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Managing People

I have a leadership devotional that I read from daily. As a side note, it does not necessarily have to be the exact date and time for me to be able to learn from it - the devotional is exceptional. Here's what stuck out to me this week:

Most managers fail because of the expectations they have for their employees and themselves don't match. This is a reality that leadership has yet to reckon with. In my experience, the manager runs the ship. They create the culture and dictate the day-to-day operations. The manager is a direct reflection of the top leadership.

Studies show that when a mishap occurs in an organization the manager does not normally blame themselves. It is most often deemed as the employees fault. This is because their expectations for their employees are different than what they have for themselves. It is a recipe for loss of talent, bad behaviors and poor retention.

Management is about knowing yourself. In my opinion, this means you are able to be authentic and honest with what you can and should be doing. This in turn allows you to make effective decisions about the people who surround you. I often call it a deep sense of self-awareness. Unfortunately, leadership will choose a manager based on their academic status, or a referral. This does not always cut the cake. We live in a time where diversity, culture and clarity are key to being a great manager. We must de deliberate in a few things:

  • Never let friendships get in the way of a great employee. Managers who try to lead through friendships are headed for a train wreck. I personally, bow out of organizations who have friendships involved. It's the side conversation for me that can cost you a potentially great partnership.

  • Be clear. Clarity is different for everyone and in the final analysis it's about how a person received your message. So, practice non-judgemental, clear messaging.

  • Recruit right. You will recruit the right person the first time, if you are the right person. Typically we recruit what we are. We want people around us that make us feel good about ourselves. It's impossible to hire a level of expertise beyond ours if we haven't leveled up ourselves.

  • Be clear about job descriptions. Set your employees up for success and peel away some of the conflict by equipping them with sound descriptives. Most people are more productive when they are sure about your expectations. If you don't know, neither will they.

Management is difficult to do well, particularly at a time such as this. Crisis management is at an all time high and top talent are leaving in droves. Management is about people, their lives and their families. It is underestimated- but can't be neglected.



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