• Management Advice to Live By

    by  • December 2, 2011 • On Public Relations Management

    Some years back, legendary PR guy Keith Moore conducted a national survey of public relations managers in higher education. We thought some of the responses to the question, “What advice would you give to a new manager?” were thoughtful and fascinating.

    “Listen, coach, guide—direct, look slightly up to everyone, be patient, don’t be afraid to fire even those you hired. Set a good example and watch them grow.”

    “Forget your own ego. Hire only people better than yourself. The return on that investment is fantastic.”

    “Make sure your lines to the CEO are clear and invulnerable. Then hire people who know more than you and who understand what loyalty is all about.”

    “People will (almost always) live up to your expectations. If you expect them to excel, to achieve, to perform, they will. If you fear they are not able or unwilling, they will give you that in spades.”

    “Listen to those who work for you. Ignore most of what you read in management textbooks, much of what you’re told at management seminars, and trust your instincts. If there’s a Lesson #1, it would be: Learn the terrain in which you operate as a manager.”

    “Listen, listen and then listen again before responding.”

    “Attention to detail can often make the difference between an acceptable performance and a great success.”

    “Lesson number one in my book is to be brutally honest, straightforward and candid in every instance and let the chips fall where they may.”

    “Maintain a sense of humor and fairness. Public relations management should be taught by masters of diplomacy as well as communications.”

    “Be calm and confident to inspire employees, even when you haven’t a clue as to what to do in certain situations.”

    “Laugh at yourself. And don’t get so serious at yourself and your area of responsibility that you lose perspective. Don’t try to put yourself in little boxes (my professional self at work, my normal self at home or with friends). Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something. This is a tough one: Avoid paranoia—it’s self-destructive and energy-sapping. Make sure you’re having fun most of the time.”

    “Beware self-importance, remain open to the ideas of others. Keep a sense of humor, guide with a loose rein, and when decision time comes, cast the majority vote. Above all, remember Mencken: ‘There’s an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.’”