3 Tips for Managing
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”
– Leonardo Da Vinci
Getting work done through people can be challenging. Individuals and teams differ greatly, and what works for one may not work for another. That’s why understanding what people are interested in is essential. One thing they are not interested in, is you managing them. With that in mind, here are three tips for getting work done through people:
1. You Can’t Manage People – People don’t like to be scrutinized, cajoled, or coerced in the workplace. However, they are interested in controlling what they do, and knowing their work has value and purpose. Ask them to tell you what roadblocks need to be overcome so they can be masters of their work, then clear the obstacles and let them figure out the rest. Show them, frequently, how their work is integral to team success. If you treat them like they make a difference, they will.
2. Manage Processes – Every company and team consists of a series of processes – sales, fulfillment, finance, strategy, etc. And each process should have a clear purpose. Without a purpose, the process can’t be mastered, and it may not even be needed. Therefore, a key leadership role is “challenge the process” to ensure a clear process purpose and the effectiveness of execution. You can do so by getting agreement from your team regarding the importance of everything they do; and engaging them in a continuous state of improvement, so they can master and control their work.
3. Manage Yourself – We’ve established that you can’t manage people. However, you can help them with mastery, autonomy and purpose – the things that interest them – so they can achieve results and fulfillment. So why not focus on these areas for yourself, and manage them. That is, a) Identify the one or two things you do or want to do, that produce the most value for you, and endeavor to master that skill or behavior. b) Define what autonomy (freedom) is for you, and practice that every day. c) Clarify your leadership purpose and have it drive everything you do (if it doesn’t, revisit a & b, or change your purpose).
Although you can’t manage people, you can certainly manage yourself – which in turn enables you to lead others. “Take care of your team, take care of yourself” is a winning formula for success!
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