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Management as Touching People’s Life Published: Sunday, December 14, 2008 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel (Coco) Morales

A good friend asked me yesterday what was the most important thing about management that I can point out to him.  My answer was RELATIONSHIPS. That is the main thing we have.  Relationships are everything and we have to be very careful about how we are going to touch someone’s life in a way that person is going to change for ever.  Thus, we can take advantage of every learning opportunity, by being open to constructive change and staying always alert for healthy engaging possibilities.  Doors and windows, some invisible, some big and badly painted, will constantly be set in front of us specially within organizations and while executing our good work, but it is up to us to open them see the opportunities and step through.  In any relationship the primary drivers are: Fun, support, reinforcement, learning, reciprocity and future sustainability.

Management is the art and science of putting people’s talents, skills, differences and competencies to work the fastest way for stimulating creativity, innovation, leadership and high execution for achieving quick, visible and dramatic results.  BUT THIS HAS TO BE DONE WITH SUBSTANCE AND WITH PROFOUNDNESS.  We are living times where there is no room for superficialities.

Managing relationships can be they key to organizational success.  Real relationships can be a powerful source of new ideas, innovative solutions, and breakthrough organizational strategies.  For years we have researched the dangers of group think and passivity, having been good students of the great teacher and researcher Irving Janis.  Pluralism and relationships, broadly understood and managed, are essential to prosperity and progress, and for redefining with a fresh knowledge foundation the future in our time of massive external change.  Problem of opportunity behaviors are part of on interactional sequences among individuals.

A warning:  Let us not be greedy, but let us all see our own accomplishments in new light while encouraging us to take our collective and individual leadership to a new level:  Making pluralism an organizational priority; Getting to know people with real profoundness, acknowledging that face to face sustained interactions are mandatory; Enabling rich communication without any room for tough guys; Holding personal research, knowledge and institutional culture responsibility as a core value; Establishing reciprocity, virtue and mutualism as the final arbiter.  If we take the time to prepare ourselves thoroughly for the challenge in front of all of us, we will have a foundation of resources to draw upon in a critical moment.  We have stress this a thousand times: Pause, pause and pause and center ourselves in the global context, let us gain focus, and visualize our desired vision, purpose and concrete outcome.

Relationships will save us if they are good and will kill us if they are bad.  The strategy is to ALWAYS cultivate positive relationships.  By now we should have learned what we don’t want to do, that is, to be.  Of course we are all creators of roads and passages… But let us paid attention to the reminders of the roads we don’t want to travel.  That is the essence of learning, that is learning from our mistakes.

Again, relationships can be influential in our lives, and they come together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in just the right way to make us the people we are and the kind of thing we can do.  This is a kind of a delicate craftsmanship.

I am sitting now, in my desk, this late Sunday afternoon, giving thanks to God for the people I met and worked at the University of California, at Berkeley; the people I related to at the University of Puerto Rico; the people at Quality for Business Success; the people at more than a thousand customer organizations; and the people who has composed my direct and indirect family and friends architecture for many, many years.

So, at this point in my life, I have an open mind, an open heart, ready to relate, interact and constructively engage with any people that cross my journey.  As a natural entrepreneur I am always fully aware, open to opportunities, and listening whith the trust that I will learn something new at any moment from everyone, no matter who or she is, or the context of the situation.

My beloved wife, Migdy, asks me if this is going to end so we can rest, but may beloved children Guillermo, Dalismar and Queeny are quick to answer: Yes, when he finally gets to heaven!

 


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