Understand Budgets, Financial Reports & Management Data

It is important for you to actively and thoughtfully Participate on the management team. An important element of your participation is to assure that you Understand your organization’s budget, financial reports, and other management data.

Extra: Failure Is Merely An Event

“A man may fall many times, but he won’t be a failure until he says that someone pushed him.” — Elmer G. Letterman

The psychology of success and failure is complex but not particularly hard to understand. It starts with personal responsibility. Unless you accept the responsibility for failure, you can’t take the credit for success. Either you are the agent of your life outcomes or the victim of people who are pushing you down. What Letterman didn’t say is that, if you blame others for pushing you down, people other than you deserve the praise for pushing you ahead.

Separating yourself from what you do comes next. As William D. Brown put it, “Failure is an event, never a person.” Your success and failure aren’t who you are. They are merely what you do. S.I. Hayakawa expanded on the same theme, “Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, ‘I have failed three times,’ and what happens when he says, ‘I am a failure.'” The key is in how you manage life’s events, not in the events themselves. Robert Allen expressed it like this, “There is no failure. Only feedback.”

Now consider what you do with the feedback life provides. Napoleon Hill observed, “The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” It’s not enough to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and climb back on that horse that threw you. You need a better plan for staying in the saddle. Sure, getting up and starting over is tough. Yes, that damn horse may throw you again. Indeed, your new plan may not work any better than the old one; but it’s like Beverly Sills said, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

Thomas Edison managed the disappointment this way, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work;” and Samuel Beckett had a similar persistent optimism, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” With role models like Edison and Beckett, you can hardly go wrong, so long as you keep trying. As Charles F. Kettering put it, “One fails forward toward success.”

George E. Woodberry knew the essence of success, “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” Continuing effort is seldom elegant or easy; but Elbert Hubbard’s simple point may be all you actually need to know, “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” With that said, Mary Pickford gets the last word on the psychology of success and failure, “Supposing you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

Extra: Delegating

When Do I Delegate And When Not?

This is fairly simple in principle but not necessarily simple in practice. Answering the question starts with understanding exactly what is being delegated and what it means to delegate. We do not delegate our accountability for outcomes. Whether the outcomes are successful continues to be our obligation even if we do delegate the job to someone else. We continue to be responsible for how the job is done and the results despite having delegated the assignment. We have merely gotten someone to help us do what we are committed to doing. We should delegate then, only when we either cannot do the job by ourselves or do not want to do it alone.

Delegation goes a little further though. Instead of just getting someone to help us, we ask them to do the job for us, on our behalf. They do the job as if we had done it ourselves. We do not do the job, supervise their doing it, or interfere in their work. We delegate the job and then back away and let them do what they have agreed to do. They are not an extension of us, they are a substitute for us.

The conclusion is thus to only delegate jobs when we are prepared to turn the job over to someone else and then wait on the results. The corollary is only delegating jobs to people who we trust enough to be held accountable for whether or not they succeed and in whom we have enough confidents to step back and wait.

Of course, we delegate enough authority to get the job done and assure sufficient resources are available or accessible to do what needs done. This means the job does not require authority only we or people above us have. The person to whom we have delegated the job does not need any further approval or authorization from us or anyone else. They have the authority and resources they need to succeed.

The next conclusion is we only delegate when the job does not require our level of authority to be done or our level of access to resources. The person doing the job does not have to come back to us for approval. If he (or she) does, we have not actually delegated the job.

There are a variety of arrangements among co-workers we use to further the interests of our companies and our customers. Delegation is only one of those arrangements. However, when we do delegate, we are saying, “Get the job done and let me know when it is finished.”

As we see, delegation is not a cooperative activity. Rather, it is more a matter of having enough trust and confidence in someone else to let him stand in for us and our willingness to be personally held accountable for the outcome he (or she) does or does not achieve.

Be Responsive to the Needs of Clients and Customers

It’s important to consistently assure that you are Supporting and furthering your organization’s mission. This starts with being sure you are responsive to the needs and interests of clients and customers.

Get On That Pony And ride

Leadership is in many ways a balancing act. On the one hand, leaders are doers, they have to act. Leadership and action go hand in hand.

On the other hand, leaders can and sometimes do screw things up by acting too quickly, doing without sufficient thought and consideration. Insufficient caution is a risky approach to leadership, a nearly guaranteed path to disaster. Leadership and caution go hand in hand.

In this episode of the Leadership Shop, I give you three keys to open the door of effective and successful leadership. I hope you find them useful.

Ecological Human Services Management

Thanks for the chance to tell you about Ecological Human Services Management: An Organic Model for Practice. If you are a student, a human services professional or are just interested in management and organizational development, this book presents ideas and approaches that will serve your interests quite well. Let me tell you more about the book.

Ecological Human Services Management: An Organic Model for Practice has a limited and focused purpose: to initiate, implement, and manage human services. The practice model is explicated through the establishment of a new human services agency; but the approach, strategies, and techniques also apply to initiating new programs and services within an existing agency structure. The model shows how to transition from an identified, unmet human services need to clients benefiting from an array of helpful services provided by a successfully functioning human services agency.

Chapter One (The Helping Triangle) discusses the path from someone having difficulty coping with his (or her) life issues to his becoming an agency client who is receiving services enabling him to cope better.

Chapter Two (Leadership VS. Management) highlights the Leadership Team and shows how to complete the steps and activities discussed in the chapter and how to develop the Leadership Perspective from which the Team can successfully participate within the agency’s incorporating environment.

Chapter Three (Successful Leadership Connections) shows developing successful leadership connections is a relatively complex process but can be Managed effectively by agency staff members who meet the criteria included in the Leadership Connection Assessment presented in the chapter.

Chapter Four (The Management Team) discusses how the Management Team implements the policies, rules, and guidelines promulgated for the agency by the authorizing entities with which the agency is associated.

Chapter Five (Establishing the Agency) explains how we know who agency clients should be and understand the issues and difficulties they are having coping with the problems in their lives. Readers examine the resources and opportunities Potential Clients have as they struggle to cope and appreciate that their struggles relate mostly to their limited access to opportunities and resources other people access on a private, self-directed basis.

Chapter Six (Structuring the Internal Agency Eco System) brings forward the working model for services delivery developed in the previous chapter and established as the core function of the agency eco system. Using this working model, the secondary functions circle is conceptually developed, with accountability, responsibility, and authority delegated from the agency Board to its CEO and the Executive Function and then to various secondary functions such as Administrative Services, Fiscal Services, Human Resources Services, etc.

Chapter Seven (Staffing the Agency) points out how readers can understand the agency’s internal eco system in terms of the elements and entities within the system. The internal eco system is also understood in terms of the people who accept the duties and responsibilities involved in assuring the agency’s internal eco system functions successfully.

Chapter Eight (Meta Management) discusses strategies for better assuring the agency eco system functions efficiently and effectively. The eco system in principle is self-regulating and sustains its functioning indefinitely in the absence of drift. Unfortunately, drift is an ever-present, unavoidable ingredient of human services agency life.

The first Appendix includes suggested Management Guidelines for a human services agency.

The second Appendix presents The Ten Commandments of Management. Here, readers have a capsule view of the key elements needed for Management excellence.

Your copy of the book can be found in the Kindle Store on Amazon or by clicking the books cover image in the sidebar on LeadershipShop.net. I think you will find the book helpful.