Five best bits from 44 years of advice on management

Emma De Vita selects her top tips

Emma Da Vita
Emma Da Vita

Do you want to get ahead? Do you want your staff to be happy and engaged? Management Today magazine has been using the advice of experts to answer these questions and help people to become better managers since 1966. And I've been distilling the best of the advice in a book: The Management Masterclass.

It's loaded with practical, no-nonsense advice that is just as applicable to third sector managers as to their private sector peers. So here are five of the best tips in the book.

The first rule is to realise that you don't have to be a superhero to get it right. Don't be scared to be yourself - your team will respect you more if they see that you are a lot like them. They'll lose respect if you pretend to be someone you're not.

Next, a manager's job is to make decisions. Although it can be tough to make decisions under pressure and without all the information at your fingertips, it is better to act quickly and then switch tactics as the situation changes than to remain paralysed with indecision. Get started on solving a problem as soon as you can. Picture your ideal outcome, make your choice and then make it happen.

A good third sector manager knows how to delegate well (and without feeling guilty). It's one of the hardest parts of the job. If you want to be a dynamic delegator, make sure you know why you are delegating a task, choose who you delegate to carefully, give them space to think for themselves and make sure you give regular feedback.

No one in the third sector wants to work for an uninspiring boss. So, although you might not feel particularly inspired on a Monday morning, remember that your team will be looking to you for motivation and encouragement. It helps if you understand what motivates them, treat them with respect and reward achievement.

Finally, information is power, and a brilliant manager will always have the ears of the people who matter. Your ability to build a broad network of contacts inside and outside your charity means that you will be able to influence people above you, but also be party to rumours that can serve you well. Networking isn't only for the ladies who lunch.

The Management Masterclass is published by Headline.

 Emma Da Vita is features and books editor of Management Today

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