Common-Sense Management

By William F. Kendy

In her book The First Book of Common-Sense Management (William Morrow, 1989), author and consultant Diane Tracy lists 10 cardinal rules new sales managers should follow during the first few weeks on the job.

1. Don’t take an ego trip. Don’t come in like John Wayne and sweep away all the old rules and procedures. Until you know for sure why procedures are being used, be careful about changing them.

2. Don’t make careless promises. Never promise anything unless you are absolutely certain you can deliver.

3. Don’t play Genghis Khan. If you start ordering people around like slaves, you create enemies you don’t need.

4. Don’t play favorites. Good leaders are fair in the treatment of their subordinates.

5. Don’t babble without thinking. Stupid, thoughtless remarks can come back to haunt you.

6. Don’t hoard the work. Delegation is one of your most important responsibilities. Neglect it and you invite disaster.

7. Don’t pass the buck. The rule of good management is that when things go wrong in your area, it’s your fault. When things go right, it’s because of the people who report to you.

8. Don’t throw temper tantrums. It’s your job to solve problems, not create them.

9. Don’t take special privileges. You’re on stage and everyone is watching you. You’re an example for all the people who report to you. If you don’t set a good example, they won’t follow.

10. Don’t be too much of a company man or too much of a buddy. You walk a fine line between your loyalty to the company and loyalty to your people. You’re the boss now. Accept and use the distance that implies.

Diane Tracy is president of Diane Tracy Communications Inc. of Wyckoff, NJ, and consults and speaks on management issues. For information, call 201/847-9700 or email