Here’s What I Believe About Managing
Identify and develop talent – This is THE most important thing a manager can do. Period. Not only is it imperative to seek out and develop talent, RETAINING talent is just as important. The more talent on your team with low turnover, translates into growth, consistency and opportunity.
Put the right players (talent) in the right position – Make sure that we are asking people to do the things that levers their strengths. Using a person’s strengths will yield phenomenal results. An individual’s limitations should be made irrelevant by restricting the individual’s involvement in tasks which they do not excel.
Create the right environment – Creating a “free and fun” environment is important to reducing turnover and keeping employees motivated. A manager cannot motivate individuals– individuals must motivate themselves. But, a manager’s responsibility is to create the environment where individuals can consistently motivate themselves. Freedom, which is a derivative of trust, is essential for the most talented people to excel.
Good relationships are key – In order to manage a team of talented people, a manager must be a good listener. Top producers have a large ego, and need to be heard when they are frustrated, confused or just seek an additional opinion. A manager must provide the soundboard for that person, maintain a good relationship and deal from a philosophy of positive reinforcement.
Have clear expectations – Expectations must be clearly developed in collaboration with each individual. Each person must know the “role” you envision for their contribution. This must be discussed with each person and collaboration is key to getting maximum results. When an individual has a goal to hit, whether it is numerical (pertaining to budget attainment), or related to personal growth, their conviction for hitting those goals will be magnified exponentially if they participated in a collaborative goal-setting process.
Take calculated risks – Make decisions based on facts, not personal opinions. Avoid knee-jerk and impulsive decisions, especially when things aren’t going well. Don’t mortgage your future just to relieve a situation short-term. Absorb losses, regroup, attack your current strategy, repair the weaknesses and adjust. Then move on with conviction. Long term focus is key to success.
Run an organization that consistently demontrates integrity and ethics– There must be some non-negotiable standards, and it is incumbent to management to lead by example. “Situational ethics” has no place in business, and subjective management decisions involving personnel undermine trust among the entire staff. Decisions should be made on business criteria– related to the mission and goals of the organization, not based on whether a manager has personal feelings about specific individuals or clients. The issue at hand should be the question — not the personalities involved.