A SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE delegates considerable responsibility to each level of leadership in order to fully execute all related components of that business area. In this structure, the assigned manager treats their area with an attitude of responsibility and ownership, where they must become the company expert and achieve the best possible results for this business area. Management has designated them as the leader of this area and expects them to treat this position as if the buck stops with them.
As the leader of a business area, management has determined that this person is responsible to solve problems and execute the best possible results for this business area. If the manager comes to management with a question or problem, they need to demonstrate their leadership capabilities by, at least, having thought through the issue to offer possible answers or solutions. It is perfectly acceptable to come to management to review and discuss the potential answers or solutions and solicit their input to enhance the process. The difference is that management is asked to contribute and reinforce the process the manager owns, but is not asked to solve the manager’s problem without the manager’s input.
In the preferred management process, the manager is able to include his superior knowledge in the problem-solving process, while demonstrating his continued ability to lead his business area. In the contrary scenario, where the manager brings the question or problem without any thoughtful suggestions for the answer or solution, management will simply question why they should keep that manager if they need to do their job anyway. Very little frustrates a successful upper manager more than being asked to switch gears and lead a task or problem, intended for the manager who reports to that upper management.
Too often, this successful management structure is not in place. In some management structures, the protocol set by upper management limits the scope of authority of each subordinate level so that they are very limited to act. Micro-management that limits authority results in a very unproductive environment. Each management layer spends considerable time with upper management over-reporting and checking for approval to execute. In addition, they spend time focused on lower management in the opposite role. The point is that managers do not spend enough time focused on their own area and leadership is discouraged.
The contrary micro-management structure drives leaders out and becomes a culture of mediocre management with limited ability to execute. Too often, an insecure and indecisive company leader operates a micro-managed environment that maintains an inward and downward focus that severely limits the potential of a business. The preferred management structure has strong leadership throughout the ranks of management, with consistent momentum to execute on important business issues. The best indicator of the preferred management structure is the presence of a company leader who is strong and confident about the future direction of the company.