SEVEN MANAGEMENT HAT [1] Administration Hat

Making a transition to management requires understanding the basic functions of the manager. This is the manager’s work from seven basic perspectives -the seven management hats :

ADMINISTRATION HAT—managing the nuts and bolts
DIRECTION HAT—teacher, coach, promoter, and innovator
LEADERSHIP HAT—taking the lead
PEOPLE HAT—understanding human behavior
ACTION HAT—the hands-on work
HIGH-ANXIETY HAT—the challenging work
BUSINESS HAT—where it all comes together

Three hats describe the indirect workload and include administration, direction, and leadership.
Four other hats describe the direct workload and include the people hat, the action hat, the high-anxiety hat, and the business hat. On your first day as a manager, you’ll have administrative work that must be completed, youwill provide direction to some of your people, and you will probably be expected to take the lead on some issue. You will have interaction with different kinds of people behaviors, there will be some challenging work, youmay need to resolve a serious conflict, and you may be involved in activities at the organizational level that require putting on the business
hat. This situation will continue as long as you remain in a managing position. As youbecome involved in the managing process you will recognize that youmay change these hats many times during a typical workday. So let’s look at these seven hats that managers wear, the expectations that go with them, how the expectations change as the occasion demands, and how managers develop an appropriate balance.

Managers must change among these seven hats whenever required. Each requires a different approach depending on the issues under consideration. Balancing the use of these seven hats challenges not only the new but also the experienced manager.


Doing administrative work is generally not considered to be the most exciting role of a manager unless by chance you receive some great satisfaction from dealing with routine details. The claim that there’s not much room for creativity depends on whether you accept the status quo or decide that there must be a better way to accomplish those routine tasks. The objective is to move the paperwork through the paper mill, which has become a combination of paper and some form of electronic communication. This is the grunt work: the work that most professionals and managers despise, but doing it is not a choice. The paperwork essential for running an effective organization must flow efficiently through the system: policies and procedures and certain requirements must be met. Reports must be written but you must ask if they really serve a purpose. Expense vouchers need to be approved. The paperwork involved in hiring, evaluating, promoting, reassigning, and possibly dismissing personnel must be processed. Meetings need agendas. All administrative processes must be updated. Interfacing with other functions becomes imperative. In addition, certain organizational mandates require compliance. If as an example the organization decides to install flexible scheduling, you probably will comply whether or not you favor the policy.

Managers do have an opportunity to be innovative and eliminate many of the administrative details that not only do not add value but also consume resources that could be used more effectively for other work. However, managers must avoid becoming totally consumed by these activities. They are important but there are people who can perform many of these functions with far greater efficiency than the manager and they should be given the opportunity to do so.

Source : Gerard H Gaynor. What Every New Manager Needs To Know. 2004

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