I have long considered management to be a calling. In my view, to call management a job, position, or title is completely missing the mark.

I believe that the truly great managers of the world have answered their calling to bring the very best out in people, maximizing their potential. They count their successes in counting the people who thrive working with them —not for them, but with them in the pursuit of a common cause.

Management is situational and complex; it is mentoring opportunity which happens individual by individual. If I were to reduce it to its essence, I would boil management down to four things.

1. People: Managers concentrate on strengths and make weaknesses irrelevant.
Discover what strengths each of the people you manage possess.
Place people where they are called on to employ those strengths and capitalize on them.
Give people authority to completely own their responsibilities.

2. Place: Managers create great workplaces where people thrive.
Focus on creating an environment where rewarding work happens.
Continually work to remove obstacles, barriers, and excuses.
Be the steward of the organizational culture.

3. Mission: Managers get the work to make perfect sense.
Connect the work to be done with the meaning why.
Plan to succeed with a viable business model, so people always see realistic possibility.
Encourage people to work on the enterprise with you, not just within it.

4. Vision: Managers expect and promote the exceptional.
Never settle for mediocrity; champion excellence so people rise to the occasion.
Lead, mentor and coach. Harness energy and drive action. Do with, not for.
Foster sequential and consequential learning so people continue to grow.

How does your day-to-day behavior as a manager compare to this checklist?

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Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is the founder of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership. Her most recent online collaboration effort is JJLN: the Joyful Jubilant Learning Network. For more of Rosa’s ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives; you’ll find her index in the left column of www.ManagingWithAloha.com

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