Basic Management Theories

I’m currently reading Management Basics for Information Professionals, 2nd ed., by Evans and Ward, for one of my online SJSU classes. We’re supposed to only lightly read the material from Part 1, but being the Hermione I am, I’m actually reading it instead of skimming. Also, you may be surprised at this part, the book is actually fairly readable. No, seriously! It keeps my attention fairly well.

The topic of management (and especially the way this book looks) sort of repels me in a Oh, great, we’re learning about management; I’ll be falling asleep while reading this book… It just seems boring and mysterious at the same time. Being a manager doesn’t sound very fun, because it seems like they’re always having to put out small fires, mediate between the employees, share good news in a way that won’t go to their head, and share bad news in a way that won’t decrease productivity, and attend meetings after meetings. (Now, if those meetings followed the guidelines set forward by Haycock and Irwin, which I mentioned previously, it wouldn’t be so dreadful.) For these reasons, I was perfectly satisfied to never be a serious manager. After the first couple of chapters of this book, however, I’m starting to change my tune. It doesn’t sound so repugnant after all.

Good management always seemed elusive–some people just had it, and some people were managers that gave you nightmares and drove you up a wall. Some managers are just mediocre. I’ve experienced many kinds.  Finding the balance is an art–a teachable art, but an art nonetheless. Theories abound, scientific studies have been completed, but management techniques and style must constantly be fine-tuned according to the person, employee, and situation.

I know from observation that good management involves exerting the right amount of leadership so things get done, without being overly controlling. Good management knows they shouldn’t do everything, but can get their hands dirty when needed, and understand the effect policy has on their subordinates. Good management is open to ideas, feedback, and suggestions, and actually implements some of these. They should be flexible when professional and personal crises come up, either to themselves or their employees. They should still be seen as a leader, so what they say and policies they implement actually carries some weight, instead of being just guidelines (don’t arrive to work late.) All of these observations I made were validated in this book–yay! I was on the right track!

It is my goal that reading this book (actually, completing the whole class that required this book) will help me to understand how to be a good manager, because I do expect to be in a leader position at some point in the future, overseeing other employees. I don’t know when I ever will be a manager, but whenever and if I ever do become one, I want to be a good one. Good managers generally leads to good policies, which generally leads to happy, productive employees, which leads to happy customers/patrons, which makes all the employees in the library satisfied. This is a good, healthy, and efficient work environment.

it’s about 3:20am now…and I’m starting to fade. Will try to read a book now. Maybe even some push ups to get the blood flowing again. *yaaaaawwwwnnn*

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