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Why Myanmar Presents Great Opportunities for Developing Management Skills

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22 Apr 00:00 by Simon Bruce

Delegate, delegate, delegate seems to be the mantra for management from many different channels. Many proponents of effective management have always said don't get caught up in the day to day so you can focus on the strategy and big picture thinking for the business. However, if you look at some of the greatest companies in the world and analyze the approach to management their CEOs take, it does not follow this method.

Sure a part of what they do is delegate decision making, tasks etc, but then you will find that these great CEOs also get down to the most junior level of activities and get involved. They run their business like they are flying a plane, the majority of the time they are cruising at a high altitude, but regularly they go down to lower altitudes and move from Strategic to Tactical on almost a daily basis. They also get involved in some decisions that many would see as beneath them.

Now I am not proposing that we all become micromanagers and hound our employees on every detail not allowing them to make decisions and creating an environment that doesn't encourage people to take accountability and grow. Actually, I am proposing the exact opposite and if you are presented with a management/leadership responsibility in Myanmar I believe it is the perfect country to enable you to develop sensational management skills.

This is not a criticism of people in Myanmar as I find nearly all of them to be very passionate and hardworking. However, due to the education system, they grew up in as well as the family environment they were never given an opportunity to make decisions themselves, question decisions made by the older generation. Essentially they have been micromanaged their entire lives by their parents, grandparents, and teachers and they have never learned how to question a situation, think about the larger consequences of their actions and generally take full accountability for something they are assigned.

This presents two amazing opportunities for someone in a position of management;

1. When you are in Myanmar you cannot just sit at the top and delegate tasks, projects, decisions to those below you and expect that they will get done. You have to get involved at all levels of operations, guiding, and in some cases coercing, employees in the direction that is needed. Often they are not able to show initiative to get things done, not because they do not have the potential but because they have never had the opportunity in the past so they do not know how to do it.

2. By getting so heavily involved in the business, it allows a manager to get a complete understanding of the business and all operations. This enables them to add even more value because they will notice areas of improvement, systems that have broken down, etc., and work with the team to solve these. The result will be teaching the staff about fixing problems and process improvement, as well as improving the performance of the business.

The result after working in a managerial position in Myanmar is that you will have a more complete understanding of the business and be able to develop and give opportunities to the passionate young individuals you will find in the workforce in Myanmar. I know that the last 6 years of managing have been the most enlightening part of my career and have helped me greatly in becoming a more all-round leader.

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