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What priorities govern agency Management?

Adhering to the guiding principles is essential for achieving agency excellence. The Management Team is responsible for agency Management, i.e., for assuring the successful functioning of the internal eco system. Members of the Team implement the policies, rules, and guidelines promulgated by Authorizers and Implementers as well as manage the day-to-day functioning of the agency. Their Management activities reflect a thorough understanding of and acceptance of each of the guiding principles. Team members also understand and accept the priorities discussed below in order to better assure the successful functioning of the internal eco system. Hannagan (1995) (p. 37-69) in his discussion of leadership styles, organizational culture, and associated patterns of accomplishing necessary work asserts, “In order for any group to operate effectively, both tasks and problem solving functions have to be performed, and at the same time, group maintenance for social functions. It can be argued that any group of people need to have leadership in both functions so that on the one hand, decisions are made and on the other hand, the ideas and feelings of the whole group are considered.” (p. 48) Keep this dual focus in mind when considering these priorities.

Management Team members emphasize cooperation and a helpful, supportive approach to relationships and activities. As they interact with and support the work of others within the agency, their focus is on how they can help others succeed.

As Management Team members focus on helping others succeed, loyalty is an important aspect of their relationships with others. Team members emphasize working with others by accommodating to their special needs and interests and by facilitating positive resolutions of problems or issues. The first approach with people is always to understand why problems come up and attempt to work things out and never to simply use authority to force people to change their behavior.

For Team members, caring matters. They emphasize concern for and interest in the activities, successes, and problems of all staff members. To be a successful Management Team member, how others feel, what they think, and what is important to them professionally and personally matter. This not only includes how things affect agency operations, but also includes how they are affecting or might affect agency staff members and other people they personally care about.

Sharing is also a priority for Team members. They emphasize talking with staff members, reciprocal assistance, and mutual problem solving. Within the internal eco system, interdependence and mutual interest are recognized and valued by Team members. Sharing is not simply a nice thing to do, it is essential for agency success.

For Team members, respect is more than a simple priority. It is fundamental to the functioning of the eco system and to agency success. Without it, the system quickly reduces to chaos. Team members insist staff members always relate and interact respectfully. They model this expectation by emphasizing acceptance of others’ beliefs and values, receptivity to everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and sensitivity to others’ feelings and interests.

Team members give other staff members the benefit of the doubt without blaming, accusing, or threatening. This level of trust is at the essence of how Team members perceive and relate to other people. They assume the other person did not knowingly or intentionally do anything wrong and do everything they do honestly and to the best of their ability. If there is an apparent problem or issue, Team members work with the other person to understand what happened, why it happened from the other person’s perspective, and how they can work together to resolve the issue and reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

Professional and personal integrity are hallmarks of successful Management Team members. They consistently keep commitments to and agreements made with everyone. Additionally, they can always be counted on to do what they are expected to do, on time, correctly and completely.

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