Underlying philosophies of management

Your management philosophy is the reason behind your management style and taking time to work out your philosophy helps you and the people around you understand where you are coming from. Knowing where you are coming from, evening in tough times is a big enabler of resilience

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If someone asked you what is your management philosophy what would you say?

Chances are you’ve never taken the time to articulate it. Take note that I’m not referring to management style. For some management style is much easier to think about because your style is more the what, whereas your philosophy is why.

Your management philosophy is the reason behind your management style and taking time to work out your philosophy helps you and the people around you understand where you are coming from. Knowing where you are coming from, evening in tough times is a big enabler of resilience. It can be the thin difference between giving up and pushing through, having the confidence to staying true to your values and making the right decision for the long term, even if it’s difficult in the short term.

There’s a lot at stake.

When it comes to your philosophy there are no right answers because it’s all about your sense of purpose.

It should act as a guiding principle for your behaviour. It should act as a solid base to make decisions from.

For example consider this speech given at “The 2010 Inamori Kazuo Management Philosophy Tsingtao International Forum” on October 31, 2010: “In my opinion, the key points of management are found in the principles that I have applied and validated in managing Kyocera and KDDI. In my work to rebuild Japan Airlines (JAL), the former flagship carrier of Japan, I speak to the JAL executives daily about my understanding and application of these principles.

It doesn’t matter where you are: geographic location and national borders do not change these management essentials. The Twelve Management Principles use the question “What is the right thing to do as a human being?” as the most basic decision-making criteria. I believe that this universal philosophy transcends differences in nationality, ethnicity, culture and language.”

Personally, I love how the principles come down to one single question, “What is the right thing to do as a human being?” You can read more about this philosophy here.

Just in case you are wondering what those principles are:

The Twelve Management Principles

1. Clearly State the Purpose and Mission of Your Business.
2. Set Specific Goals.
3. Keep a Passionate Desire in Your Heart.
4. Strive Harder than Anyone Else.
5. Maximize Revenues and Minimize Expenses.
6. Pricing Is Management.
7. Success is Determined by Willpower.
8. Possess a Fighting Spirit.
9. Face Every Challenge with Courage.
10. Always Be Creative in Your Work.
11. Be Kind and Sincere.
12. Always Be Cheerful and Positive. Hold Great Dreams and Hopes in the Pureness of Your Heart.

It’s very easy to get carried away when sometimes a few simple words are all we need to remember.

Perhaps the management philosophy of Clarence Francis, Chairman of General Foods may help you move beyond style to an underlying philosophy. It’s a favourite of mine.

More to explore