the manager easier to allocate the right resources and develop the employee’s work into optimum performance.

There are four major functions in the management process, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. First of all, planning is the base function of management; all managers at all levels should take part in planning. From the experts planning is defined as “Choosing a goal and developing a method of strategy to achieve that goal” (Williams & McWilliams, 2010, p. 85). Planning is important because managers plan future ways where the organization or business will go, and what needs to be accomplished from the members to achieve the organizational goals and priorities.

Planning helps the manager to analyze the environment and understanding better. There are few activities that indicate planning, such as making schedule and priorities of the day, think about what should organization do in the short or long term as what Richardson did. These examples of activities do not just affect the organization but also have affect on the whole society and environment. Managers need to prepare agenda for their job, “During their six months to a year in a new job, GMs usually spend considerable time establishing their agendas” (Kotter,2000,p. 60). The agenda includes financing, product and market and also the organization completed with the goals priorities, strategies, and the development planning for the business in the future. Kotter (2000) explained agendas tend to be less detailed in financial objectives and more detailed in strategies and plans for the business or organization. “Formal plans usually focus entirely on the short or moderate run (3months-5years), while GM’s agendas tend to focus on a broader time frame which includes the immediate future (1 to 30 days) and the longer run 5 to 20 years)” (Kotter, 2000, p. 160-161). The next thing is agendas often contain lists of goals or plans that are not directly connected. However, being consistent with plan has disadvantages. First, the company might be in the wrong direction, so the company needs changes in planning. On the other hand, changes may happen unexpectedly and affect the environment; in this case plan should be flexible because the plan may not fit again with the changes happen. Organizing is one of the managerial functions in addition to planning.

In the process of organizing manager needs to decide where decisions will be made, making sure the right resources, decide who will do the job and what tasks. Manager needs to make sure that plans are implemented precisely and try to accomplish it effectively and efficiently in the same time. It also involves the communication skill for facing the large number of people with diversity, inside or outside the organization that will help to accomplish the tasks. Network building is one of the most essential elements in organizing.

It involves good communication skill and blend of knowledge. In network building, manager will face great diversity, very large number of people or different formal organization structure so it is essential for manager to be flexible and fair. With network building manager easier to allocate the right resources and coordinate the efforts into optimum performance. The next element is staffing, staffing is where manager decide who will do what job and what tasks. Manager needs to have smart vision where to put the employee’s skills and abilities into the right job.

These elements will help the manager to develop the effectiveness and efficiency of the work. Leading in management has its function to inspiring and motivating people. Inspiring or motivating can be one of the key successes in the business today. Effective general manager can inspiring the employees simply by asking questions, suggesting, intimidate, or persuade instead of telling people what to do or give orders in a traditional sense. As Richardson did, he prefers asking question or suggesting rather than exactly telling what to do.

Usually manager create meeting to influence the employees and makes them feel involve and clearly know the organizational goals. In reality there is not one day in business life without change, if the business doesn’t follow the trend or not take the step forward, the business may not successful. Creativity helps to increase productivity and attract the customer. Change it’s not what the company should afraid, because change leads to improvement. Company doesn’t deal with machine but people, people can get bored so they like changes.

Controlling is one of the managerial functions besides planning, organizing, and leading. Controlling is where the manager monitoring the progress, measure the actual performance of the organization toward goal achievement. It is important because it helps manager to check errors and take corrective action. In short, effective general managers have many responsibilities in the organization and mostly involved in every action organization take. Managers handle their challenges by developing agendas and building network rather than using the formal systematic management system.

On the other hand the four managerial functions, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling will also helpful for manager to work efficiently and effectively. The four essential managerial functions is like a chain, every process affect the next process, management involves planning, organizing involves setting direction, leading involves managing people in the right such as the manager need to know who will do the job and what tasks, then last but not least is controlling. The author determines the role of managers in organization and what factors to develop the organization.

Kotter found effective general managers focus on agenda setting and network building. He also defined the challenges being a manager. First, “figuring out what to do to despite uncertainty, great diversity, and enormous amount of potentially relevant information” (Kotter, 2000,p. 160). And last but not least is to “getting things done through a large and diverse set of people despite while having little control over most of them” (Kotter, 2000, p. 160). In short, Kotter draws that managers use agenda setting and network building to accomplish the two challenges.

Kotter also explained how manager use their network to implement their agendas. This article also shown the disconnect between the way that effective general managers actually spent their time and what experts recommend and many time management systems. In my opinion, there are no absolute measures of managerial effectiveness. Because every manager has it own way to do their job. “It is hard to fit the behavior into categories like “planning”, “organizing”, “directing”, “staffing”, (Kotter, 2000, p. 159). And managing effectiveness is not only comes from the manager but also the employees and people around them.

Managers are limited by abilities and willingness of the employees so they need to have a blend of knowledge, skills, and good communication to inspiring people and coordinate their efforts to achieve optimum performance. In conclusion, after reading this article, the managerial theory shows as a guideline but doesn’t reflect the actual behavior of a manager “it seems rather hit or miss” (Kotter, 2000, p. 160). References. Kotter, J. P. (1982). What Effective General Managers Really Do. Harvard Business Review.

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