Life management principles are extremely important for any human being. Understanding these is necessary to charter the voyage of life. These principles are akin to any “enterprise management” rules. These involve management of certain essential pillars like operations, sales & marketing, finance and man management. All these mainstays are equally applicable for understanding and driving life management.
These principles become all the more important as we age with all resources becoming scarce. It is like an enterprise reaching the end of its value chain and starting to slide down beyond its life cycle. Principles of enterprise management, therefore, become crucial as we have to continue to manage our life with limited resources with constraints of life being on increase.
Facets of Enterprise Management and Their Applicability to Life & Old Age:
This essentially means keeping the operations steady and updated to ensure production of quality of goods / services. Operations is at the core of any business as it helps in creating goods / services that lead to its sustenance.
In life, operations mean carrying on activities of life in a systematic & organized manner to ensure that we go on living a happy and contented life. This is bare minimum to proceed further in life.
The concept of operations management assumes more significant in old age. With both body and mind having become old and significantly weakened, keeping oneself active & operational itself is a great challenge. Physical exercise to keep the body in good condition becomes crucial; similarly, mental exercises assume importance to keep mental agility intact. Sound principles of operations management are, therefore, the starting point to keep life going.
An enterprise may make goods but sustainability of performance depends on whether it can sell what it produces. Sales & marketing management is crucial for survival of an enterprise.
Similarly, in life also one may not have satisfaction if one is not recognized or appreciated for the work he / she is doing. Therefore, every individual should try to create a personal brand to make him / her saleable and displayable to others. This is important in today’s enormously competitive world.
This becomes all the more important as one grows old. Having retired from active professional life, one gets detached from all connects and therefore, many seniors feel lonely devoid of any recognition. Here comes the importance of developing new identity through different strategies. For example, one can learn a new activity and become member of similar club. Or one may be an active part of a senior citizen club to make him / her visible. Or one may get actively involved in some social work to keep him / her in active contact with others. One needs to explore his / her own sales & marketing strategies to keep visible.
This is an important aspect of a business management tool. FM involves raising of money and managing it optimally to ensure that it is used properly for business operations.
Similarly, in life one should manage family expenses within the money one has. Principles are the same in the sense that financial management involves managing life finances optimally.
In old life, this becomes all the more important as resources dwindle because of absence of regular income. One has, therefore, to become more prudent in financial management. This is to ensure that expenses are managed within the given income; and also, that total resources (corpus fund) are adequate to give inflows unto the end of life.
This is crucial as man management is at core of survival of any business unit. Strong culture, value system, good ambience, open communication channels, spirit of collaboration, supportive leadership at the top are some of the hallmarks of good man management practices in a business enterprise.
All these are equally true in life as well. At core of our life is our family and a family is considered to be a “business enterprise” in terms of man management principles. The family flourishes when all members remain united with sound man management principles as described above.
In old life, this becomes all the more important as there is always a seeming clash between generations in family. And this clash can be minimized by following sound man management principles in terms of collaboration, team spirit, and open channels of communication.
Above discussions imply that management principles for running a business enterprise and dealing with life are more or less the same. While we may require regular knowledge and educational qualifications to acquire skills of managing an enterprise, we need an understanding mind and appropriate attitude to manage life. What is needed is right sense of empathy and positive attitude with a helping hand. Many problems in life can be managed with right attitude. As elderly person, this is more important as much depends on us as wise people in family to overcome the issues of life through right management principles. Wiser we become, better life management will be!!
Dr A K Sen Gupta is the Co-Founder and Chief Trustee of My Retired Life Foundation (MRLF). This article has been published in Free Press Journal (FPJ) on 16th April 2022, where he is a regular contributor. Dr Sen Gupta was the Director of S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai, and Director & Mentor at SIES College of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai. He was a World Bank Consultant and instrumental in setting up the National Banking College in Ghana, Africa, and a Professor at the National Institute of Bank Management, Pune.