Recently, one of our senior managers was considering promoting a long-serving employee to a supervisory position for the first time. To help paint a picture of “management” for the employee, the senior manager drew up a list of “Things Managers Are and Do” and shared it with the prospective supervisor. I thought it was a very good and thoughtful list, so I asked him if I might share it in this forum (adding a few thoughts of my own).
Things Managers Are
- They are genuine (i.e., they know that admitting mistakes makes you human, not weak)
- They are prudent (i.e., they balance the needs of all concerned)
- They are thoughtful (i.e., they try to understand and consider the implications of their actions)
- They are humble (i.e., they seek collegial relationships and use power with great restraint)
- They are hopeful (i.e., they believe in others’ potential and work to help them fulfill it)
Things Managers Do
- They manage (i.e., they take charge of situations, identifying solutions rather than complaining about problems)
- They want to manage (because they enjoy this type of work, not because of where it puts them on the corporate ladder)
- They care about, and see (and come to know) their staff as individuals first, and co-workers second.
- They understand and respect that people have a life outside of work and try to plan thoughtfully to help their teams balance business and personal responsibilities
- They truly want their staff and co-workers to be successful and work to help them become so
- They see this “role” (helping others succeed) as important as “doing their own job” – because it is part their job
- They actively demonstrate support by being available, teaching, and offering tools and resources where they reasonably can
- They represent/support the company in all matters – while maintaining their own individual integrity (i.e., when the company is wrong, they acknowledge it)
- They continually seek to learn and develop themselves in order to become better managers
- They don’t have to win an argument because they’re the boss (i.e., they seek to let the best answer prevail)
- They understand that they’re not “owed” trust and loyalty merely because they’re “the boss”; they have to earn it (day by day, action by action).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to help new managers thrive. I’ll be writing more next week about observing two young managers as they strive to learn the art and craft of management. In the meantime, what key actions would you add to the list if you were advising a new manager (or as a reminder for long-time managers)?
- How To Onboard a New Manager (by Dan McCarthy)
- 10 Biggest Myths About Employee Motivation (onlinecollege.org)
- 5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses (intaxicating.wordpress.com)
- Walking the tightrope doesn’t mean leaving key staff without a safety net (business.financialpost.com)