Managing | Henry Mintzberg

Summary of: Managing
By: Henry Mintzberg


Get ready to dispel myths and penetrate the complex inner workings of management as we explore Henry Mintzberg’s insightful book, ‘Managing’. Through this summary, you will unveil the craft behind this intricate practice and debunk three common myths that misrepresent management skills. Let’s dig into the reality of managerial life by shedding light on the diversity, pace, and dynamic equipoise required for today’s managers. Mintzberg will guide you along the information, people, and action planes of management, exploring skills and competencies required for success. Groundbreaking observations and advice await you, illustrating the adaptability and mastery needed to thrive in the changing world of management.

The Practice of Management

Managers often start their jobs with no prior knowledge of the role. Management is a combination of science, art, and profession, making it a practice rather than a single entity.

Myths About Management Skills

The book debunks three common myths about management skills. Firstly, it argues that leadership and management are not separate skills, but rather that good managers must also be good leaders. Secondly, management is not a profession but rather a craft that one learns by doing. Finally, management skills do not change with time, as management is about human behavior which remains consistent. The book also sheds light on some interesting folklore about managers. Contrary to popular belief, managers do not rely heavily on formal systems for their work and information. Instead, they depend on word-of-mouth communication, which is often faster and more efficient. Managers are action-oriented and are constantly in motion, dashing from one task to another. Lastly, good managers are not strictly hierarchical in their communication and decision-making. Lateral relationships with colleagues and associates are equally crucial in achieving organizational goals. The book aims to dispel some prevalent myths about management and leadership to help readers understand better the skills required in these roles.

Mastering Management

A manager’s roles include achieving unit goals and ensuring their direct reports’ optimal performance. The CEO oversees large organization divisions, while management entails several tasks like controlling, doing, dealing, thinking, leading, and deciding. Management is split into three spheres involving information, people, and action, transitioning from theoretical to practical and interpersonal.

Essential Organizational Skills for Managers

Effective management requires the mastery of five key skills dubbed as “Designing,” “Delegating,” “Designating,” “Distributing,” and “Deeming.” Managers are information nerve centers of their units. To lead, the manager must communicate transparently with both the team and external partners. This book’s message is that good management requires a blend of art, craft, and science, whether in a single manager or a management team. By observation and communication, managers acquire the information needed to direct their team to take action and ensure employees have sufficient information.

The Role of Managers

Managers are responsible for creating a unified team, developing individuals, and promoting organizational culture. They also act as spokespeople with external contacts and safeguard employees from outside influences. As energy centers of their units, they motivate employees and build strong relationships with the outside world. A good manager must conduct information flow to and from the department, lobby on behalf of the unit, and promote the team’s interests.

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