Insight

Agus Setiawan

PhD candidate and result-oriented Director with 25 years experience with involvement in all levels of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Managing Project and Product Development. Aside of managing a company, he is also the best corporate trainer and public speaker in seminar and conference.

Managing Organically – A New Approach for Managers to Grounded Engagement

No more sitting around, it’s time to get down there and be grounded in reality.

A manager is a role that requires a person to be hectic, and it is very demanding. In a higher position such as C-level executives, being in control conforms to their role, because typically they don’t engage in a day-to-day management (that is why they hire people to ensure the daily management). However, a manager or a team leader is not a controller. Just like their team members, the players, they themselves are also players with bigger responsibilities.


“Kiss up and kick down”? Horrible. “Bow down and pull up” instead.

Good managers are not a hand that moves the chess pieces by itself, they are the pieces that moves around. Internal problems are unable to come off by themselves with you observing and demanding from your seat. Work as a whole with your team members, treat them with respect. You won’t get anywhere unless you start engaging with your own people.

Good strategies develop through learning, not planning.

Create a working environment where people throughout the organization have the capacity and the recourses they need to make a good day-to-day decisions. From that point, many strategies and ideas will come up to you. This will help you in figuring out which ones work best from the processes, then strengthen up your organization by playing around them.

Measurements alone ignore intangible values. Evaluate.

In most cases, what really matters are often easy to be overlooked. While measurements are helping in describing what’s happening, they don’t tell the whole story about your organization’s performance. Not all data turns out to be reliable. Data can lose nuance when interpreted too broadly or minutely. Leaders need to assess more than data, that’s where the evaluation comes in. Evaluate the works of each unit and their effectiveness in context. This helps in showing a lot more relevant and trusted assessments because it is based on experience.

“You can’t measure it? Good: Manage it. You lack the evidence? Good: Get the experience.”

Case studies are important, but the real-time experience is often more bizarre.

In David Ewing’s 1990 book Inside the Harvard Business School, he identified 19 graduates as CEO superstars. But almost all of them also failed in some way. The reason? Most MBA programs focus too much on case studies and not enough on experience.

This reference shows you that even with the MBA title, success is not guaranteed, in addition to the importance of experience. Experience holds the real value of what a manager should have, the real learning-process that allows you grow a lot more as a leader, and as a person.

“There may be managers who fail in all managerial jobs, but there are none who can succeed in all of them.”


Managerial skills are something that is precious for an organization or a company to be accompanied with. These approaches help you to see how the skills are all about implications. Being grounded is a requirement for any manager or team leader out there. Unless you experience it by yourself and learn together throughout the process along with your team members, chances are low for you to manage anything properly.

REFERENCE: Mintzberg, Henry. Bedtime Stories for Managers: Farewell to Lofty Leadership. . . Welcome Engaging Management. United States: Berrett-Koehler Publisher, 2019.

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