There are many though
provoking resources we can read about management and leadership. They cover leadership qualities, attitudes,
and perspectives in great detail (some of my favorites include: Tom Peters, Bob Sutton, Steve Farber, David Maister, Phil Gerbyshak, and Fast Company).
But, if we were to focus
on execution (assuming we have a team and we know our objectives), what actions
would we define as essential to being effective managers?
I believe there are two
things good managers DO continuously.
- They remove obstacles.
- They reward and redirect people.
negotiate, and remove roadblocks that cause their team to waste time or get too
frustrated. They handle the politics,
“plant the seeds”, negotiate the trade-offs, and take the bullets so that the
team has what they need to keep moving.
Part of “removing
obstacles” is not becoming one. Managers
support their team. They never blame the
people they manage for failures or inadequacies – especially in public.
While they may not blame a
team member for failures, they do reward and redirect people as needed. Sometimes
this means helping someone identify and develop an area where they’re having
Sometimes this means
admitting that someone isn’t appropriate for the team (or the team isn’t
appropriate for them) and taking actions to reassign or remove that person.
Most often, though, this
is where a manager stands up for the people they manage and makes certain that
team members are appreciated and rewarded for their efforts.
Can you think of something
a manager must do that doesn’t fit into one of these categories?