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By Dennis McCafferty

Nine Management Tips Learned in Grade School

Don't make rules that you're not willing to follow through with.CIO takeaway: Your IT workers will appreciate a sense of structure -- only if you enforce it.

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The first few days are the most important ones.CIO takeaway: Set the tone early for new hires or for new projects.

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It's not what you teach, but how you teach.CIO takeaway: Micromanaging doesn't engage, nor does it foster professional growth.

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Not every student will like you.CIO takeaway: Don't waste your energy trying to be the most popular person in the room. Focus instead on being the best leader.

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Students love choices and challenges.CIO takeaway: Mix up your employees' routine and stretch their capabilities so "grind" mentality never kicks in.

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Divide projects into manageable chunks.CIO takeaway: Dispatching employees without prioritizing can lead to productivity-sapping intimidation and dread of failure.

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Realize that a lesson plan is just a plan.CIO takeaway: Train employees to be agile enough to effectively shift strategies when new information emerges or a plan changes.

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Memorize names.CIO takeaway: Know the names of all your employees and colleagues -- as well as their significant others and kids. It shows you have a genuine interest in them as people.

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Don't write out everything for presentations.CIO takeaway: Jot down talking points and speak conversationally instead of reading from a script.

This article was originally published on 07-15-2011