By way of background, I have managed significant teams of people for over 20 years and developed a number of my team members to become very successful managers in their own right. Here are a few of the things that have helped me.
1. Allow people Autonomy within established parametersI like to give people a good degree of autonomy, within parameters that I have set. I try to give my people assurance that one of my main roles is to be there to help when they need it. When problems occur, I endeavour to work with people to establish why they have happened and help them to learn from setbacks.
2. Lead by being CollegiateI generally adopt a broadly collegiate approach. This is not just to be nice, but because I believe that it is a very effective way to work. Of course there will always be situations when decisive leadership is required and I am comfortable that this is part of my role. However, in these circumstances, I think that it helps enormously if you have already built up a mutual respect between yourself and your team.
3. Provide a Clear Vision but let people achieve this their wayI like to give my team a very clear idea of what we are trying to do and why (a vision that I would also expect them to help me form), but then give them the space to achieve these objectives in their own way. It can be very tempting to think that you know best. However being dictatorial can be demotivating for the people working for you and deprives them of a chance to learn. Of course it is just possible that you don’t know best after all and that someone else will come up with a novel and superior approach.
4. Challenge people to help them developOne of my prime responsibilities is to grow talent for the organisation where I work. This means challenging my people to take on new things and delegating tasks even if it may be a stretch for someone to carry these out in the first instance. This is the main way that people grow and the occasional false step is a reasonable price to pay for increasing people’s experience and broadening their horizons.
5. Deal with underperformance in a timely mannerWhen someone working for me struggles, my first duty is to help them. This can often require a long-term commitment to coaching and some difficult conversations about where improvement is required. I have two guiding principles:
In summary, I try to manage people in the way that I would like to be managed. I really can't see how an approach to management which fails to embrace this central principle could be successful, certainly in the medium term.
However, in common with what I suggest in point 3 above, I am sure that there are some different techniques which have worked well for other people. What have been the things that have helped you to be a great manager, or what have been the characteristics of the best manager you have had?
Originally Posted On Linked In By: Peter James Thomas
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