There are ongoing discussions on how to define management. Some call it both an art and a science. For the scope of this article, and this web site, we will view management more as a science and leadership more as the art.
Per our definition management is something you do to things, whilst leadership is something you do with people. Whilst it is very much possible with this distinction, that is where we are coming from here. The two realms of the manager and the leader off course overlap at times.
The six functions of management
One common way of looking at management is that it consists of six different functions. They are planning, organizing, staffing, leading, controlling/monitoring and motivating. Lets look at each more in detail.
Make decisions on what needs to happen in the future. The future meaning either later today, the coming week, next month, next year, over the next 3 years and so on. This also includes creating plans to take action upon to make these things happen.
Making use of the required resources in an optimal way to pave the way for best possible implementation of the plans created.
This aspect of management includes job analyzis as well as recruiting and hiring people for the appropriate jobs.
This entails determining what needs to be done in a given situation and the getting the people involved to do it. This is one of clear contact points of management with leadership as we define it.
Make regular checks of the progress against the previously created plans. These plans off course might need to be modified according to the feedback gathered during the monitoring.
The stimuation of a person so that he or she will proceed to take the necessary action to accomplish the goal at hand.
Being a manager is a multi-dimensional task
Based on the above the role of the manager is a complex one. To succeed in management it is essential, as in most parts of life, to keep it simple. To do the basics and not get lost in fancy terms and processes, but rather see what works and if it is not working - change the approach until it works.