I say it all the time but who you work for is just as important as where you work. Working for a good boss makes the world of difference in how you approach the job, the success you can have and how you can affect the company’s bottom line. I do think some times people have a great opportunity at another company but more times than not, people are looking to leave their managers and that is why they choose to leave the company. I quite frankly learned a lot about being a good manager by having a lot of bad managers. Here are three things I think all good managers do:
- Treat their direct reports they way they would like to be treated: Sounds simply right but not so easy to execute. Having basic respect for people, their ideas, the personal and family time and giving them room to grow and excel are all things you want in your job so why not give your directs the same respect.
- Invest in people’s development: No one wants to stay in the same role for the rest of their life but career development and coaching is a skill that takes time. Invest time into each and every team member to learn what they want to do in the future, what competency they want to develop and identify mentors. Create a plan and hold meetings dedicated to career development to hold both parties, the manager and the employee, accountable to the plan. In some companies, managers are not held accountable to mentor and develop people but you do it because it the right thing to do. Investing in people is a currency that is important to every employee.
- Lead the den, expect the best from the den but fiercely defend the cubs when the time comes. The den is the culture you create, where you communicate the vision, the rules of engagement, the expectations for how we will be the best bears in town. You set the tone by example. Good managers are strong and decisive but only use that strength when needed. They set the bar high above what you think you can obtain and push you to be the best you can be and challenge you. The den is a tight group but if anyone attacks a cub, you fiercely defend the cub as you are representing their accomplishments, their impact and more importantly their future potential to the larger den of the company.
How do you make sure you in a new role that the hiring manager is someone you want to work for? Do your homework. Interview the manager, just as they interviewed you. Ask questions to learn about their style and what success looks like to them. Ask others who have worked for them both present and past employees. Ask them what is the most rewarding thing about being a manager, learn what motivates them. Gather data, make an informed decision and decide if this is manager is a fit for you as well.
Buzz Worthy Lesson of the day: Remember who you work for is just as important as where you work.