ASSESSING YOUR PERSONAL MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS

Instructions: For each set of paired statements below, check the one which best describes you. Be as honest as you can; when in serious doubt about whether to choose answer A or B, ask a close associate for his/her insight into your behavior.

1A. I would generally prefer to work alone than with others.
1B. I favor teamwork to working alone.

2A. I’m more concerned with the work than the people who do it.
2B. I focus more on the people than on the work they do.

3A. I like being independent of others in the organization and on my own.
3B. I don’t mind being dependent on others to get the job done.

4A. I’m a good thinker but often a poor implementor.
4B. I generally do a good job of moving from the "drawing board" to successful action.

5A. I am rarely conscious of trying to positively influence others.
5B. I find it fairly easy to build myself into others.

6A. I often feel that I’m not really in control of projects I work on.
6B. Projects generally turn out about the way I want them to.

7A. I’m better at waiting for things to happen than at making them happen.
7B. I’m better at making things happen than waiting for them to happen.

8A. While working I’m usually more aware of what I’m trying to accomplish than how I’m carrying out the work.
8B. While on the job, I generally concentrate more on how I’m working than on what I’m trying to accomplish.

9A. People I work with tend to follow my vision.
9B. I generally follow the vision of others as I work.

10A. I spend much of my time dealing with unforeseen problems on the job.
10B. Problems seldom "sneak up" on me or catch me by surprise.

11A. I tend to follow the precedents established by others.
11B. People often rely on me to set precedent on the job.

12A. As I work I generally have a strong sense of priorities--first things first.
12B. I tend to work in a way convenient to me most of the time.

13A. It is my habit to consciously make time during the work day for high priority assignments.
13B. I work on high priority projects when they are brought to my attention by others.

14A. I tend to concentrate more on means (how to do a task) than on ends (what is to be done).
14B. I concentrate more on ends than means in my daily work routine.

15A. I view planning as something for someone else to do.
15B. I accept planning as a central part of my job.

16A. Most people would call me a well-organized person.
16B. Personal organization is not one of my real strengths.

17A. My team is productive in spite of my lack of personal organization.
17B. I enhance the productivity of my work group because I am well-organized personally.

18A. My sense of urgency about work and productivity is picked up by my team.
18B. Ií\’m not sure my work group picks up a sense of work urgency from me.

19A. My subordinates know what my performance expectations are.
19B. I probably doní\’t do the job I should in communicating clear performance expectations to those who work for me.

20A. I find it difficult to delegate work; I’d rather do most of it myself.
20B. Passing import assignments on to others comes fairly easily and naturally to me.

21A. My subordinates and coworkers are probably unsure of how much I really trust them.
21B. A high level of trust and rapport has been built up between me and members of my work team.

22A. My subordinates are highly dependent on me and require close supervision.
22B. My subordinates are fairly self-sufficient and capable of acting independently of me.

23A. My subordinates feel that they "own" their jobs and have ample opportunity to "run their own show."
23B. My subordinates probably feel that the organization owns their jobs and therefore tells them what to do.

24A. If my department is to be productive, I usually have to force it to happen.
24B. Productivity occurs naturally and almost spontaneously in my department.

25A. My area of the organization tends to value the people who do work more than the work they do.
25B. Work takes precedent over people and relationships in my part of the organization.

26A. I am not often conscious of modeling the work behaviors I want my subordinates to follow.
26B. I am oten conscious of being a good professional role model to my subordinates to follow.

27A. My opinions and perspectives are often sought out by co-workers.
27B. People rarely confer with me or seek my advice.

28A. Iíd rather concentrate on getting the job done than on building relationships.
28B. I get the job done largely through building myself into others I work with.

29A. Most people would characterize me as a good listener.
29B. Iím more of a doer than a listener.

30A. I generally work with team members in a way that motivates them.
30B. People had better already be motivated when they work for me; motivating them is not part of my job.

31A. I donít understand people very well.
31B. I find it fairly easy to understand the people I work with.

32A. When working on a project, I generally stay on target until it is completed.
32B. I have a tendency to wander off course when working on a project.

 33A. I spend more time solving problems than preventing them.

33B. I try to spend more time preventing problems than solving them once they have occurred.

 

34A. I’m better at starting projects than finishing them.

34B. I generally finish what I start.

 

35A. I provide my subordinates with clear enough standards that they know when theyíve done a good job.

35B. My subordinates may not always be certain when they have done a job well.

36A. My tendency is to work with subordinates only when there is a problem or something is wrong.
36B. I strive to spend just as much time with my subordinates when things are going well as when they arenít going so well.

37A. I manage through a strong sense of goals to be achieved.
37B. When I manage, I tend to concentrate most on operating according to procedure and precedent.

38A. I almost always closely consult my subordinates in setting work goals.
38B. I tend to set goals on my own and then announce them or sell them to my work group.

39A. I frequently vary the way I go about reaching decisions.
39B. I make decisions pretty much in the same way from one situation to another.

40A. I spend more time on major decisions than on routine ones.
40B. I tend to spend about the same amount of time and effort on all decisions.

41A. In most cases I consult only a few opinions before I make a decision.
41B. I’m usually conscious of achieving a consensus before important decisions are made.

42A. I tend to avoid or "duck" problems as long as possible.
42B. I generally confront problems head on when I become aware of them.

43A. I have a pretty good sense for distinguishing between major and minor problems.
43B. It is sometimes difficult for me to know the difference between major problems and minor ones.

44A. I possess quite a knack for solving problems creatively.
44B. Iím often hard-pressed to find workable solutions for the job-related problems I face.

45A. I have a fairly autocratic leadership style.
45B. I tend to use a participative approach to leadership.

46A. I feel that leaders are paid to make decisions for others.
46B. The role of a leader is to facilitate democratic decision-making.

47A. I generally oppose change and prefer to stay with the status quo.
47B. I look forward to most changes.

48A. I often make conscious attempts to exert positive influence over my coworkers.
48B. I donít usually strive to influence others unless specifically directed to do so.

49A. I’m very tolerant of the individual differences of my co-workers.
49B. I have a tendency to want people to fit my own mold and match my style.

50A. I have read a lot about management and I am well grounded in the way I practice management.
50B. I occasionally question how much I know about management and how capable of a manager I am.

ASSESSING YOUR PERSONAL MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS.

(Score 2 points for each correct answer. The closer your score is to 100, the higher your potential for managerial effectiveness.)

1(B) All of us have times when we prefer to work alone; however, management is more people centered than work centered. A desire for team work and the image of a "team player" enables better managerial performance over time.

2(B) The work done by the people is certainly important, but, the primary focus of the manager should be on the people doing the work. Without motivated, skilled, and caring people, focusing on work will have only limited effect.

3(B) Delegation of authority, without which the manager cannot function, requires being dependent on others to get the job done.

4(B) Management is the process of getting things done through others. Conceptual skill is vital, particularly at higher levels of management; however, nothing will happen without effective implementation.

5(B) Power is the ability to influence others. Managers who have several positive power bases will be the most successful in the long run. With strong Christian faith as an underpinning power base, we can easily influence or build ourselves into others. Related to this is a valuable managerial attribute: the ability to sincerely empathize.

6(B) Making things turn out the way you want them to reflects good planning and organizing. This also requires control in order to make sure the plan is being executed properly. All of these are crucial to good management.

7(B) Successful managers stay in control through anticipation and looking ahead. This enables them to "make things happen" in a way that benefits many.

8(A) Success is largely a matter of being goal and results oriented. Thus, the outcome of work is viewed as more important than the methods used.

9(A) Leaders possess the knack of getting others to voluntarily follow them. It is a matter of having the right vision.

10(B) Good planning and forecasting will minimize unforeseen problems and help to prevent "brush-fire" management.

11(B) Managerial planning must involve precedent-breaking as well as precedent-making. Doing things "the way we have always done them" is not necessarily the most effective or efficient game plan. It takes a resourceful leader to blaze a new trail.

12(A). Effective time management involves setting priorities. The simplest form is merely categorizing activities into "Got To Do," "Ought To do," and "Nice To Do."

13(A) Prioritizing time as in question 12 above also requires the self-discipline to follow through and make time available.

14(B) Results or goal-oriented management requires concentration on ends rather than means. Too much emphasis on means creates a bureaucracy.

15(B) Planning is the starting place of good management. It sets the cycle of organizing, directing, and controlling into motion.

16(A) Personal organization inevitably spills over to the work team, increasing the overall organizationís success.

17(B) The more organized you are personally as a manager, the more organized your team can be. Personal organization is the foundation of group organization.

18(A) A key ingredient of leadership is effective communication. For the team members to pick up on the leaderís sense of urgency indicates that effective communication. For the team members to pick up on the leader'í sense of urgency indicates that effective communication is occurring. Through communication team members learn the what, why, when, and how of that which is to be done.

19(A) Leaders see to it that team members know what to do. Written job descriptions should focus on performance expectations and responsibilities rather than just job duties.

20(B) Managers who donít delegate arenít really managing. Delegation is the key to dramatically extending your own personal productivity. Overcoming barriers to delegation (such as mistrust), learning how to delegate, and creating accountability are major factors in the basics of managerial leadership.

21(B) Leaders must exhibit confidence and trust in their subordinates. Leaders must communicate sincere confidence and trust before they can expect reciprocal feelings.

22(B) Organizations operate best under a system of centralized policy and decentralized implementation. That is, people need a common understanding about how to proceed, but also freedom and autonomy to exercise initiative and creativity.

23(A) Job ownership is the ultimate in organization. Subordinates should be managed in such a way that they feel they "own" their jobs. Ownership breeds self-sufficiency, responsibility, and seriousness of purpose.

24(B) Human productivity is a lot like growing a garden: provide fertile circumstances, and youíll get a good crop naturally without forcing things to happen. Without proper organizational circumstances, productivity is akin to "pulling teeth!"

25(A) Managerial efforts to direct people in productive directions will largely fail if the productivity is valued more than the people. In general, managers must be more concerned with people than with sheer output. Managers must realize that increased productivity is achieved through a people oriented approach.

26(B) Leaders must set the example for the entire organization. The most effective management approach is management by example or modeling. Managers must vividly model the behaviors most desired by the organization. Actions speak volumes!

27(A) When subordinates and peers seek you out, they are conveying trust and confidence in you. This is a vitally important vote of confidence.

28(B) Relationship-building is the key to managerial effectiveness. Productivity increases are possible only through such people relationships.

29(A) Listening is the super-highway to relationship-building. "One thirsty ear can drink a thousand tongues dry."

30(A) The best guarantee of having motivated people on board is to hire motivated people. However, the organization can do much to kindle latent motivation in others: provide meaningful work, a sense of personal accomplishment, and timely positive reinforcement.

31(B) Understanding the needs of each person is critical to motivation. The organizationís reward system is ineffective if it does not appeal to the real needs of the members.

32(A) Controlling is the steering function that keeps an organization on target towards goal accomplishment. Established milestones and target dates, combined with good time management and the tenacity to achieve, will keep projects rolling on schedule.

33(B) Preventive maintenance is the single best control technique. Most problems can be completely prevented or largely defused through intelligent early intervention.

34(B) Effective execution is the key to control, and follow-up is the secret to execution. Without completion of a project, there can be no follow-up. Incomplete work represents wasted time and lowered productivity.

35(A) Without a keen sense of performance standards, you cannot truly be in control. Standards must be idealistic enough to motivate and help people catch a vision; they must be realistic enough to enable team members to successfully complete a dayís work. Service to others promotes idealistic standards; participative management is the source of realistic standards..

36(B) Management by exception (becoming actively involved as a manager only when something is wrong) can create undesired interpersonal distance between manager and subordinate. Close interpersonal relationships are desired at all times, regardless of how things are going. The manager should be regularly visible and involved. This is sometime called "MBWA" (Management BY Walking Around).

37(A) Management by objectives (close teamwork between manager and subordinate in jointly determining performance goals) is the ultimate in control. This results in the subordinate exercising self control over goal accomplishment.

38(A) Goals developed jointly between manager and subordinates are more likely to be accepted by the subordinate. Unless goals are internalized and a strong sense of commitment is realized, the entire process of goal setting becomes waster time and lip service.

39(A) Not all situations require the same process or method of decision-making. The key challenge is whether or not to involve others in the process. Generally speaking, if the result of the decision significantly affects subordinates, they should be involved in the decision-making process.

40(A) Effective problem solvers don’t "major in the minors." They develop a sense of problem priorities--which ones to tackle now, which ones to tackle later, and which to avoid all together.

41(B) When co-workers participate in a decision, they are much more likely to implement it cooperatively. Participation breeds commitment.

42(B) Problems are opportunities for progress--few problems, little progress. Confronting problems when they appear is taking advantage of a possible opportunity. Avoiding problems in the hope that they will go away is a common error. Attempting to hide problems may be disastrous.

43(A) Most of us have known managers who were being "overrun by elephants while they were stamping on ants." The ability to categorize problems and therefore prioritize action, is definitely a managerial asset.

44(A) Creativity in problem solving is a big plus. Remember the 5-50 principle in problem solving: 5 percent more creativity in generating solutions yields 50 percent greater success in solving problems.

45(B) Research has shown that there are situations where an autocratic style is the most effective, such as a tank commander in battle. However, for the majority of situations faced by administrators, the participative style is the most effective. Leadership style is a function of how much you allow team members to participate in running their organization.

46(B) Leaders are facilitators, not autocrats. The goal of a leader should be to maximize the potential of co-workers. This is facilitation.

47(B) Change, as well as conflict, is normal and desirable in organizations. Growth is not possible without change.

48(A) Successful managers exert positive influence in all directions: toward superiors, peers, and subordinates.

49(A) Every person is different in his or her personality and needs. To recognize and accept this fact is the mark of a mature manager. It is this very difference that provides the wealth of energy and creativity in organizations. Managers who view their co-workers as a vast reservoir of new ideas will be extremely tolerant of individual difference.

50(A) Self-confidence is a vital managerial trait. To feel that one is well grounded in the practice of management is a mark of self-confidence. However, the most astute and mature manager will realize that his or her learning about management is a continuous process.