Each of us has to manage someone, something or at the very least some tasks in our life. How we pull off our role in that management process determines whether we get anything done. And perhaps most importantly, whether we enjoy the process of getting things done.
Most especially if we are managing other people. Because people are not robots or computers, each one reacts to the tune of their own different and unique drum.
I can remember the first time I was given the role of “night manager” at the mom and pop hamburger stand I worked at in high school. One day, my grumpy boss had asked me to come into the storage room, which also played as his office, telling me that he needed to talk to me. It kind of freaked me out because he was not the nicest person and was always telling me what I was doing wrong.
Well I stood there waiting to hear what I had done wrong this time when he told me, “You have been doing a pretty good job and so I have decided to make you night manager and close up the place each night.” And… with it he was giving me a 10 cent an hour raise.
Wow! Where had that come from because I don’t think he had ever said anything nice to me. I was excited because I didn’t have to work with him after school anymore and could work the 4pm to 8pm shift and be the boss. Perfect. Except I really didn’t know what I was doing.
With little instruction I was basically doing the same duties just making sure clean-up happened with one or two other employees. No guidance, no mentoring, just someone to fill a void that had come to pass. I did the manager job for about 6 months until I realized I was going nowhere fast, the 10 extra cents per hour was not worth the extra work, and no one gave me much training or motivation so I moved on.
A few years later moving into the corporate environment I came to clearly realize that each of us ticks differently. Sadly, at too many jobs along the way no one seemed to care about the what was in it for me piece, which is one the burning elements that led me to start my own business. I was determined to find a better way to look at the whole piece of managing by managing my own company.
I would like to say that it was a piece of cake, but many lessons were learned along the way.
A few of the key things I have learned:
Never create a position around a particular individuals skill set, have the person fill the requirements needed for the position! This one is huge.
When you need to fire someone – do it! Don’t wait because they are like a negative disease that just spreads.
Realize what needs to be done and give yourself double the time to get it done.
Don’t ever get stuck on an idea, way to do things, or putting up with a persons bad attitude.
Create systems that work and constantly be improving them.
Find mentors in order to be the best leader yourself. A manager must be able to lead.
In this week’s podcast I had the opportunity to interview Annette Matthies of Aspen Edge Consulting who shares some more juicy tidbits on How to be a Better Manager. Take the time to listen to the podcast and decide what changes you might need to make.
Your bottomline as well as your sanity will thank you!