Interview Report I conducted this interview with Mr. X who works as a manager in a franchise of a well-known company in my locality. Mr. X is 43 years of age and has been working with this company for almost five years. He was recruited as a supervisor. Gradually, he has been promoted to the position of manager as a result of his good performance. Mr. X is not formally educated in a course that is typically or integrally related to management. However, he has developed good management skills over the passage of time.
According to him, it took him nearly ten years working in the industry to develop the core competences of a manager. When he took over this job, he was already good at management, and the employer’s confidence in his abilities as a manager provides evidence for that. Mr. X uses Primavera Project Planner software to carry out the planning. He took a course of Primavera training to learn the use of software. Using this software, Mr. X can easily modify the schedules, keep track of the progress of work, update and retrieved the financial data, and correspond the results to the required individuals all across the organization.
Mr. X suggests that today’s managers must develop competence in such software in order to keep pace with the highly dynamic and rapidly changing work environment. Mr. X organizes work by arranging, accommodating, and assigning resources to the required personnel at the right time. Mr. X said that subordinates often demand more resources than they actual require because of a range of factors; some workers are incompetent to assess the required right amount of a particular resource while others intentionally ask for more resources in an attempt to use them for personal gains.
This imparts the need for a manager to not only be very prudent about the assignment of resources, but also to be able to make right decisions with respect to procurement and use of resources. Mr. X emphasized the need for managers to learn quantity and cost estimation. Although these are mathematical subjects and are not directly related to management, yet in order to make informed decisions, it is imperative that a manager knows quantity and cost estimation to avoid overallocation of resources. Mr.
X has a democratic leadership style. Whenever he has to make a decision, he tries his best to identify and approach all concerned or related stakeholders and ask them their opinions and suggestions. Mr. X may not necessarily take or work upon the suggestions of his subordinates, but still he considers asking subordinates’ opinions very important because this develops good understanding and rapport between a leader and the followers. Followers feel respected this way and they in turn respect their leader.
This mutual respect has a positive impact on the productivity of the workers, and their ability to achieve the desired goals is maximized. Mr. X has developed a small organizational breakdown structure of his own to control his team. He has made teams and assigned every team tasks as well as supervisors. Mr. X has assigned those supervisors the responsibility of not just supervising the work, but also observing the level of effort made by the individual team members. The supervisors keep track of team members’ attendance, their individualistic and collective capabilities, and level of contribution in the achievement of goals.
Mr. X uses this information to decide performance appraisals, benefits, and privileges for the workers working under him. He tries to do utmost justice and reward workers according to their skills as well as level of hard work. Mr. X warns employees whose performance is below expectations, and if some employee continues to be irresponsible, Mr. X refers the matter to the higher authorities. As a person, I have found Mr. X very focused in whatever he says and does.
From his responses, what I could gather was that the most important principle that has made Mr. X a successful manager has been his effort and constant surge to be at the right place at the right time. Mr. X himself suggests that this is the principle that governs all four functions of management namely planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. One skill that according to Mr. X is quintessential to gain success not just as a manager but also as a professional working in any field anywhere is time management.
Like every other employee working in an organization, the performance of a manager is also judged on the basis of his/her productivity. Since the time in which work has to be performed is limited, there is dire need to establish goals and milestones, and plan and schedule them in a way that they get achieved with the use of minimal resources, cost, and inconvenience. Other very important elements required for effective management include timely coordination and decision making authority. Since plans keep changing because of various factors, a manager can only reschedule the work and modify the plans without delaying the achievement of the desired goals by getting the required information in time.
Irrespective of what level a manager works on, it is imperative that higher authorities do grant him/her decision making authority for the scope of work a particular manager is assigned. Mr. X thinks that this decision making authority is very important because every manager develops and works according to a strategy, and if the higher authorities do not place confidence in the manager enough to let him/her make the necessary decisions to execute that strategy effectively, the ability of the manager to achieve goals is then marred.
This interview was a great learning experience for me. While for Mr. X, it was more of a reflective session, for me it was an opportunity to see theoretical concepts being applied on a practical situation. This highly informative and interactive session of interview lasted almost an hour. Since he is a busy manager, it was hard to establish an interview session with him, but he was too kind to refuse when I requested him for an interview for which I am very thankful to Mr.