Organizing, too, requires analytical ability. For it demands the most economical use of scarce resources. But it deals with human beings; and therefore it also stands under the principle of justice and requires integrity. Both analytical ability and integrity are similarly required for the development of people.
The skills needed or motivating and communicating, however, is primarily social. Spread of analysis integration and synthesis are needed. Justice dominates as the principle, economy is secondary. And integrity is of much greater importance than analytical ability.
Measuring requires again first and foremost analytical ability. But also requires that measurement be used to make self control possible rather than be abused to control people from outside and above, that is, to dominate them. It is the common violation of this principle that largely explains why measurement is the weakest area in the work of the manager today. And as long as measurements are abused as a tool of ‘control’ (as long for instance, as measurements are used as a weapon of an internal secret policy that supplies audits and critical appraisals of a manager’s performance to the boss without even sending a carbon copy to the manager himself) measuring will remain the weakest area in the manager’s performance.
Setting objectives, organizing, motivating and communicating, measuring and developing are formal, classifying categories. Only a manager’s experience can bring them to life, concrete and meaningful. Because they are formal, they apply to every manager and to everything he does as a manger. They can therefore be used by every manager to appraise his own skill and performance, and to work systematically on improving himself and his performance as a manager.
Being able to set objectives does not make a man a manager, just as ability to tie a small knot in confirmed space does not make a man a surgeon. But without ability to set objectives a man cannot be an adequate manager, just as a man cannot do good surgery who cannot tie small knots. A surgeon becomes a better manager by improving his skills and performance in all five categories of his work.
Information: The tool of the Manager
The manager has a specific tool. He does not handle people, he motivates, guides, organizes people to do their own work. His tool his only tool to do all this is the spoken or written word or the language of numbers. No matter, whether the manager is engineering, accounting or selling, his effectiveness depends on his ability to listen and to read, on his ability to speak and to write. He needs skill in getting his thinking across to other people as well as skill in finding out what other people are after.
Of all the skills he needs today’s manager possess least those of reading, writing, speaking and figuring. One look at what is known as ‘policy language’ in large companies will show how illiterate we are. Improvement is not a matter of learning faster reading or public speaking. Managers have to learn to know language, to understand what words are and what they mean. Perhaps most important, they have to acquire respect for language as man’s most precious gift and heritage. The manager must understand the meaning of the old definition of rhetoric as the art which draws men’s heart to the love knowledge. Without ability to motivate by means of the written and spoken word or the telling number, a manager cannot be successful.
Everybody has the problem of time for all resources and it is the scarcest the most perishable and the most elusive. But the manager must solve what is a common problem in very specific ways.
Managers are forever pursuing some glittering panacea for their time problem a course in faster reading, a restriction of reports to one page, a mechanical limitation of interview to fifteen minutes. All such panaceas are pure quackery and in the end a waste of time. It is however possible to guide a manager towards an intelligent allocation of his time.
Managers who know how to use time well achieve results by planning. They are willing to think before they act. They spend a great deal of time on thinking through the areas in which objectives should be set, a great deal more on thinking through systematically what to do with recurrent problems. —