How To Excel As A Manager, Get The Best Out Of Your Staff, And Scale + Grow Your Business With Talent
The Manager Trap
It’s such a buzzword isn’t it?
We all know a manager manages people.
The question is how do you manage your people?
As a business manager, you might lock yourself in your office and hammer through the daily grind of work.
Or you might jump in, get your hands dirty, and help out with the team’s big project.
If your management style looks anything like this, you’ve missed the mark on what great management is all about.
Ineffective business managers have one thing in common:
They have no idea what their job is.
So the first step to being a great manager is to get a crystal clear idea of what you’re doing and why it’s important.
What A Manager Does
As a manager, your role is to guide your team in a way that serves the long term goals of the business.
Overall, it’s the difference between big picture and small picture thinking. Your team members should be focused on their individual work. Your role as a manager is to guide them whilst keeping your focus on the big picture of how the business is performing as a whole.
IDENTIFY YOUR OWN STRENGTHS + WEAKNESSES
Recognising your own strengths and weaknesses is the starting point to really rocking your managerial role. Why? Because you need to be able to identify where you excel and where you struggle when it comes to your ability to manage people and still deliver on your own role.
You need to play to your strengths in order to have your team performing at their best. Having perspective on your weaknesses allows you to either focus on self-improvement, or to use team members who are stronger in those areas to your (and therefore your business’s) advantage.
Ask yourself the important questions. Where am I doing well? Where can I improve?
IDENTITY TEAM STRENGTHS + WEAKNESSES
Following on from clear awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses is the ability to assess your team is the same way, both as a whole and individually.
You should be able to see each person on your team clearly and honestly. Encourage strengths, encourage improvement in weak areas. Delegate work based on individual strengths and find the right person for each task. People are happiest and most engaged when their job allows them to play to their strengths.
Your focus also needs to be on the big picture, the overall function of the team. Are the individual abilities of each team member being utilized in a way that makes the team stronger? If not, you need to guide them towards working to their strengths.
INVOLVEMENT + INCLUSION
How often do you meet with the team to set goals and review where they’re at? Is there a structure? Is it 100% involvement + inclusion?
Although it’s your job to focus on the big picture, you need to bring your team along for the ride. You win when you can get them to buy into the business and want it to succeed as much as you do. When they care about their job and see themselves more than a ‘run out the clock’ worker. When they’re 100% involved and invested in the business success and where it’s going. Achieving your business goals is much easier when each person is proud to be part of what you’re all trying to achieve.
People do their best work when they feel seen, heard + included.
To have a winning team, everyone needs to be fully aligned. This requires open communication, a shared vision and working together towards a common goal.
The aim of alignment is that everyone on your team is super clear about what they need to do in order to achieve the vision. This absolutely requires you to spend more time giving clear instructions so that your people understand their role in the big picture.
As a manager, you’re required to establish a strong link between the day to day operations of your staff and the business results you’re seeking. It’s all about connecting the grunt work with strategic goals.
Alignment across your staff is what gets you to your big vision.
A recent client of mine thought he was advocating for his team. He trusted that they knew their jobs. Knew what was required of them. He would delegate a task and check in with them at the end of the day, end of the week, or end of the project. Never touching base with them.
There’s a few not-so-great outcomes when you approach management this way. Although the work was getting done, the team was limping along. They had no connection to his goals for the business. So those goals weren’t even close to being met.
Once I walked him through the four steps listed above, he stepped fully into the role of a great manager. He let the team know where he saw the business going in the future. He checked in on them often, and made sure he was available for discussions and clarification throughout the day. He moved people around to different projects based on their talents and engagement.
The impact on his business was dramatic. A great manager and a team working towards the common business goal of growth, scale + success is an unbeatable combination.
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