Monday, 30 January 2012

Want to be a Great Manager? What do the Staff Want?


As part of a training exercise I conduct in many countries I ask the participants to tell a two-minute story about their best boss or their worst boss. The stories (some horrifying and some inspiring) show that to be a respected manager and leader we need to develop a particular set of attributes. 

Now you have read lots of stuff about management and leadership in your your textbooks however it could be argued they are just theories. For those theories and their conclusions it is essential for us to listen to what staff, (those we get things done through), say is important to them. 

So to be a respected manager we need to develop and exhibit the following ATTRIBUTES:

Normal - being culturally compatible with the staff under our supervision by understanding and respecting the cultural norms of the group that we are both responsible for... and responsible to.

Organised - being well managed in our own personal work and being able to meet our own deadlines, being on time for meetings and calls and allocating our own time effectively.

Trainer - facilitating the constant growth of expertise and personal development of the staff and by showing them what a 'good' job looks like and helping them to achieve success.

Transparent - letting staff know what is going on with us, why we are acting in a certain way and what is influencing the decisions we are taking.

Reliable - constantly living by the adage of, 'saying what we will do and then doing what we say'... without exception.

Impressive - presenting ourselves as a professional in the way we speak, dress and our general demeanour in public and particularly in the presence of customers and competitors.

Consistent - being reasonably predictable in our habits and work methods and by not changing the 'rules' without consultation and agreement.

Knowledgeable - possessed of some area of technical expertise that the staff can relate to as relevant to the position we are holding, without necessarily being the top expert.

Fair - being equitable in our dealings with those we are managing by avoiding favourites and demonstrating willingness to discipline in private and praise in public.

Accessible - making ourself available to help solve problems, give ideas, act as a coach or mentor, settle disputes and provide support for staff needing resources.

Competent - knowing what needs to be done, by whom, by when and how to bring to bear the necessary resources.

Ethical - placing the interest of the group, the company, the customers and the community ahead of any personal desires and by not operating a personal agenda.

Disciplined - being calm in times of crisis and by remaining focussed on what needs to be done and by constantly working towards the group and organisation goals.

Now I guess to be all these things is a big ask however miss one and your not going to make the grade from the staff's point of view.

Want to see how you do? Why not distribute a questionnaire getting you staff to rank you from one to ten for each? Not game?

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