As today is the first day of 2018, I’ve written down several “Management Lessons and Quick Tips” to recap the various management situations that I’ve encountered throughout the year of 2017.
Here are 55 of them.
1. Every time a problem occurs, follow these quick three steps to lessen your headache, – (1) Discuss with your team to clearly define the problem (make sure the problem is defined correctly and agreed collectively), – (2) Understand why the problem happened and, – (3) Find more than two alternative solutions to act upon.
2. Never send a long email while you are emotional, write it down and sleep on it before sending it. It can take you 4-5 edits before you sending it. Remember it is better to discuss in person or by phone if you think the situation can get more emotional if you send that long email.
3. When giving your point of view on a certain issue, always differentiate between your point of view as a friend and your point of view as a professional. Mention it when having one-on-one conversations with your employee.
4. Always be kind to everyone, you never know what they’re going through at the moment.
5. Don’t have sympathy and empathy, but be compassionate instead to help your employees.
6. Take a risk in pressing the ‘sensitive’ buttons to employees you want to see improve. The process can be hard at first and shake things up, but the result will always be good in the long term for the employee you want to see improve.
7. Understand that part of being a leader is to make the hard decisions that no one wants to make and be accountable for.
8. Realize when being a leader, not everyone is going to like you. That’s just part of the job.
9. At times, how you say something could be more important then what you say.
10. As a leader, be present, show up when your team is in need. Sometimes just being present will make the difference.
11. Get to know all your employees, know their names and have a basic knowledge of their backgrounds.
12. Conduct one-on-one meetings with your direct reports to align what you expect of them, and to get to know them as a person.
13. It’s not always about work, having informal conversations about non-work related topics will help you have better relationships with your employees. This relationship will help when problems arise and a teamwork effort is needed to solve the problem.
14. Be blunt and direct during difficult conversations to find the root cause of the issue, then find optional solutions to work with.
15. Continuous reading helps your mind grow. Find the time to read. It’ll help you.
16. Remember that it’s never too early to start preparing your future leaders.
17. Give everyone equal opportunity to succeed.
18. Remember to have faith and pray. Serendipity does happen.
19. Learning to listen is a key management and leadership skill.
20. The best teachers/instructors for your employees are your senior staff that’s been in the company for several years. Utilize their knowledge to develop your employees and your business.
21. As a leader, you will always be under the microscope. Mind your actions and the words you use to your employees.
22. Don’t let negative gossip take control over lunch talks and coffee break talks.
23. Remember to always focus on positivity when dealing with people issues.
24. Give opportunities for your employees to shine at every given moment.
25. Praise your employees in public and give feedback for constructive criticism in private.
26. Understand the unwritten rules within employee social interactions. Understand the silos and work to crush it if its limiting your organization to move forward in improvement.
27. As a leader, always take the blame for failures and never take the credit for success.
28. Involve your employees when making change. You can’t succeed alone.
29. Forget what you’ve given in the past and never forget to forgive people.
30. Don’t take direct action when your employees make mistakes. Let your employees make mistakes for them to learn on their own. If they keep making the same mistake without learning from it, then take direct action.
31. Tell your employees to have a balanced-life. Remind your employees that they should have lives outside of work for them not to be burned out and bored of work.
32. Remind your employees to not only have a healthy mind, but also to exercise their body to be in shape. Being in shape and physically fit is very important for work.
33. Comprehensively learn about yourself before learning about your team and your business. Learn to be self aware and have routine self-reflection sessions for yourself. Know how to talk to yourself as an important process of becoming a better leader and manager.
34. Respect everyone. It’s that simple, but hard to execute if you focus too much on your ego.
35. You must “Learn to unlearn”, and look at things differently in how you’ve always looked at certain things. Start looking at certain things with a different perspective; press the restart button and act as a new student for you to improve.
36. Being a leader starts in the mind of the leader. Changing your mindset will change your results.
37. Proactively talk to your employees to understand whats going on. Don’t be left in the dark.
38. Have integrity and always tell the truth.
39. Don’t ever surprise your supervisors unless it is something good.
40. Coordinate with others before making a decision. Coordinate with others when rolling out something new.
41. Expand your skills by being out of your comfort zone. You don’t grow when you’re in your comfort zone.
42. When you want to learn something new, before conducting classroom training that will take time away from the office, look for online training courses (e-learning) that you can do on your time. It’s the most effective way for you to learn something new.
43. Technology will continue to improve and enhance, learn about the latest technology in how it can help your work.
44. Continuously ask questions to probe on solving issues and coming up with creative solutions.
45. Don’t act like a “know it all”, even though if you feel you do know it all. No one likes a pompous jerk that acts like he/she is better than everyone else.
46. Understand the background of all your employees. When you have the chance, ask about where they grew up and their life story. It’ll give you an understanding about who they are, and the foundation of how they look at things.
47. When dealing with angry customers who are complaining, don’t spend too long apologizing, rather address that you acknowledge the problem and directly give alternative solutions for them to choose what best fits them.
48. Empower your employees to make decisions that they can be responsible for.
49. Speak out to make a difference, be brave to be unpopular if needed.
50. Figure out work that will not make your employees bored of routine monotone tasks that they’ve been doing for years. Give your employees the opportunity to explore how they can contribute more for your organization by modifying their daily tasks to prevent boredom.
51. Make the change if it is necessary even though it is hard for the short term. It usually pays off in the long term. Be brave to fail and make that change.
52. Give confidence to your employees. No one likes to always be told what they’re bad at. Don’t be greedy to give out compliments.
53. Treat your janitor with the same respect as your President Director. This will help your reputation in the long run and change the way people look at you.
54. Your reputation is a million times more expensive than the amount of money you’ll ever have.
55. Don’t discriminate your older employees with your younger employees. Being younger doesn’t always mean faster-better. Your older employees have lots of good things to say to improve your business.