Succeeding as a Manager

As a Manager, have you ever had a situation when your subordinate is doing an awful job, failing or not working to a certain standard?  Well if you have this situation, then one of the first questions you have to ask yourself as a Manager is, “What have I done or haven’t done to make my subordinate fail.” Are you sure that your subordinate has failed because of his/her incompetence or is it because the system that you’ve placed for your subordinate as their Manager is flawed or is it that you haven’t done anything concrete to manage him/her to succeed. And who is responsible for your subordinate’s failure? You, as their Manager.

You like it or not, if an employee is giving sub-standard work, the first person that many have to question is his/her boss and what systems they have placed for him/her to fail.

This is the reason of why in professional team sports, the first person to leave an organization for a slagging slumping team is the Head Coach and not the Players.  This is the overall function of a Manager for an organization and all managers need to understand this. Yes, some managers say that there are always bad apples to a team and one needs to cut those bad apples out to get the team more productive and moving forward, but that’s for another topic we can discuss on another blog post.

Here below are some points on how you can succeed as a manager:

– A Manager’s objective is to help subordinates have more of an impact to the organization.

-Managers are no different than athletes. Managers must practice everyday and work hard everyday to improve their game. If your job title has Manager on it and you stay on cruise control, stay stagnant with no improvement or no progression moving forward, the greater force will automatically push you out of the system more ways than you can think of. That’s just how the world works. It can’t be explained, it just happens naturally. And if you try to play the, “I’m keeping my position” game and not contributing genuinely, you’ll be deflected out of the system more ways than you can think of.  So work on your game daily. Literally, daily.

– Its all about consistently reviewing processes and improving moving forward. If you can’t measure it, then you’re not managing it. If you’re not managing it then you shouldn’t be called a Manager.

– There’s a difference between Dumping work to your subordinates and Delegating work to your subordinates. Here’s the difference. Dumping work means, you as a Manager just dump a load of work and say, “I want you to do this, you understand? Any questions? I need it by 3pm tomorrow”. Delegating work means, telling them the whole story of why you want them to do it, get feedback for a meeting of the minds, set mutually agreed upon – specific deadlines, have a follow-up system in place that lets you monitor progress and install to use a rewards system if capable. You as a Manager should be Delegating work instead of Dumping work to your subordinates.

–  If your job title has the word “Manager” in it with subordinates to manage, these are the things that you should be doing;

a. Working toward goals,
b. Developing people,
c. Building a team,
d. Reaffirm standards,
e. Creating and sustaining a network (externally & internally),
f.  Being strategic and understanding the ‘how-to’ aspect of execution

– Great managers use a Preparation-Do-Review to convert every activity into a means of the following:

a. Pursuing some management purpose,
b. To make progress towards a goal,
c. To develop someone,
d. To reaffirm work standards,
e. To strengthen bonds among members of their team,
f.  To model the behavior they want,

– Managers get paid to solve problems, loosen bottlenecks, inspire, coach and make a significant contribution to growth and improvement. A basic process flow of your work should be about planning, execution, monitoring/controlling, evaluating/measuring results and repeating the process all over again. If you’re not doing any of those four things you’re not really managing, you’re just wasting the owner’s money.

– The key for Owners and Directors is knowing how to make all their managers understand this point of view of being a Manager.

What do you think? Do you all agree?