I have read a lot of books on management and I have talked to a lot of business owners and managers. More and more I have become convinced that Management is 5% opportunity, 5% training, 25% ability and talent, and 65% common sense. Plenty of business books have been written about opportunity, training, and talent but I have rarely seen any written about Common Sense.

Too Smart?
I am reminded of a friend that I knew who was brilliant, educationally. Straight A’s through High School and most of College. This friend was headed for grad school to study Bio-Physics. I have lost touch with this person and wonder if they are still alive. Why? Because, for someone so smart this person lacked a major component for dealing with the relational aspects of life — common sense. I once saw them come home and set belongings down on the kitchen stovetop and then (do you know where this is going?) turn the stovetop on while going to get a pot. All the while the belongings were about to “flame on” until I quickly removed them. Hello? One does not set flammable objects on top of a hot stove unless one lacks sense.

OK, this is one scenario but, I have seen managers get bogged down in too much training. They establish business processes that increase disharmony instead of promoting harmony. They act as a micro-managing funnels that slowly grind projects and enthusiasm to a halt. Their companies and human resources are shackled because of their trying to apply little business tricks they have learned.

Following Trends
Another fallacy, I have observed, has been the adoption of any “new” management theory and idea that comes bursting out on the scene. Books are written, people speak and lecture on the topic and corporate leaders start applying the latest trend in business leadership because, I guess, things have not been working out quite they way it was expected. (See No Jackets Required)

Back to The Basics
Common sense says, “Treat people the way you want to be treated. Hire the way you want to be hired. Fire the way you want to be fired. Encourage the way you want to be encouraged. Don’t over spend. Don’t go into debt. Be steady and plan for the longterm–not hasty and spontaneous.”

How do you manage your home? Well, some of you may manage home like you do your department or company. And, what are the results? You know the answer.

Would You Want to Work For You?
Are you having fun managing? Fun is an indicator of success. If you are enjoying your work and the people you manage are exited about their work then carry on! If things are sour, then you have some soul-searching to do.

In the next installment, we’ll look at some common sense principles regarding work and business managment. You will probably see some things that are “no brainers” but, are you applying these as common sense would dictate or are you giving into the latest winds of management doctrine?

Food for thought until next time.

Related Link
Common Sense Management #2
You Might Be A Micromanager If…
Leadership Styles: Dictatorial, Authoritative, Consultative, Participative