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Finding ways to inspire confidence

Managing is easy. Getting people to do what you tell them that is hard.

Management can be a tricky proposition in the best of times, and at many nonprofits it seems as though times are never the best. There is no one-size-fits-all style of managing, but there are certain aspects of managing that can help a manager, as well as those working for the manager, get the best possible results.

In his book “Simply Managing” Henry Mintzberg emphasizes the concept of “engaging management” in a way that utilizes a sense of respecting, trusting, caring, inspiring and listening to get the best of everyone in the organization.

Mintzberg writes that engaging management embodies the following traits:

  • Managers are important to the extent they help other people to be important.
  • An organization is an interacting network, not a vertical hierarchy. Effective managers work throughout; they do not sit on top.
  • Out of this network emerge strategies as engaged people solve little problems that can grow into big strategies. Implementation, so-called, also feeds formulation.
  • To manage is to help bring out the positive energy that exists naturally within people. Managing thus means engaging, based on judgment, rooted in context.
  • Leadership here is a sacred trust earned from the respect of others.

As we celebrate our 36th year, NPT remains dedicated to supplying breaking news, in-depth reporting, and special issue coverage to help nonprofit executives run their organizations more effectively.


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