Effective management isn’t about bossing people around or waving your fancy title around in people’s faces. Effective management gets things done. It can break a business if done poorly and is the sole reason any business entity is successful.
The Purpose of Management
The purpose of management is honestly quite simple, they are put in place to help achieve the bottom-line initiatives and goals of the company. Anything else that comes with the job is a bonus. Managers are hired to achieve things that others have difficulty achieving. They can rally their team to meet their initiatives, hit KPIs, and accomplish goals.
Extreme ownership has been mentioned before, and just to really drive a point home, here it is again. As a leader, you need to take ownership of everything. When your team succeeds it’s because of their hard work and your management, when you fail it’s on you as you’re the one who’s supposed to help them succeed. The failure could also be shifted to other people involved but your job as a leader with an extreme ownership mindset, is to absorb that failure and not go around pointing fingers. An added bonus of taking ownership is the ability to protect your team. Leading your team from the front and absorbing any failures or negative feedback is your job. Showing your team that you’re willing to step up and take a hit for them when things don’t go as planned is part of being a great leader. It also helps build a culture of taking ownership which leads to better the overall work culture.
Build interpersonal relationships with your staff. Get to know them better, this type of interaction will strengthen their trust in you. In addition, knowing your teams’ strengths and weaknesses will allow you to properly delegate tasks when needed. Be the type of leader you wanted to have before you were a leader, show them that you care about them as people and not just as staff. You have to display actions that you want your staff to emulate, if you want your staff to start taking initiative and taking over tasks then you have to show them how to do so. Not to beat a dead horse here, but you need to lead from the front, be the change you want to see and others will follow.
Communication works in two directions, you need to be able to listen/comprehend as well as successfully express yourself in order to be an effective communicator. Active listening is a skill you’ll have to get really comfortable with in order to communicate with your staff effectively. You need to be able to understand what your staff is trying to tell you. As you are in a position of power, sometimes certain staff will tip toe around a subject and you’ll need to be able to either decode the message or ask if they can tell you what’s wrong. Avoid seeming biased during talks with staff, being closed off from ideas will discourage any more ideas being shared. On the same note, being able to see things from other perspectives other than your own will make communication easier as well as seeing things through unbiased eyes. In line with building relationships, check in on your staff once in a while, it can be small talk for most people, though small talk isn’t really the best idea for any introvert staff you may have. Learning what to talk about with who is a part of building relationships and it happens organically over time.
Being transparent with your team is part of communicating effectively. Being able to give clear direction to your staff is crucial in getting useful results. Explaining the “why” behind a task is also important when being transparent. It allows your staff to make connections and eliminates any mystery behind actions.
Learning to properly assign tasks to individuals or teams is essential in being an effective manager. Knowing each of your staff members’ strengths and weaknesses plays a huge role in this as delegating a job to someone with the skills needed can expedite a task and delegating it to the wrong person can cause major problems. Give feedback after the task is complete in order to better your team. You can’t do everything, in fact, your job isn’t to be able to do everyone’s job better than them, it’s to make everyone do their job better than before.
Bringing It All Together
None of these actions matter by themselves, like in a team, the sum is greater than its parts. You need to have everything to be a good leader. Missing the purpose but having everything else would render that leader useless, they could have the happiest staff in the world but if they aren’t hitting goals or initiatives then they’re useless as a leader. Being a leader is difficult and honestly not for everyone. Those thrust into leadership positions have to adapt and be able to have their team running smoothly and efficiently all while furthering their companies initiatives and goals.