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I am not a manager. Not by a long stretch. However, I do not intend to remain a software professional for ever I do aspire to become a manager someday in the future. To me it does not simply mean delegating work. It means getting a chance to guide people and help them do their best.

During my occasional look-ups into online literature on what makes a good manager, I came across an article by A. Harrison Barnes that aptly sums it: Companies are kept in business by pro business managers.

I believe that being a good manager has more to do with having the right attitude. A manager doesn’t just “manage”, managers are guides, mentors, and if needed, friends. I have to admit that I have always believed managers to be a class of professionals that is the product of evolution, as opposed to creation. Managers are not born professionals learn to become managers.

I would tend to agree. Especially since so many companies have gone bust as a result of bad management. Then again, can you think of several instances where bad management has been documented as the reason for a company’s downfall? I think not.

As A Harrison Barnes rightly puts it in his article on How to be a Good Manager, it depends on the manager whether he or she wants to lead the organization to success or not. According to him, a good manager will put the company’s interests first. Though this is not at the cost of the other employees, it definitely means striking a balance somewhere between the interests of the common worker and the company’s well being.

It is no secret that a good manager is responsible for employee growth, employee morale, and employee goals. Often times, managers help boost peoples’ productivity immensely by simply being a positive individual. Managers also play a significant role in the career growth of an employee, helping him or her find their areas of strength and weakness.

But, when I look at Barnes’ theory of pro business managers, I really can’t help but agree that the solution to employee strife does not really lie in giving in freely to their demands. By doing so, not only do managers undermine their jobs, they also reduce the significance of the responsibility they hold towards the company’s future.

When a manager starts thinking more towards the betterment of workers alone, he or she stands to lose track of the bigger picture.

There is also the domino effect Barnes talks about:

Acceding to workers’ demands fully may in fact undermine the very value of the company. I tend to agree with his logic:

Companies themselves are struggling to exist. In many cases, they are being forced by circumstances to shut down their operations. He also makes a factual observation to the effect, that when workers and the others within the set-up start demanding too much from the company, the company being unable to meet these demands is forced to shut down. The result? These people lose even what they had in the beginning namely their jobs.

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