Below, I have compiled a list of traits and practices, which successful managers abide by. These were taken from both my experiences while managing people as well as some of the clients I have worked with whose tactics I have both observed and come to respect.
1. Don't micromanage. You have heard this over and over again, but learning not to micromanage takes practice and confidence in yourself. This comes in the form that you are confident in the people who are under you and that you are utilizing their strengths accordingly.
2. In time, learn not to manage at all. The best managers are not managers at all. They are able to bring together a team, give them goals and be there only to help. Good managers don't delegate because their team is cohesive and works as a unit. Hire the right people and your competition won't know what hit them.
3. Compensate your team. If you don't want to pay, you don't get talent. You can promise them the world and dig up other reasons not to pay them the full amount, but everyone else is doing that. Therefore, you must have one heck of a compelling reason as to why they should work for you and be compensated under market value.
Additionally, if you don't compensate well, you risk turnovers. Not only do turnovers lose you talent, they hurt moral. Training new people takes time and sometimes you have to pay a firm like mine a lot of money to find them. If you do that, and the person leaves, you then leave your company with a big bill and no ROI. Turnovers, as a manger, are miserable and they make you look bad.
If you're not willing to pay for talent, there are people waiting in line who will.
4. Know your role. More likely than not, your employees are going to prove to be more important than you. While you're doing what you need to do, they are on the front lines. The front line troops are the most important. Your role is to ask questions and listen.
Managerial jobs are not as hard as some say if you hire smart, competent people. All you are is a sounding board for ideas. Nearly every major U.S. Army General or U.S. President spends or did spend a good amount of time during a war with the frontline troops. The front line troops are the ones who know things.
5. Go to bat for your employees. If an employee needs a raise, speak up. Don't be afraid to go to your superior and make a case as to why this person should get paid more. Your loyalty lies with your team, not your manager.
6. Care for the people who are under you. If you don't care for each team member of yours, it's not going to work.
7. Immediately show the complacent, ineffective people the door. To do so, you may have to make a compelling argument to your boss because firing people costs a lot of money. Conversely, in the end, getting rid of these people are going to not only save you, but make you very successful. Though, you must do this in a way which others don't perceive you are throwing around authority.
8. Lay down firm expectations, but only once. My firm pays our employees a great deal of money and they are all recent college graduates. The first day, I just sit them down and kindly saw that if they don't produce, they are out the door. It never needs to be said again and everything turns out fine. If I said it more than once, it would make me look arrogant and threatening. One time is enough.
9. Prepare them to replace you. If you are in management at a young age, don't stop there, strive to be the CEO one day. Don't be threatened by your employees. I had one client a long time ago who told me that some people whom we presented were too smart and may take his job. We fired him as a client and the worst thing was that we loved the HR woman; she was great.
There is no success in being afraid of the potential of your employees. Make sure that every person on your team, in the drop of a dime, could step up to do your tasks effectively. Not that this is a huge feat for my team, but I have the absolute lowest IQ in the office and that makes me feel good.
10. Bring them with you. There is nothing more valuable on the job market than a manager who can leave to another firm and take 50% or more of the employees with him or her. Lead properly and your employer will fear this and you and your team will not only make a lot of money, you will all eventually be running the company. The end goal is to have these people around you at all times during your professional career.
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Article Added on Wednesday, April 4, 2012
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