Archive for April 6th, 2007

Who’s the Boss at Home?

hope_000.gifTime Management Mastery for Writers
By C. Hope Clark

If you run a family, you have managerial skills. If you have a large family under one roof, consider yourself a program director. The talents required are the same, with more politics in play than a government agency.

Managers from car dealerships to the IRS train on the basics of leading people. The only difference between their job and yours is that they get to fire a totally exasperating employee. You’re faced with yours for life and you don’t even get trained!

Step back and look at your family as a business, and you can improve efficiencies while keeping your writing goals in tact.

The Open Door Policy

Every leadership school of thought preaches some degree of open-door policy between manager and staff. Can your family come to you anytime with problems, dilemmas, and, yes, even criticism?

Joan Lloyd, a management consultant and syndicated columnist (, states if all is quiet, there may be an issue brewing and you don’t have a clue. On the contrary, if your open door revolves constantly because you answer all the questions and solve all the problems, you’re grooming folks to depend entirely on you, which can keep you from writing.

Strategic Planning
Does each family member know the personal plans, desires, and goals of the others, as well as the day-to-day activities? Strategic planning is crucial. If each staff member in a 100-employee office knew only that the company sold books and nothing else, imagine the chaos and financial disaster that would occur. But if each staff member knew the company’s goals, who was in charge of different benchmarks, and what each department was expected to accomplish, they’d work toward a more productive end. Families operate no differently. With everyone aware of and invested in each other’s goals as well as the family’s priorities, you can help each other be successful.

Passion Management
Nobody wants to work in a rut job. If your family members sense your excitement about and dedication to your career, your home, and family activities, they may catch the fever. Thrill and passion are infectious and downright intoxicating! A positive outlook can set a momentum for everyone to follow.

Business journals and professional magazines give management advice to millions every day. Adjust your frame of reference,read those pieces from a family manager’s viewpoint, and note how the concepts work the same. It’s called people skills. Whether you lead an eight-person staff in an office or a toddler, two pre-teens, a Type-A husband, and a mother-in-law, you need diplomacy, intelligence, and efficient management to meet goals, deal with adversity, and work together to deal with issues. Bring the best of your managerial skills to people who mean the most to you and they’ll be as loyal and self-empowered as a staff can get. And you’ll have more writing time than you ever thought possible.

C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, The Writer Magazine, ByLine Magazine, NextStep Teen, College Bound Teen, Landscape Management Magazine, TURF Magazine, and American Careers Magazine. Hope is a motivational soul known as “Freelance Hope” in many circles. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at &

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April 2007

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