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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Great Managers Are Made Of

By Patrick Donston

Store Owner, Absolutely Fish

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Does your management team understand what you truly expect from them? Do they know what really makes a great manager? I asked myself these questions a few months ago and decided to be clear and cogent. I put it down in writing; created a management manual. I wanted the manual to give specific instructions and policies as to:

  • How to open up the store
  • How to close the store
  • Ordering inventory
  • Guiding and teaching employees
  • How to treat customers
  • Daily jobs and objectives

What I wanted most from this manual was to express what a good manager is all about. I constantly assert throughout the manual that being a good manager isn't easy. Some think; "Oh wow! This is great; I get to make more money." I don't see it that way. Of course, management can make more money, but the responsibilities and challenges are difficult. That's where bad managers fail. They're not up to the task.

Management opportunities can be rewarding in a financial sense, contingent upon the candidate’s success within the company's doctrine.

I believe managers have “it” built within them. They are not necessarily the person who's been on the job the longest. They're not the oldest, smartest or most knowledgeable "fish person" at hand. They are the most passionate and humble, willing to learn from the people around them. They become the "wisest." They are leaders. They set examples and are creative in their ways of motivating others around them. Good managers work at it (and long hours). They realize the rewards are self-fulfilling and, only then, can they be financially rewarding. They want to grow and truly want others around them to grow as well.

We must understand, for our businesses to succeed we need passionate managers. They are the ones that project your message throughout the company. It took me two months, many hours and 80 pages later--the manual was created. I'm happy with it and am still editing it.

I wanted to deliver my true message in the conclusion by explaining that the job they would like to embark on is not a right but an opportunity. I think the job title supervisor is incorrect. It should be called Communitarian Motivator. Whereas a person’s rights come from the responsibilities he or she has to the people they work with. A strange concept to some, but I call it commonsense.

In the manual I stated, "Don't be the ivory tower; delegate--sit and watch--then complain when others don't do what you want them to do."

It's not a given right. People earn their rights through their experiences, the help and guidance they give to others. If they are not willing to put the time and effort into the journey, I suggest they don't try it. If they are willing to sacrifice the time and work hard on the manual, I know they will succeed. Being the best you can be takes hard work. You can't buy it, be taught it or given it. It takes work--and living it everyday.

I hope our management manual will help us to improve our systems of operation. Most importantly, I hope to help my team understand what great managers are made of.

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Reader Comments
Great article. Love this blog. fantastic.
Daniel, Wichita, KS
Posted: 5/23/2010 10:52:33 PM
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