There are vested benefits rights. This means that an individual has a special interest in protecting or promoting what is for his own personal benefit. Or there are groups trying to support or control an existing system or activity from which they derive a private benefit.
The self-interest of a first-line manager lies in his functional area goals. The external business environment of a first-line manager is also important. Effective first-line managers must support a balance between their own interests and those of others. A first-line manager is like a fish in water; the fish contains water and is in the water. There are internal non-business interests and external non-business interests. Let us take these interests into account.
First, consider the internal interests of a company and the role of the manager in each case. There are two types of first-line managers: functional line managers and general managers. I was a functional line manager as a restaurant manager, accounting manager, and area sales manager, in these functions my success was dedicated to this function. I was general manager of hotels and business office manager; in these functions, I was interested in achieving all functional goals of the company.
Functional first-line managers need to ensure that their area of responsibility achieves the assigned departmental goals. A functional manager is a success when his or her departmental goals are met. Managers who are no longer successful. Acceptable manager goals are within the acceptable range. Managers who exceed their goals are considered for higher management. They are the front-runners. Here is the problem, functional managers must maintain a delicate balance between the interests of their department and those of other departments.
As District Accounting Manager, I approved the credit on sales contracts for equipment sales, a marketing function. If I was too selective, the marketing did not make a quota and the salesperson’s salary suffered. If I was too indulgent, the marketing department exceeded the quota and the salesperson was very satisfied. In my accounting role, I was responsible for paying the contracts. I reported to a Division Accounting Manager who expected me to collect the money for the equipment. I received my promotions and my bonus on how effective I was in collections, not sales. This is the mystery of a first-line manager how to achieve line goals without alienating other departments.
Now think about it, if a first-line manager wants to become a general manager, he has to keep the goals of the other departments in perspective. Other first-line managers need to know even if you have a departmental interest; you understand that other departments have a personal interest. They must be seen as cooperation partners to make every manager and the company successful. This is very important and an extremely difficult balance.
If you want to become a middle manager in your functional area, cooperation with other departments is important. In most cases, a middle function manager reports to a middle general manager and a higher function manager. The way to a functional middle manager is difficult, in most cases you have to be at the top of the department’s functional goals. In addition, you must be acceptable to the middle manager. A middle general manager will not want a line function manager who creates problems for other functional areas as a middle function manager.
Now consider the first supervisor as General Manager. I was First-Line Business Office Manager and General Manager, I was responsible for all functions of the company. I had an interest in achieving the goals of accounting, marketing, and operations. I had goals in each of these functions. I reported to a middle-level general manager. I got these positions because I was a successful first line manager. I was also selected for these positions because of my expanded community and company activities. I achieved my functional goals and helped other departments achieve their goals; or, I would never have received these general management positions. As General Manager, my energy was distributed across the functional areas of the company. My success is based on the success of my team in all functional areas. I had a personal interest in all functional areas.
Consider, General Motors, because it did not consider the interest of the community when it did not recall the cars because of the starter problem in their cars. This decision had a tremendous negative impact on the image of General Motors with the public.