10 MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES That can Strengthen your Marriage

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I came across a management book – It’s Your Ship by Captain Michael Abrashoff – which gives insights on how to manage people who work for you or under you. But the more I read the book, the more I thought how these same principles on staff management could be applied with success at home by men. So, here are 10 management principles by Captain Abrashoff and how they can be applied at home for a successful marriage.

I came across a management book – It’s Your Ship by Captain Michael Abrashoff – which gives insights on how to manage people who work for you or under you. But the more I read the book, the more I thought how these same principles on staff management could be applied with success at home by men. So, here are 10 management principles by Captain Abrashoff and how they can be applied at home for a successful marriage.

Take command: You are the head. Lead from the front, but be a great follower too. Show your partner that you believe in their ability to deliver their part and show them by more than just words that you value their input. You must also provide the tools and environment necessary for growth in the relationship.

Lead by example: Like they say, don’t be the pastor who preaches water but drinks wine. Walk your talk. Be accountable for your actions and do unto your partner what you would want them to do for you.

Communicate purpose and meaning: Talking is not communication. The message has to be delivered and effectively so. Ensure that you are both in tune in so far as the nature of the relationship and where it is headed are concerned. The more your partner knows your goals, the more she can help you achieve them.

Create a climate of trust: Be trustworthy. Keep your word and be truthful even when you fail. Your partner will take cue. Even more important, trust your partner to keep their part of the bargain without undue supervision from you.

Look for results not salutes: People who always expect a “yes sir” in their organisations live in dangerous environments. They will never know exactly what is happening. The same applies in relationships. Unless you let your spouse express their true feelings and allow them to take positions even if they are not to your liking, then you will be living a lie and one day it will hurt you to know a truth that has been suppressed all along. Make your spouse so comfortable that they can talk to you about anything under the sun and beyond.

Take calculated risks: Failure to take risks leads to stagnation and if not checked, even death. Growth entails taking risks. But miscalculations can also lead to death of relationships or greatly affect their efficacy. Take the risks, but always remember that you have a family to take care of and dependents that see you as their only hope for sustenance.

Go beyond standard procedure: Businesses that insist on standard operating procedure (SOP) rarely get outstanding results. So are family heads who insist on tradition. “This is how our people do it,” or “this is our culture,” or “this is what is expected of women,” kind of thinking is retrogressive. Of course, the standard operating procedure might work in some instances but the best approach would be to be open to new ways of doing things and new roles in a changing world. Yes, men can change their children’s diapers.

Build up your people: As a leader in your home, you will achieve greater results by making your spouse feel good about herself and her accomplishments. This increases affection, which translates to longevity of the relationship.

Generate unity: Families, and indeed marriages, can’t work where everyone does what they feel like when they feel like. If you don’t work together, critical problems that cannot be handled by an individual will weigh you down and the relationship will crumble. Unity can be achieved when the head of the house treats everyone with respect and dignity, when he shows everyone that they are valued.

Improve your people’s quality of life: Now this took my breath away. People who enjoy and look forward to going to work are more productive and happy. Work towards creating an atmosphere where your spouse feels motivated enough to wake up and do everything she can to make the marriage work. For great work atmosphere, the author prescribes monthly “fun” days. This can work in marriages and families too. Imagine “Wednesday’s with wife” sort of arrangements where you spend an hour or two together once a week. No children. No phones. Just the two of you. It could be lunch, coffee or dinner, or even just long walks. This is where you create the bond of life and of friendship. This is where you get and give feedback and develop fresh ideas for your life and marriage.

These 10 points work to create successful businesses, but haven’t you seen how they can improve relationships too? And as the author of this book says, “It’s your ship, steer it.”

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