What is it that constitutes a good management? A medley of sterling qualifies such as a well-nurtured dream or an ideal to go for the best or become the best, flair for the best relationship with others, equanimity that is not disturbed by success or setback, listening to others while talking your own, decision, selflessness, never indulging in paroxysm of anger, patience, perseverance and cheerfulness in the worst of adversities qualities that make you extraordinary, totally different from the ordinary multitudes.
A good manager could be anybody a housewife, a head of the department in the Government, a shopkeeper, a business tycoon, a Chief Executive Officer of a multinational company, an editor of a magazine or newspaper, the Chief Minister of a State or the Prime minister, the head of a religious or charitable organization or anyone who is somebody who can influence others. A good manager must learn to control himself before trying to control others.
Take the case of a housewife. In interview people are seen asking a married woman : “Madam, are you working?” Pat comes the response, “No, I am a housewife!” Excepting a few stray cases, most of the housewives have a got a lot of burden and responsibilities seldom quantified by economists and social scientists, though few women activists have demanded that suitable salary be paid for the drudgery of the housewives ! Let’s take a close look at the routine of an ideal housewife!. It is she who makes a home out of the house. She wakes up early in morning and a far morning prayers gets the children ready for school, preparing tiffin for them and breakfast ready for both the husband and children. She sees them of with a smiling face. Then begins her second round for preparing the lunch and putting the house in order, getting it cleaned herself or through the domestic help.
At the launch time, she listens to the day’s happenings in the school and guides the children in their studies and helps them in home work. Afternoon is the time for using the washing machine and getting their dress ironed. Then comes evening tea and letting children play in the park. When the spouse returns, she listens to his problems in the office. She may have hundred problems herself: a leaking tap, repair of the grinder, attending a marriage ceremony and managing the family budgeting to see that the family does not get into a debt trap. Add to this, if the women happens to be working outside the home, what an unbearable burden she has to carry balancing the dual roles of a housewife and a working woman! The cup becomes full if any ailing mother-in-law is with them and she has to take care of her too, without letting her smile turn into a scowl. Still she doesn’t lose her cool and manages to put a cheerful countenance. Can one cite a better manager than a housewife hedged in by innumerable problems.
Take the case of hotels – small ones or the ones with five stars. Their survival depends on the customers which again depends on good management. For any good hotel, a satisfied customer is the best publicity medium. By word of of mouth it reaches other ears that here is a hotel where you feel at home in every respect. The manager has to see to every detail – from catering to making the stay of customers as comfortable as possible, keeping the employees satisfied and meeting the cut-throat competition in hotel industry. He cannot afford to have frayed temper while planning for the present and future. The same is the case with the mushrooming private hospitals. They may charge his fees, but the patients and the relatives must be made to feel that the fees paid is worth the care and treatment they received. “The purpose of business depends on serving its customer well.”
The path to success in case of Reliance, Tats, Infosys, Wipro, Baja, ITC LTd., Maruti Udyog Ltd. and scores of other organizations, some of which have transformed themselves into MNCs with foothold in different countries must be traced to the abiding qualities required for good management. Many of them would have faced one setback after another, but they refused to be daunted by hurdles on they way. Problems only tended to steel their resolve to go ahead.
Wipro Chiarman, Mr. Azim H. Premji, one of India’s most successful entrepreneurs, prescribed a ten-point recipe for success, based on his own experiences: “You should dare to dream, never lose your zest and curiosity; always strive for excellence, build your self-confidence; learn to work in teams; take care of yourself; persevere; have a broader social vision and finally never let success go to your head.” These were the words of wisdom have gave to youngsters while addressing the 38th convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chennai a few years ago. From a small company three and a half decades ago, Wipro has grown t be a global corporation listed on the New York stock exchange. The Wipro chairman has not stopped dreaming even after his Rs. 7 crore company grew into Rs. 3,100 core global IT services major. What saddens him “is to see young, bright people getting disillusioned by a few initial setbacks and slowly turning cynical.” Dreams are required not when everything is going right, but when everything is going wrong.” says he.
Northcore Parkinson, who taught in universities as apart as Illinois and Liverpool, Harvard and Malaya and who wrote the world-famous “Parkinson’s Law”, always wanted bosses to encourage initiative as one of the cardinal features of good management. He said: “Let them pass on work to others. A manger should do a task only once and when the same type of work comes up again, his assistants should deal with it. The boss should never let his men ask for his decision. he should always insist that they first come out with their own recommendations. This is the best way of training people. Let them do a job themselves.” And the manager will have enough time to attend to other important tasks. Says Parkinson: “Use the brain of your people more. Compare them to a car with six cylinders. Most people are actually working on only three….With a little encouragement and guidance, they could be working all the six cylinders…”
Carry the team along with you, trust them and buck them up. When they succeed, you too succeed. It is a chain reaction. it is this fundamental principle that made Ambanis the biggest corporate empire, the Tatas – a fast – growing multi-national company, the Apollo Hospitals, one of the best in the world and our IITs world-class institutions.
And such good management can be seen in certain rare individuals who could exercise their will to make their organizations top class. The Election Commission in India was a lackluster organization till Mr. T.N. Seshan took over as the Chief Election Commissioner. He made the organization and its team a power to reckon with in the conduct democracy. It was a shining example of good management. Thanks to Mr. Seshan, the Election Commission has become a powerful body in brining about transparency in our democracy.
Once you are fired with unbounded zeal and sincerity, nothing could come in your way in achieving your goal. This could be said of the management of the Delhi Metro that received the full support of the Delhi Government, the Central Government, the citizens of Delhi and the staff, all of whom made it possible to get the second phase of the Metro started ahead of schedule. Impressed by its success, other cities in India and other countries have expressed their desire to have this type of world-class transit system. It was good management again that brought India reach the top rank in the While Revolution.
Good management is an art and those who know what it makes to become a good managers do succeed wherever they are.