"Management is working with and through other people to accomplish the objectives of both the organization and it's members." - Patrick J. Montana and Bruce H. Charnov
Recently I have started reading Barron's Business Review Book on Management written by Patrick J. Montana and Bruce H. Charnov. Naturally in the study of management theory, practices, and structure the obvious beginning point is to define management. The book presents some older definitions of management but ultimately settles on the definition above. I agree with this definition of effective management and I feel there are several key points in this definition to point out and look into deeper.
...working with ... other people:
First of all, a manager should never find themselves alone on an island. A manager is to work with people around them, whether that is laterally or vertically in the chain of command. There are almost always other managers that are on the same level who should be always looking to work as a team. But even in those rare occasions where the manager is the "top of the pyramid" so to speak, the manager still is a part of the team consisting of his/her employees and also customers and outside partners. A manager needs to always remember that s/he is not alone and needs to recognize those people who are around with the same mission.
...working ... through other people:
In addition to working with others an effective manager learns how to work through others. This is done through the important task of delegation. In my post A Biblical Example of Delegation I share the story of Moses and his father in law, Jethro, and how Jethro had to show Moses how to delegate. Moses was burning himself out trying to personally deal with all of the issues of the entire nation of Israel and Jethro showed how he could set leaders up under him and delegate the smaller issues to them leaving his own energy for those matters that actually required his attention. By doing this Moses was learning how to work through those other leaders. He trained them and equipped them to take care of those issues and then was ultimately able to get more work done by allowing others to do the work.
to accomplish the objectives of ... the organization:
The first two statements show how management is done, by working with and through others. Now, in this statement and the next, we have the goal of management. Management's first goal always has to be to accomplish the objectives of the organization. A lot of times people like to try and be "people focused" and put their staff's objectives first. However the thing we need to realize is, if the organization fails then the staff are the ones who are hurt. Therefore you must keep the objective's of the organization in the forefront.
to accomplish the objectives of ... the individual:
Though we must look to the objective's of the organization first, we must not ignore the objectives of the individual. When we are leading and managing our staff we should be aware of what their career goals are and do our best to put them in situations where they can prepare themselves for their goals. Often, as managers, we have to weigh the costs and benefits of certain decisions considering both the objectives of our organization and our staff. A common mistake by managers can be to hold staff back from promotion because they don't want to lose that staff from their department. This is detrimental both to the staff's development and to the organization as a whole. When you hold staff back from a deserved promotion you end up with disgruntled staff and most of the time will end up losing that staff from the organization entirely. As a manager we should be constantly looking to how we can help our staff better themselves and reach their goals.