Management: Effective leadership

Successful managers get things done and know how to motivate their workers to do the same, writes Susan Pletts.

Managerial leadership is one thing, effective managerial leadership is another. That’s what we should aim for in our businesses, because “effective” means the leader is actually getting things done and being productive.

A farming enterprise has many operations and so needs a number of people to make each sector a success. Management personnel need to know how to motivate people. In addition, all staff should be trained if they aren’t skilled enough to do their jobs effectively. People need to know enough to solve their own problems!

Managers should be planners. In planning, all relevant information should be gathered, such as the size of land to be planted, the preparation needed, how many labour units will be required, how much fertiliser and seed is needed to fill the area. But it’s pointless planning for these inputs if the finance isn’t there to buy them. So budgeting should be your first step in the planning process.

The manager also needs to know the capacity (how much can be done) of any tractors and implements, together with how much the labour can physically accomplish in a day’s work. For example, when you have a day (time deadline) to cut down a tree (goal) – then spend half a day sharpening your axe (planning). Trying to cut down a tree with a blunt axe will only lead to frustration and failure.

To sum up, no matter what your business is, there are five items that will always require managing:

  • Your manpower.
  • Materials.
  • Markets.
  • Money.
  • Time.