Management Question

Some of you know that I’m currently working on my MA. Right now, I’m taking a class on publication management — it covers stuff like setting up budgets, managing people, and a wide variety of other topics.

Our current assignment is to interview a person who works as a publications manager (a very loosely defined term) and I thought this might be a valuable discussion for this blog, considering that many freelancers move into management positions, from editing to starting their own publications from scratch.

I have two questions that I specifically want to hear your thoughts on in the comments:

  1. What’s your philosophy on managing people, whether you’re managing a client or a staff?
  2. What is the most important characteristic of a publications manager?

1 Comment

  1. Amy   •  

    1. What’s your philosophy on managing people, whether you’re managing a client or a staff?
    Having a degree in training and development educated me in all “the in vogue” theories of management. What I found actually works is the following axiom:

    People only act out or act up when their needs are not met. Meet their needs and they will be willing to excel at what they do.

    I call that a holistic approach to business. I’ve applied that for the past 6 years with great results.

    With that in mind, I have formulated the following principles that bring success into the office.

    1. Tell the truth. It’s easier to remember the truth than a lie.

    2. Listen with your full attention. When it’s your turn to talk, you will know what to say.

    3. Be responsible. Blame does not befit you.

    4. Be available as well as interested.

    5. Treat everyone respectfully. It will bring out the best in people.

    6. Use effective words. Gossip will then go by the way.

    7. Know when to apologize.

    8. Say please and thank you.

    9. Set standards high. People will work toward them, if you believe in them – people and standards.

    10. Demonstrate the courage of having convictions.

    2. What is the most important characteristic of a publications manager? A sense of humor with the ability to trust coming in a close second. If you take yourself serious, you will never survive. I equate getting thru production with herding cats. Production has a mind of its own, just like cats. The more you try to control things, the more things go in different directions.

    If you trust your staff to do their jobs, production becomes smoother – less jumpy, very mistakes or mishaps. And if something does go awry, most clients only remember as far back as the last issue.

    So while you sweat perfection, your clients and staff will only remember the following: if it’s on time, their names are spelled right and what their ads look like. And, if something does go awry, apologize and make it right. How you make it right is what they will remember?

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