How to be a Great Manager
The Harvard Business Review recently published a great article about the core competencies and strategies necessary to be a great manager. We love their approach because it clearly articulates the balancing act between corporate culture and its politics and individual members of your team. Communication is key. Employee engagement is crucial. At Training Amigo we embrace this philosophy wholeheartedly; when we bring our unique wellness programs into your company, one of the first things we offer is an Engagement Seminar. We understand the importance, and often the complexity of maximizing any new initiative into your team and your company.
“You need an overarching, integrated way of thinking about your work as a manager. We offer an approach based on studies of management practice, our own observations, and our knowledge of where managers tend to go wrong. We call it the three imperatives”
Manage yourself. Make sure you form relationships with the individual members of your team. Make sure they see you as someone they can trust; who not only has their interests at stake, but the overall mission of the company as well. You can lead with coercion, do it because I’m the boss, or you can lead with, do it because we’re friends, but both of these strategies, are doomed to fail. The first, coercion will work initially, until people begin to quit. The second, friendship, will also fail when two of your friends are both up for the same promotion, and only one can get it. To build trust, according to this article, your team must believe in your competence, and your character.
Manage your network. Every team is a part of a larger organization, the network. Every team competes for the same amount of scarce resources, and “conflict and competition among groups are inevitable.” This can lead to dissension, resentment, gossip, hurt feelings; the dreaded office politics. Ignoring office politics because you just want to get on with it already. and do your job, is not an effective strategy. The article stresses that again your success as a manager is a directly impacted by the relationships you build with other managers and department heads. Those with influence, those with good working relationships get the resources they need to do their job. Those who do not, who ignore office politics, are often left out.
Manage your team. The default here, particularly when managing an off-site team in far-flung cities, is to coordinate each individual’s work. Online meetings, through Skype, for example, result too often in one person doing all the talking, and nothing really gets accomplished. But this model of management is working hard, not smart. It’s critical to make everyone feel part of a team; this is why the Yankees or the Lakers, or the Giants are so successful. The sum of the whole is greater than its parts. While everyone on your team has a singular role in meeting their responsibilities, the end goal is the same. In managing a team, it pays to keep reminding everyone of this very salient fact. In meetings, whether onsite or remote, reiterate shared goals and similar competencies such as initiative and creativity, and your job becomes much easier.
When you hire us to bring wellness to drive success in your company, we put into practice all of the above best practices. We work hard to ensure employee engagement with management seminars. We have both