The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
When conjuring up an image of a traditional manager, most people would probably imagine someone who is middle aged.
In fact, many bosses purposely abstain from hiring anyone younger because they can’t imagine these individuals leading staff that would be older than them. Learn More
Often on our coaching and consultancy programmes, the discussions come round to new ways of thinking; that is, what do today’s managers do that yesterday’s managers didn’t?
It’s an intriguing question and one that would fill many books with the myriads of answers that could be given.
Many old-style managers still exist out there (Lord knows I’ve worked with most of them!) and they are still making decisions, solving problems and creating plans based on the old paradigm of management.
As a neutral football supporter watching the Premier League this season, the demise of Manchester United has been absolutely wonderful to watch.
Seeing them lose at home on a regular basis and watching the once smug Stretford End cry into their pies in the stands has been a welcome change to the long-standing dominance they have had. Learn More
Recent improvements in the job statistics have been assisted by a massive increase in the number of self-employed people and just a tiny increase in the creation of new PAYE jobs, experts have said.
Recent quarterly labour market data, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed there were just 0.2 per cent more ‘employed’ people during the last quarter. This compares to a rise of 4.1 per cent in the self-employed sector during the same period. Learn More
Too often I see people earn the title of manager and then lose themselves in their new identity. Some will thrive and grow in their new positions while others will become stagnant after a period of time.
Most, when asked, will say they are “a manager” and my next question is always this:
What type of manager are you?
Truth be told, there are plenty of differences. We have general managers, senior managers, managers, supervisors, and – well – you get it… you could place a wide variety of different terms on the different levels or types of management. I know of one company that assigned the title of “Assistant Vice President” to every mid-level manager in the organization. Sounds nice, right? The problem is that many people don’t understand exactly what their titles mean.
Let’s take a look at a couple of those titles and their definitions:
Where do you fall on the management mall map? Are you where you want to be, or are you aching to move up the corporate ladder?
Having a vision is important, regardless of your position within an organisation.
Your vision is your dream for your self, your team, or your organisation as a whole.
Here’s the problem, though. I’ve met dozens of people with great visions, but none of them had any idea how they would make those visions into a reality.
They had no strategy in mind. If your vision is your dream, then your strategy is your action plan. It’s the roadmap you create for yourself. If you follow that roadmap, your dreams will come true.
So you want to be the top selling sales team within the organisation?
What stragety will you devise in order to help your team members achieve that goal?
You want to have the best customer service reputation in the industry?
What will you do to help your team members be the best that they can be?
Once you have a strategy in mind, you’ll need to implement some specific tactics.
The tactics you use are the actual actions you take to make your dreams come true.
You’re no longer dreaming or thinking – you’re doing.
You will get up in the morning, you will go into the office, you will have a planning meeting, and you will continue by doing xyz. Get it?
Visions are dreams. Strategies are road maps.
Tactics are action. Take action. Whether that means becoming a better manager or achieving some other great goal. J
ust do it.
It’s Monday. Your weekend seems like it was just a bit too short. You’ve entered your office, settled down behind your desk, and before you know it you’re receiving a barrage of complaints from EmployeeX about his job, what he doesn’t like about a particular task, and what he perceives other employees are saying about him behind his back. It doesn’t really matter what you say to EmployeeX – he’s always combative and argumentative. He doesn’t deal appropriately with other coworkers and, to be honest, he’s a distraction in the workplace.
So how do you deal with someone who is difficult, on all levels, on a regular basis?
You need to start out by doing your homework. What exactly is it that causes EmployeeX to be so difficult. Why does he always complain? Why does he feel like other take credit for his work (or why does he take credit for the work others have done)? Everyone can be difficult on occasion – due to stress or a problem at at home – but EmployeeX seems to always have some sort of problem.
When you’re doing your homework, look for facts. Think about the inappropriate behaviour you have witnessed or think about the situations where you have multiple witnesses who can tell you what happened. Heresay, gossip, and rumors won’t help you solve problems. Are you making the problem worse in the way you respond (combative vs. combative)?
Your next step is to make a plan for confronting the employee in question. Determine the severity of the situation and, if it warrants such action, ask a HR representative to sit in on the meeting. It’s not fun to do, but you absolutely have to tell EmployeeX that his behaviour in the workplace is simply not appropriate. Talk to him and see if you can determine exactly what it is that causes his behavioural issues. Don’t interrupt him, repeat back parts of what he is saying so that he knows you are listening, and try to set some guidlines that dicatate more appropriate behaviour at work.
In the end, you’ll come up with some sort of solution. EmployeeX will either embrace the opportunity you’re giving him for change or he’ll stray further away. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get him help or – unfortunately – sever your working relationship.
It’s OK to do that if you find there are no other options. The trick, as a manager, is knowing how to recognize when you’ve run out of options.
On Monday we kicked off the week by talking about a few of the things you could do to develop your own management career. Today I’m going to spend a few minutes outlining a few more things you should consider as you walk down the path of self improvement. Management, after all, is a continuous process and, as such, your path towards continuous development should be as well.
You, as a manager, will be responsible for making sure your employees feel motivated at all times. Everyone has different reasons for feeling motivated – saving for a vacation, working towards a promotion, or simply feeling accomplished. It’s your job to find out what motivates your employees so that you an make sure they continue to be motivated.
Good managers are not just managers – they’re leaders as well. A simple manager will do just that – manage his team – giving them instructions and orders and going about his day. A real manager will lead his team, giving them their tasks and guiding them by pulling his share of the weight. Guide them in the right direction and they’ll surely follow.
Unless you’re already in accounting, you probably know as much about money as your department budget requires. The truth, though, is that to appreciate your business as a whole you should really gain a better understanding about how money works in your business environment. What is spent, what is earned, and what you can do to avoid being wasteful. Saving doesn’t mean being stingy – it means being creative.
You can’t help others if you never help yourself. What areas of your business life do you think need growth and development? Can you take a class? Can you ask your own managers for mentoring or coaching? The better you are at developing your self the better you will be at helping others.
No matter what, conduct all business in an ethical manner – both within your organisation and outside of it. Ask your human resources department or upper management for help if you feel as though you are in an ethical dilema.
Your success as a manager is in your hand. Have you identified any areas you should start working on right away?