Dispelling Common Management Myths

Some employees have a hard time describing exactly what their managers do on a typical day. Because managers aren't always seen doing tangible hands‐on work, such as writing a computer program, editing a book, or selling a product, sometimes employees think they do nothing but sit and wait for problems to arise. But that misconception is just one of several myths that are very different from the many realities of management. The following examples discuss not only the most common myths about managers but also the realities.
  • Myth: The manager is a reflective, methodical planner.
  • Reality: The average manager is swamped by trivialities and crises and spends only nine minutes or so on any activity.
  • Myth: The effective manager has no regular duties to perform.
  • Reality: Managers attend upper management meetings, meet regularly with employees, coworkers, and potential clients, and absorb and process information on a continued basis.
  • Myth: The manager's job is a science.
  • Reality: Managers rely heavily on interaction and judgment.
  • Myth: Managers are self‐starters, self‐directed, and autonomous.
  • Reality: Good managers are self‐managing: They accept autonomy, while seeking input from supervisors.
  • Myth: Good managers seek out the information they require.
  • Reality: Managers don't always have access to information they need.
  • Myth: Competition among managers is good for business.
  • Reality: Collaboration (the pooling of resources) and cooperation (working together) among managers creates a better business. Today, the concepts of TQM indicate that organizations function better if resources and knowledge are shared and individuals work together as a team.

Uncovering your own beliefs of management is important as you develop an awareness of “true” daily management duties.