How To Be A Successful Manager
The demands of management mean that we need to perfect an approach to tasks that is just more than a one-dimensional, “one size fits all” style of delivery and decision-making. The “job” is far more demanding that just that simplistic view of the world.
The ideal situation to be in is one where you can comfortably deal with any situation by altering your focus and mind-set allowing you to respond in an authentic, constructive, and effective way.
Different situations require different approaches!
Be constant and consistent. Know what your basic, fundamental principles are and what guides and motivates the interactions that you have with others. Such ideals might include “Don’t get bogged down in the details, look at the bigger picture” or “Never take things personally”. By making sure that you fully subscribe to these principles you will be able to avoid uncomfortable shifts in your approach and take on issues. If you are really you in discussions/negotiations/meetings, then you have nothing to feel uncomfortable about!
Focus firmly upon context. As your career develops your view and perspective of the business grow. Part of the job then becomes finding ways to express and communicate that bigger picture to others. The skill here lies in getting the message across carefully so that you become skilled in sharing vision, strategy, or upcoming organisational change with others and being clear on what you are there for and what you need. This should always be accompanied by making your decision-making criteria or rationale transparent to others.
Have a clear vision. Make sure that both you and your team stay focused on the most-important priorities. Leaders who envision new possibilities, muse out loud, or have knee-jerk reactions run the risk of teams trying to deliver on their every whim which then creates chaos and panic for everyone.
Plan ahead and communicate this: The key here is to channel the energy of your staff into delivering on the most important tasks. At the start of the year, sit down with each direct report to prioritise and clarify what the big wins are in each of their areas. Follow this up by periodically coming back to help your direct reports reprioritise their work patterns.
Be curious. Never assume in dealing with an issue or a project that you have all of the answers! Not everything can be fixed immediately and there is a lot of value in actually asking questions, trying out different solutions and being curious so that the real detail emerges and the right decisions are made!
Make connections: Always be a visible source of information and guidance for as many different teams and layers within the organisation as you can be. A key approach here is to be expert in using thanks and acknowledgement and expressing gratitude is something staff will remember for a long time.
Success and skills in management are developed over long periods of time: the key to success is to stay open to the huge variety of people and situations that will come your way. Use each situation as an opportunity to fine-tune your skills and to develop broader awareness in all of your areas of responsibility.
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