World’s Simplest Management Secret

Management books and business schools often try to tell us how to manage “people.” However, in management we need to manage individuals not people. All individuals are different and the way that they respond to different management approaches and incentives varies considerably.

Some individuals respond positively to money, others with public praise. Some relish challenging assignments and others respond to regular mentoring and advice. The trick is to managing an individual is to find out how they would like to be managed and not the way that you would like to manage them! To do this you need to ask each employee or direct report the following three simple questions:

  1. How do you prefer to be managed?
  2. What can I do to help you excel?
  3. What types of management styles irritate or annoy you?

It is important that you really listen to the responses to the above questions and then modify your management style, motivation, incentives, compensation and assignments to the individual’s needs. It may not be possible to do this in all cases or in all aspects of how the individual would like to be managed and motivated,but at least you will know how to obtain the best out of a direct report, and what irritates and demotivates them.

In some cases confident and intelligent direct reports will tell their manager how they would like to be managed and how they can excel. Unfortunately not all individuals are bold enough to share this with their manager without been asked first. However, to understand how an individual likes to be managed and motivated is a major step forward to achieving the highest level of performance from staff and a team. This is a very simple technique but surprisingly not practiced by the majority of managers.

For further information about this article or for a confidential, no obligation discussion on how this could impact your business please contact Mike Campbell, Managing Director on +44 7771 615641 or Or further information regarding Campbell Ventures please refer to and