What Are the Three Levels of Management?

Posted by Robert Norton on

Like any model, this just divides a highly complex topic, or spectrum, into a number of levels to simplify.  However, this can be useful to set some framework and goals to climb that ladder.

First, Management and Leadership are “Arts” not skills, consisting of hundreds of skills combine and requiring experience not book learning. That said, I created a model with five styles of Management learning, each would enable a person to start their own company and do well.  They are only learned through experience. 

Every person should be managed mostly using one of these techniques, or styles:

1. Micromanagement - the lowest form to supervise individuals in real-time. Generally, only need for low level and lazy workers. This style is only for inexperienced people or those new to the organization. Or people in very low-level jobs that need to be monitored constantly, often because the job is repetitive, unskilled and low paying where it is difficult to find self-motivated employees. Most other employees should be trained and grow out of this high-maintenance managements style. 

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2. Management By Objective (MBO), also called Objectives and Key Results or OKR by many today. This was invented by Peter Drucker, The Father of Management in the 1960s. It is the foundation of good management of professional workers where a process of agreement (not dictatorial orders) happens to set goals that are “SMART”. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bounded. Research over decades has proven this style enhances corporate value creation by 56%! A massive difference in productivity. There are load of psychological reasons for this and we offer a complete training on this style as doing it well will have a huge impact on any organization. Most organizations think they do this well, but I would estimate over 80% fail to understand and stick to the subtle but fundamental principles that make this method effective.  CEOs and managers that do not do this well are ineffective managers.  This style provides clarity, accountability, predictability, higher productivity and many other benefits.   

3. Management By Exception - This is for managing more experienced people like Managers and Executives and gives them far more freedom. It is usually enabled by a dashboard of metrics to monitor and report progress in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). As organizations, processes and people mature they can all be managed by exception, or "by the numbers".  And department with more than five people should have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are tracked daily, weekly and monthly to make trends and problems highly visible.

The other two styles of management are more advanced and for executives.  They are Leadership and Management By Wandering Around (MBWA).  These are not one-on-one but one on many techniques. See my full article for more on this topic at: The 5 Styles of Management Every Managers Needs to Know and Practice

To get your entire team trained in these styles, which will show immediate payback and ROI, as well as improve your company's morale, culture and professionalism we offer a low-cost training and coaching program guaranteed to turbocharge your company's results in less than ninety days. 

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Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur and CEO with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors. He has trained, coached and advised over 1,000 CEOs since 2002. And is Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship University™. Mr. Norton works with companies to triple their chances of success in launching new companies and products. And helps established companies scale faster using the six AirTight Management™ systems. And helps companies successfully raise capital.

Call (619) SCALE06 or email info@AirTightMgt.com for a complementary strategic consultation.


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