That’s right, anyone.
It does not matter how much experience you have, your age, your level of education, your communication style or your personality. You can be a good manager.
Because being a good manager is a process. And this process has steps and concrete things you can learn and apply that are universal to managers everywhere, no matter the size of company or the country it’s located in or the industry it serves.
The process begins by MANAGING NOT DOING. When you move from a “doing” job into your “managing” job it’s important to remember that the managing is the work, and your habits should reflect that. Spend 50% of your time on your team – coaching, training, praising in public and working the big boss and the system to make sure they get the resources and the love they need. But let them do the work. You may have been the best sales person, CSR or accounting clerk before you were promoted, but now your success depends on their ability to perform. Imagine what they can do with a superstar manager.
Your long term success as a manager depends entirely on the next part of the process, getting your team to KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST you. This requires you to consistently be yourself – whether introverted or extroverted, numbers driven or big picture dreaming – so your staff can count on you being the same person every day. It matters less about who you are and more about being that person consistently and authentically. Brooding and locked in your office on Monday and giving high fives and playing rock music on Tuesday will only confuse them.
While they are getting to KNOW you, you can get to know them by paying attention to them as individuals and listening to what they have to say.
People are hard wired to LIKE other people that are interested in who we are and what we care about – and all it takes is regular, careful listening.
The final component is TRUST – hardest and longest to win and the easiest to lose. You will be trusted if you do what you say you will do and deliver for your team and the team as individuals exactly as promised. Great things have been accomplished on the backs of making sure someone has the exact colour post-its they feel they need for the job.
The final step in the process is living a managerial life dedicated to SERVANT LEADERSHIP. You can always tell a bad manager because it’s always about them. In the meetings with the big boss they refer to themselves and not the team, they suck the oxygen out the room during meetings, deliver sermons from on high and assign themselves the key accounts and the high profile clients. A good manager is about the team – first, last and always.
Time to stop doing. Time to start the process and Become a Better Manager.