Sunday, December 5, 2010

Managing to Lead – Why some (maybe your) managers fail …

“A good manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.” H. S. M Burns

This past week, I happened upon a blog by Steve Tobak (The Corner Office,;blog-author-info) who writes for Steve authored what I thought was a great blog on the 10 Ways to be a Better Manager. In my practice, I hear over and over again how a managers failure to lead, communicate and set an example for others drives people out of an organization. So – with Steve’s permission, I thought it would be helpful to outline – for you as a manager or aspiring manager or to help your boss – these 10 tips:

Good Managers …
1. Don’t send mixed messages to your employees so that they never know where you stand. Nothing gets people running around in circles, chasing their tails, like saying one thing today and flip-flopping tomorrow. Be consistent and clear.

2. Don’t BS your team. Be genuine and straightforward. If your management sets direction you don’t agree with, explain that you don’t always agree with them but then, you’re not the boss. It’s called “disagree and commit” and it is effective.

3. Don’t act more concerned about your own welfare than anything else. Selfish behavior inspires the same in your team.

4. Don’t avoid taking responsibility for your actions. Holding yourself accountable is the only way you can credibly hold others accountable.

5. Don’t jump to conclusions without checking your facts first. Mature leaders never react or overreact to a single data point or event. All that accomplishes is getting others to panic and start pointing fingers.

6. Do what you say you are going to do when you are going to do it. I’m not crazy about the wording, but the message is clear: walk the talk. That’s what builds credibility and confidence in you as a leader and your team as a group.

7. Do be responsive (return phone calls, emails). In this day and age of over-communication I wouldn’t spend all your time responding to every little thing, but when it’s important, communicate in real time if possible.

8. Do admit your mistakes … and take the blame for failures. There is no better way to learn and teach. Failure is how we grow and mature.

9. Do recognize your team and publicly support your people. That doesn’t mean destroy your own credibility by BSing your management or acting as if your team is perfect, but when they do the job or excel, get the word out.

10. Do ask and listen. Enough said.Above all, remember that the day you stop listening and learning is the day you stop growing as a manager, as a leader … and as a person. In my experience, expertise is both relative and transitory.

These tips are so on point. Management isn’t complex – we are very simple animals to understand – we respond to direction, we listen and we act. If that direction and communication isn’t clear or if disrespect is shown, employees don’t respond or perform.

Please share! And thank you Steve for allowing me to share.

And thank you for reading this. - Dan

Dan Moran
President & Founder
Career Management & Transition Specialists
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Office: 518-261-4212
Cell: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212

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