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  1. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Entrepreneur

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    Is it a good thing for managers to be flexible and willing to change their intentions based on feedback, or will a stubborn manager unwilling to amend their plans succeed more ?

    I've always had a friendly and flexible style as a manager and the benefits to my, admittedly small, business of increased morale, adaptability to ever-changing circumstances and markets have always seemed self-evident to me. I recently read 'Think bigger, act bigger' by Jeffrey Hayzlett, and although he is involved in much bigger business than me, he does have a completely opposite style. Whats your management style and how adaptable do you think you should be to achieve most for your business ?

    This article summarises Jeffreys' attitude fairly well if you haven't read his book :- Why the Best Business Leaders Are Pigheaded and Irrational
     

  2. Ms Bizz

    Ms Bizz Entrepreneur

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    I think the best managers will have a balance of both. If you are unwilling to be flexible and adjust along the way it can be very limiting both for your business and relationships. There are times however where I feel you need to be stubborn and should not bend to the wishes of requests of others. I guess knowing which style to apply when is the key.

    Looking back on managers I have worked for I have a lot of respect for those that have taken a more stubborn approach than for the more lenient and flexible style.

    In my business now, my management style is more flexible and adaptable than when I was in the corporate world managing staff. I feel you need to be adaptable depending on what circumstances you are working with at the time.
     
  3. harpazo22

    harpazo22 Entrepreneur

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    I totally agree that managers should be flexible and willing to change a little bit when they receive feedback. To have a successful business, you have to put your client first and what they like or it's just not going to thrive, plain and simple. But I also agree a perfect balance of both is good. A manager can't flip flop all the time, he needs to be grounded in things.
     
  4. Kathryn M.

    Kathryn M. Entrepreneur

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    I feel that inflexible managers may get results, however it is at the expense of employee and company morale. The work environment will not be a pleasant one and employees will either begin to drop out and look for other work, or they will stay with the company and deteriorate to lackluster performance. It's impossible to continuously work without some kind of physical, mental, or emotional burn-out. This is something inflexible managers do not realize or care to think about. They are only looking for results.

    The flexible manager may not always meet the bottom line or gain expected results, but his team will still be intact, with a willingness to try even harder to reach the goal next time. Most of the time, flexible managers will not place quotas on their employees. Instead, they will show employees the overall goal they wish the achieve and ask that the employees help reach that goal. This empowers employees to think and act on their own to come up with ways to help the boss reach his goals. Instead of feeling forced to go along with management's desires.
     
  5. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

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    Flexibility for a manager is important and they should always be open to new ideas and new ways of working. Even a manager that as countless years of experience in a certain field can learn a thing or two off someone who's new to the game.

    Having said that, not every idea a person comes up with is a good one, and if an idea isn't taken up and incorporated into the business, the manager doesn't need to explain why or give reasons either.

    At the end of the day, a manager lives or dies by his own decisions, that's why they're the manager.
     
  6. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Entrepreneur

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    A good manager needs to be really flexible and could easily adapt to changes regarding their business. Stubbornness will never lead you to success. He/she must also be a good listener. Just because he/she is the business owner doesn't mean he/she already has the right to do whatever he/she wants to do. No employee is going to stay with you if you're way too demanding.
     
  7. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

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    I think stubbornness can play a part in every manager and a lot of the time its that 'I know best' mentality that will doom a company to failure.

    I've known a lot of managers that are unwilling to change and listen to their employees and it ends in either one of two ways. The employee leaves, or the manager does.
     
  8. Pop

    Pop Entrepreneur

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    The most important thing is whether the way they manage achieves the company's goals. Just because some stakeholder gives feedback does not mean that the change they suggest would help the manager better meet the company's goals. It all has to be aligned with the strategy everyone participating in the company agreed to.
     
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

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    As with any business the money and the figure on the bottom line, the profit will always be important but managers also have to understand that the employees are important to.

    At the end of the day, without your workforce your not going to have a business in the first place so anything you can do to make them feel appreciated will help productivity.
     
  10. Pop

    Pop Entrepreneur

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    Some employees are more important than others, IMHO. If the "feedback" is that the employee did not like being told that they missed a reasonable target, well that's just sad.

    Some of the most successful companies out there are absolutely hardass on their workers (Apple, Netflix etc). Kindness and efficiency are not always aligned 1:1.

    My point is that for a manager getting the work done is more important than being liked, and some employees take friendliness an invitation to take advantage. At the end of the day a manager can be a friend to a motivated, suitably skilled, and honest worker--but not to any other kind of worker.
     
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

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    I think we'll have to disagree then because no employee wants to work for a manager that doesn't appreciate them. No matter how good and enthusiastic they are about their job, if they know their suggestions or complaints will be ignored, your not going to get 100% commitment from them.
     
  12. Pop

    Pop Entrepreneur

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    A managers job is to respond to suggestions that have merit in moving the company towards its strategic goal. If the employees suggestions do not do that, they will not be implemented.

    I think you are seeing this from the point of view of an employee who wants to be appreciated, not an entrepreneur who wants to build a successful business.

    An employee gets appreciated when they fulfill their function adequately or well. This may or may not be done in a "friendly" way.
     
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

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    I'm seeing this as a former owner of a successful business and I found that being a hard task master and not listening to your employees, no matter how bizarre their ideas were, bred negativity.

    Even if I didn't implement any new ideas, and sometimes I didn't, at least they knew that if they DID have an idea I was always open to the suggestions and they appreciated the fact they felt part of the business and not just treated as a worker that I didn't care about.
     

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