Dorie L. Griggs

Are You a Good Manager?

By Dorie L. Griggs
First Published in Southern Newspaper Publishers Association eBulletin
July 10, 2003


Are you a good manager?

It's a hard question to answer on your own. To get an accurate rating of your management abilities, your employees really should answer the question. In rare cases, people in management will undergo reviews by their employees. In the majority of cases, however, managers operate under the assumption that if their numbers are good and upper management isn't complaining they must be doing a good job.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the Pointy Haired Boss (PHB) from the Dilbert comic strip. Judging from the response I received, a vast number of people in the news room, and the work force in general, believe they have first hand experience with the PHB.

If you think you are a good boss do you agree or disagree with these statements?

  • When faced with a major decision, as the manager I need to make it on my own.
  • I'm in this position because no one else can do it better.
  • The people who work in my area are good, but I still need to oversee their work, offering tips regularly.

How did you do? If you didn't agree with these statements, congratulations! You are not a PHB. Now for the rest of you who answered any of these questions in the affirmative, here are a few ideas the people working for you wish you knew.

A strong manager is one who:

  • sets reasonable goals and revisits them with the employee.
  • allows the people in his/her area to make decisions.
  • encourages employees to come up with creative solutions.
  • understands the abilities of each employee and emphasizes strengths and helps to overcome weaknesses.
  • recognizes he/she does not have to have all the answers.
  • listens to suggestions from the staff and implements them when possible.

There are numerous books and classes on management styles. The Stephen Covey books and classes area wonderful start toward becoming an stronger manager. Professional development courses for yourself and your employees are also great ways to improve your skills and boost the confidence of your employees. Check out the offerings of the SNPA Traveling Campus. Or check with your human resources department for suggestions.

By improving your management style, and raising the morale in the department, you may be surprised at how enjoyable your work really is!

The information provided in this column is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice.

Dorie L. Griggs holds a Master of Divinity degree and her ministry is to journalists. Contact her via e-mail:

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