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2 The Dynamics of Managing

Henry Mintzberg Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I dont want it good—I want it Tuesday.

Have a look at the popular images of managing—that conductor on the podium, those executives sitting at desks in New Yorker cartoons—and you get one impression of the job: well ordered, seemingly carefully controlled. Watch some managers at work and you will likely find something far different: a hectic pace, lots of interruptions, more responding than initiating. This chapter describes these and related characteristics of managing: how managers work, with whom, under what pressures, and so on—the intrinsically dynamic nature of the job.

I first described these characteristics in my 1973 book. None of them could have come as a shock to anyone who ever spent a day in a managerial office, doing the job or observing it. Yet they struck a chord with many people—especially with managers—perhaps because they challenged some of our most cherished myths about the practice of managing. Time and again, when I presented these conclusions to groups of managers, the common response was You make me feel so good! While I thought that all those other managers were planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling, I was constantly being interrupted, jumping from one issue to another, and trying to keep the lid on the chaos.1

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Ira Asherman HRD Press PDF



Plant Manager

You are the plant manager of a chemical manufacturing facility that has recently been updated to provide specialized manufacturing services to specialty chemical companies. Yours is one of the few plants in this part of the country that can quickly manufacture very complex compounds—compounds that would take other facilities much longer to manufacture. Management invested a great deal of money in upgrading the facility, and it is now paying dividends.

BIM Chemicals is one of the companies you hope will use your plant more frequently. BIM is a small (but growing) firm in the specialty-chemicals field. Several months ago, you began talking with BIM about manufacturing one of their new products: Alfa B. BIM’s researchers spent a considerable amount of time assessing your facility, and seem to be satisfied. Shortly thereafter, Fred Gray, one of their auditors, came by to check out the plant. During the exit interview, he pointed out what he called “several GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) deviations.” These are problems you already know about and don’t find terribly important. Your facility might not follow the letter of the law when it comes to government regulations, but you’re very close. In fact, no other company has ever pointed them out as problems.

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Medium 9781574411393

2. Exodus

Stanley Marcus University of North Texas Press PDF

11, 1913, a devastating fire destroyed the Neiman-Marcus store, five and a half years after it had opened. I had just returned from Sunday school and was greeted by my mother, "The store has just burned down." We took the streetcar to town to meet the family, which had gathered there as in a wake, mourning the total loss of what had been The Store.

The next day the partners counted up the monies that would be coming in from the insurance, took stock of their savings, canvassed the family for additional funds, and decided that they would rebuild in a different location. It would take time to find the proper site, so they leased temporary quarters and fixtures and dispatched the buyers to New York to buy new stocks of merchandise. In seventeen days they reopened for business. My father, who still wrote the advertisements, had this to say: "Rather pretty temporary home, comfortable and cool; clean, with good air circulating around and around; refreshing roominess."

As long as they were forced to move, the partners decided to be venturesome by going "uptown," opposite Titche-Goettillger's department store and seven long blocks from Sanger's. Dad, the

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Chapter 17: Lessons from Resolute Leaders

Jeffrey Sugerman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

All leaders can learn a thing or two from the tough-minded ways of Resolute leaders. As we discussed in Chapter 2, the Resolute Dimension is located on the western side of the 8 Dimensions of Leadership Model, which means that Resolute leaders tend to be questioning and skeptical. In this chapter, we’ll give you a clearer picture of the Resolute Dimension of leadership in real life.

Resolute leaders want to get efficient results, to ensure high quality outcomes, and to challenge themselves and others to do their best. They are matter-of-fact leaders who ask tough questions. When ideas don’t seem solid, they push for more analysis. Resolute leaders tend to strike a balance between speed and quality, and both are quite important to them. They’re both driven and analytical, though they’re not quite as fast-paced as Commanding leaders nor as methodical as Deliberate leaders. Getting things right matters a great deal to Resolute leaders, and they may sometimes overlook the emotional aspects of leadership in their quest to accomplish their goals efficiently.

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Activity 11 Constructive Confrontation

Roy, Bailey HRD Press, Inc. PDF




Managers often have to deal with sensitive and conflicting situations. Being able to confront problems without personalizing them permits us to manage more constructively and helps people overcome their personal and performance difficulties.



60 to 90 minutes


Suitable for individual counseling and small group training (6 to

16 people)


1. Explain to participants that this activity is a set of exercises in which you ask people to examine their own resources that they may not be using to their fullest capacity or those that they may be overlooking altogether. Constructive confrontation is a means to an end and is instrumental; constructive confrontation skills are useful to the degree that they help people develop new perspectives that help to define and clarify problem situations. Moreover, constructive confrontation is not destructive confrontation. It should focus on descriptions rather than accusations.

Flipchart or overhead projector

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