10 Management Lessons from Pakistan
Most of what we call management in Pakistan consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.
1. Never hire people who are more interested in money than the job or are confused. They will embarrass you in future. Be careful of the greedy and confused they will let you down.
2. Never hire people from competition. They had come to you for money and they will switch for money too. Also ensure that you make them sign non-compete agreement.
3. Nurture new talent for long term retention. Train your own staff according to your job description. The experienced one's can not withstand the new work place. Also make sure you give them the freedom. Remember you hire people to tell you what to do not the other way around.
4. Take ownership of team failures. And give credit to their/your victory. Leadership is all about sacrifice and as head of the family, sacrifice the most.
5. Ignore small leakages (for non-management staff only). I headed one of the largest charities in Pakistan with a fleet of over 200+ ambulances. I once pointed out how Rs.30/day was being minted by ambulance driver. "My chairman replied but they are taking care of Rs.5 million ambulance." However there's a line which which does not need to be crossed and as a manager you ought to know where that line ends.
6. Also make examples and create a transparent accountability process. Fire people to create lessons and promote the right people to create hope. There's a company called Americom Technologies and they did Rs.100 carores of ICT sales in 2008 but today most of it's staff owns their own companies and Americom is limited to 2 carores. Problem? That its management did not make example of first people who compromised company and leaked information to the competition. I had an employee whom I made sure went to jail for opening a company within the company.
7. Never swear or use foul language. Never degrade someone in front of staff. A good boss will praise in public and if a constructive reprimand is necessary, provide it sparingly, privately, and with benevolence. Allowing failure is a key of true delegation. Lessons are learned from missed goals. Learn to listen, and when employees provide feedback, do your best to consider their thoughts with an open mind.
8. Be creative in problem solving: Lets accept that Pakistan is not an ideal country to run business hence, be creative and think out-of-the-box solutions.
9. Prepare to sacrifice your queen: I let one of my best employees resign because he was letting my team down due to miscommunication. He was the best I got but he was the biggest hurdle in my team development hence, I had to make a sacrifice and today I have ten of such employees.
10. Dress well. One of the British traits from management especially in India was that they would never allow servants to see them wear clothes. When they came out, people would see a remarkably dressed man from head to toe. The people would see a super-man. Work psychologically backs the point too.