Management Essentials: How To Manage, Lead, and Succeed In Today’s Workplace

by Randy Murray on February 13, 2012

Here is a shameful truth about today’s business environment: the vast majority of the people who manage others and operate businesses have had no training and very little assistance in learning the basics of management. Good management skills are too often thought of as natural personal qualities. If you’re good at a job, you’ll be good at managing and leading others.

That turns out not to be the case. Managing others is difficult. Running a business is surprisingly difficult. I spent the best part of my 25+ years inside businesses managing, not because I was naturally gifted or trained, but because I accumulated experience managing others. I was glad to leave it behind to focus on what I’m really good at: writing. But I had to become a good manager to survive and prosper in business. I wish I’d had more help and training early in my career. Good managers need to be trained, mentored, coached, and ideally, apprenticed to great managers.

That’s why I’m starting this new series: Management Essentials. I’ll share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned, some of them the hard way, and give you some things that will help you manage employees, even virtual ones, and, perhaps, manage yourself and your own time better.

In this series I’ll cover:

  • How to fire (you’ll need to think this through before you hire your first employees).
  • Eliminating busywork — no employees simply filling time.
  • How to hire.
  • Giving constructive criticism.
  • What to do with a smelly employee. Seriously.
  • No bad moods.
  • How much goofing off to allow—and when to encourage it.
  • The role of social media for the “shop floor” employee.
And more. I’m also open to your suggestions and questions.


Tomorrow: how to deal with performance problems.

More Management Essentials.

The Management Essentials: How To Manage, Lead, and Succeed In Today’s Workplace by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brian Beasley February 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

This is an important topic, Randy, and I applaud you for taking it on. My observations in corporate America align precisely with yours; too many individuals were placed (or tossed) into a management role with absolutely no training. Many were awarded the position for “time served”. Unfortunately, some were ill equipped to lead and some had no business ever being assigned responsibility for a team or department. The consequences? The team suffered, the company suffered and the customer suffered.

I look forward to learning from your series.



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