Friday, July 1, 2011

On Leadership and Management

   I been helping my parents since grade six and experienced a lot while working with people. My dad taught me all the do's and dont's in business transactions and while dealing with customers, the customer is always right. We are three girls in the family and whether we like it or not, we need to be independent. Managing people is like taking care of your children, they have different attitudes, characters and sometimes with tantrums. As one grows older, you need to support them with values and wisdom, same as managing people. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a must for it deals with continous education about work for the satisfaction of the end- user and profit for the manager.

   As a manager of one medium construction firm and handles twenty people per project for residential and building construction with a goal for quality output and achieve  the target date, patience and understanding like a mother must be consider. You dont like to have a frequent turnover from time to time once you found out your suburdinates did something less from your expectation. Having people around is difficult with different idea and points of view and working as a team is a common objective of one organization to produce the output faster and better in one direction with cooperation and coordination.

   A painter must have a continous or updated information about the application and right process of applying a certain paint. One must know what to use for the first coating and the curing time before the use of nuetralizer to remove the water content from the cement. There are some seminars like from Boysen Philippines about the updated use and techniques. If you are a painter, one must update his knowledge due to competition in the market today. As a carpenter, there are many tools that could help for faster result that could give benefits for both the manager and end user. Less work, faster result, zero wastage and just in time (JIT) delivery. As a concrete mason, there are thickness of mortar applications that must be follow to reduce the existence of concrete hairline crack from the wall. One must understand the correct ratio and proportion and the right mixture of aggregates and water.

  The problem arise in a working place when the manpower insist his usual ways on how to do a certain job. Culture is one culprit and for any change there is resistance. One must remember that continous education is a plus and advantage for a better, faster and profitable result. Usually construction workers who are skilled ranges from 25 to 50 years old. Usually they are highschool graduate and the skills came from experience whether by looking at their relatives job or by training. In construction, there is a correct engineering way on how to do all works, engineering is an exact science and the specifications from the blue prints or plans must be consider, strictly and mandated by the government.

  As a manager who likes to have quality output for all projects, the goal must also be the same for all the workers. A suburdinate must follow all the suggestions and specifications but sometimes it does'nt happen that way. I am a young engineer and mostly all of my skilled workers are twenty years older than me, they might be thinking, that because they worked longer than me, they already know all the strategies, techniques on how to do everything in a right way. The difference is the education, books helps a lot because of the theories, research and methods on how to do it well and better that can be learned in school. Though they said, nothing beats the experience. I believe, but those two must be together to get the most satisfying result. Two heads is better than one.

   Meeting and MBWA (Manager By Walking Around) must be done accordingly and frequently and from my experienced is the most effective way in dealing with employees work and project inspection. This is to check if the workers are following the plans and scope according to the specified work schedule and design. This is done by effective managers based from the management principles and for one manager to become visible at all times. Classical management is not applicable at all times, there must be a team building, trust, respect, patience and understanding. It is applicable to those organization who have the same objective, to finish the work well with quality output for the satisfaction of both manager and customer. This is the ideal organization. But the ideal is far from reality.

   I got four projects at the same time, workers need to adjust for the rotation of working site. After one finish the job in one place, he might be send to another project with different scope. There's advantage and disadvantage. But if one can survive and the goal is to work for the family, for the quality and to maintain his job, he must be satisfied and accept all the responsibilities. For every project there must be one team lead, the one who delegates all the work, supervise and conduct meeting in the absence of the site manager or engineer. The team lead must know the objective and the correct engineering practice, what to install and what to do effectively and efficiently. If the team lead will just be in the working area because of the money, the organization will be gone soon and the project will lead to delays, backjobs and reworks or worst.

   From experienced, a manager must have a firm decision and good judgement. The manager must know the background of his manpower and the need. Managing people is hard. It is better to have a small franchise outlet like Zagu with only two to three manpower and the manager can do some more things than staying in one place. If the manager of the organization cannot handle the pressure, he is not a leader. The manager is not fit for the position or must change his line of work if the character is questionable. Managing different people with different background, characteristic and attitude is like managing a country. The president must be a leader and must have a charisma. Not everyone has a force to be a manager or leader, one must be empowered and the manager must empowered also his subordinates.

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