June 28, 2011

Bring out the best in your staff

Sometimes a manager can flat out forget that there is no department, without a team. While a manager or some other type of superior might be the star of the show, the show can’t move forward, or survive without the ensemble cast, or at the very least, a supporting cast working together as a team.

The fact is that the wise manager knows that when they are able to bring out the best in their employees, then everybody wins! But the unwise manager is afraid of anyone shining brighter than them, so they will keep the light and the talents of their employees hidden, or even stifled. This is a shame, because while the unwise and insecure manager is keeping the spotlight on themselves, all they are highlighting is poor management skills.

Here are some examples of an unwise manager:

The Empire Builder: This manager uses the resources of their employees to promote their own personal power base, instead of using talents for the collective good of the department, or the company. The last thing that this person wants to do is to highlight an employee, or use their talents. Another star will simply stand in the way of their selfish goals.

The Tyrant: This manager loves to create tension and drama, in order to keep people off of their balance. This manager thrives off of making people second-guess themselves, or by making their employees work for them with total and complete submission. This manager demands respect, far more than they command respect.

The Know-It-All: This is the manager that quite naturally knows more than anyone in the room, because quite naturally, they are better than anyone in room. There is no reason for an employee to contribute any good ideas; none of them will be as good as this manager’s.

The Decision Maker: This manager is the cousin of the Know-It-All. They make unilateral decisions on behalf of the department. Many times, their decision making processes make no logical sense, but since they know what is best for anyone, this manager can’t be bothered with soliciting advice or input from others on the team.

The Micro-Manager: This is the classic ineffective manager. They are also a cousin of the Know-It-All, in that they feel that they must be involved in every tedious detail of projects and task, frankly it’s nauseating. The difference between the Micro-Manager, and the true Know-It-All however, is that the Know-It-All is confident in their abilities to a fault. The Micro-Manager pretends to be knowledgeable, but their tedious involvement reveals their insecurities.

And then, there are the effective managers. Here are some characteristics of these managers:

The Talent Magnets: These managers love to be on the lookout for the best talent, and therefore, not only do they attract talent, but they know how to utilize these talented people.

The Liberators: These managers create environments that make people think on their feet, and draws out the best resources in their employees.

The Challengers: These are cousins of the Liberators: They want their people to be challenged, knowing that people can shine under challenging situations.

The Debators: These managers pose thoughts and questions that create intellectual stimulation.

The Investors: These managers make people stand up for their talents and initiatives and at the same time, they invest in their people, and champion their people.

So, with these characteristics in mind, it’s clear to see which group of managers create professional environments that are effective and productive.
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