Determining Management Styles

…and When Best To Utilize Them


At some point 22 years ago I started my career as a design assistant in the fashion industry. I then became a designer, then a senior designer. Then all of a sudden in the blink of an eye, I became a manager of 3 people, then 10 people, then next thing I knew I had 20 designers to manage and also be a liason to 9 salespeople.

I’m not sure how or when it all happened, and at first when I acquired my current position as Design Director, I honestly admit, I was overwhelmed to the point of wondering could I or should I take this position on!

What did I know about how to manage all these people and all of these new areas of the business that were certainly not within my expertise. I have learned through trial and error what my best way to manage people is and I am still learning new things every day about how to do it better.

We will never truly know if we are doing it the “right” way. 

Each manager brings their own unique personality and character to the position and surprise challenges and opportunities will always arise at your company to test your skills. These are the days that sometimes give me so much anxiety but also give me that bit of an adrenaline rush to decide how I am going to steer our ship to get the best results for the company that I can with my team.

There is no single way to effectively manage employees; there are only many ways to accomplish what needs to be done and the goal is to try and find the smoothest way to get there with the best results. Using your personal strengths is usually a good start.

Management styles

Creative Management style: 

I found this works best on a regular basis for allowing your team to utilize their individual strengths and make them accountable for the results.

The best managers are confident in their own abilities, but not too presumptuous to know they don’t have all of the answers to everything. They want to build a team of talent whom they can continue to develop. They instill confidence in their team and inspire them to want to achieve high level results.

Management is all about accomplishing goals through others so the better employees you have, the higher quality results your company will produce. By nature I am a very relaxed person with a nurturing character. I stay calm through stressful events and try to strategize how to accomplish tasks sometimes in the most unorthodox of ways—I just know I need to get it done somehow.

I think that managing people came a bit naturally to me. My tendency is to give my creative team initial guidance on what my expectations are for the final results of a project. I then let them take on the assignment in their own style and make them 100% accountable for their results. They know to create a game plan and check in with me periodically to monitor their progress and get feedback.

This is my typical style of daily management. I think it tends to lend itself quite well to a visionary environment of designers. It is more of a “Creative” style in giving the team huge leeway in how they handle tasks for the company. They learn how we best work together for the benefit of the company.

Management style changes based on the situation and circumstances at hand

Management style is always going to be dictated by the demands of a situation, the requirements of the people who will be involved in actioning on the situation, and the challenges that they will face in handling the project. Because these 3 things will always fluctuate, there are other management styles that come into play based on this.

Next page: Commanding Management and Coaching Management

Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino, Partner & Director of Community Relations for Latin Biz Today is President & CEO of Tocaya Design under which she does design consulting for major apparel companies as well as designs, manufactures and markets her women’s lifestyle brand, Tocaya. With 25 years of industry experience most recently as Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd., she has managed large creative design teams. Trevino provides insight on upcoming fashion trends for each season collaborating with designers, merchants and product development teams to help develop brand appropriate apparel. She specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. Having previously worked with private label brands for stores like Kohl’s, NY & Co, White House|Black Market, and Ann Taylor to name a few as well as brands like Lee jeans, Wendy Williams, Brooke Shields Timeless, Torn by Ronny Kobo, and Whitney Port, she has the ability to build brands from the design and merchandising process all the way through fitting, production, and marketing.

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