Can-do attitude is essential
Sports competition is intense. Every athlete works hard to reach the next level, and a strong body and mind are what motivates and keeps one going. This is what Rainnie Ip Pek-ling, public affairs and marketing manager of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), has learnt from athletes over the years.
The institute is the ultimate training ground for elite sportsmen in Hong Kong. As a manager, Ms Ip has many duties. To complete all her tasks, she believes that a strong mind and body is necessary, and to this end, she exercises regularly.
Ms Ip has been working at the institute since 1994, and was promoted to manager of the public affairs and marketing department three years ago.
She said the move from the Hong Kong Sports Development Board to the sports institute in 2004 was not easy.
'Before switching to the HKSI the office and all training grounds were located at the same place, but in the HKSI some training grounds are far away from the general office,' she said.
'The working environment has changed. My staff and I are not used to the new situation, but as the manager I cannot be depressed. If there is no change there is no need to have a manager. Hence I saw this as an opportunity to display my leadership.'
Ms Ip said she believed that the one ingredient every middle manager needed to be successful was a can-do attitude.
'Never saying no before trying something is an important quality as a manager,' she said.
Using the example of sponsorship for sportsmen, Ms Ip said that 10 years ago, no company wanted to sponsor the HKSI, and the public relations department had to ask for sponsorships. The situation today was different. Companies were approaching athletes to appear in events and advertisements, such as world champion cyclist Wong Kam-po, who has appeared in many promotions.
Ms Ip said that public relations presented many chances to work with the media and other companies, and that keeping on good terms helped.
'Don't think that the relationship is over once your co-worker switches jobs,' she said. 'It's not a big world, and there are always chances to co-operate with each other in the future.'
Relationships with co-workers were also important. 'I understand that every staff member has his or her strengths and weaknesses,' said Ms Ip. 'My job is to communicate with them and find out what tasks suit them most. I talk to them privately once in a while to make sure they are happy with their duties.'
A manager should have a clear picture of the market and always be prepared to face adversity. It is essential to be creative to cope with the ever-changing market.
Five keys to being a successful middle manager
Strong body and mind
Passion for the job
Strong personal network