Art of Management – essential rules


Working for an NGO teaches you the art of management. Especially when a big event is organised. The reason is very simple, there is no hierarchy as everybody is a volunteer.
Apart from this volunteers take time out to do work, which is often not the first priority and do the work due to some hidden internal drive. Now in such a situation organising work with a budget of peanuts would test and bring out the best of the Leadership and Managerial abilities in each person. In such challenging times, if you can succeed in smiling then you are on the way to achieve success.

Most of the corporates/offices i have seen management is of mediocre standards, the reason is very simple, where is the challenge. You are the boss, you have got people who come to office everyday and are keenly listening to you and they better listen to you for them to get paid/promoted. In essence there is a clear cut heirarchy, where is the challenge to innovate. Here you can induce fear in an employee, despite biting his teeth he/she is going to continue working. In an NGO they just drop out and stop working.

Anyways having worked for AOL events for the past 3 years, the following are the rules i have learnt which any leader should apply. I welcome you to add to the list.

Rule 1 – 80-20 rule is wrong its 98-2

Usually in a big organization, 20% of the people drag the remainig 80% people. Here 2% of the people would do the work. Remaining 98% would want to contribute but be stuck in there thoughts/inhibitions. A leader needs to identify these 2% and appropriately give them the most challenging tasks. Seniority should definitely not be an issue here.In fact what i do, is ask my fellow volunteers are you in the 2% cateogary or the 98%. Just a gentle reminder would suffice. It goes without saying, the leader also has to give priority to the 2 percenters, and give their opinions more weightage.

Rule 2 – Focussing on results.

Often in a charity based NGO, people feel just good by working and totally forget the results. For instance if the aim is to arrange for a talk in a college/corporate to talk about the activities about the organization, then people feel good if they have just gone and spoken to the officials in the respective colleges or corporates. When asked what happened, the answer would be ” i went and spoke to 4 colleges or called up 10 insitutions” with great satisfaction. If asked how many have agreed for a talk, the answer would be i am yet to finalize on that. Volunteers would often focus on the work, the actions rather than the results.Whether you are working for a NGO or your office or your college, as a leader or as a team player a good question to ask yourself would what have i achieved today, is the work done, what is the next course of action.

Rule 3 – Putting yourself as a third person.

To apply the above two rules you need to observe yourself as a third person. Often in an NGO, since there is no hierarchy, too many conflicting egos come into place, too many ideas. If you get stuck in the people and the ideas you would loose the bigger picture. To explain this further, imagine you are the camera and are watching yourself handle the situation and listening to your team. In my experience, by doing this you can comfortably apply the first 2 rules. Failing to do this, often causes all the problems. This rule you can apply whether you are a team leader or a team player. From the perspective of the team player, putting yourself in third person makes you realise whether you are listening to others, open to new ideas or are you stuck in your own thoughts.

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