Article of the Month
What is a Manager?
There are many perspectives
The organizational stakeholders expect their managers to comply and reach expected goals. In public companies, shareholders expect managers to be frugal and exceed all financial goals.
Individual workers (people) have different expectations
Individuals come to work for many reasons. They want interesting work, stability, nice people to work with and pleasant environment. They also seek financial rewards, development opportunities, and an opportunity to use their abilities and ideas in areas which interest them.
There are many potential conflicts
Individuals rarely find that their work related hopes, dreams and development share the same importance for the larger organization. As a result, work becomes only something one must do to make a living but not a life. Work becomes boring, mundane, and stagnant. The larger corporation also suffers as people lose their energy, motivation, and incentive.
A manager has many roles
The wise manager understands that the work which he or she gets credit for means that goals are met, revenue is earned, or stock prices increase. The wise manager also knows that work occurs with people. This involves coaching, caring, compassion, communications and creativity enabling people to reach their personal goals. This should go together with reaching goals for the organization. In many years of managing, I never saw a performance review which discussed my ability to develop and care for people. I knew, however, that this was the best route to meeting those corporate goals.
Today, I call this humanistic management which is caring about people, enabling them to grow, develop, and align their abilities and interests in ways which benefit all. It is also about placing an emphasis on people over profit knowing that when this is done people thrive and bring both their hearts and minds to the office with greater energy and passion.
Eliminate empty terms
These days many terms and programs espoused by HR professionals and management have clever names: talent management, engagement, succession planning and many punitive terms such as performance management and execution. People don’t relate to these lofty terms which are empty and void of any real connections. People do, however, relate to managers who coach, care, show compassion and communicate in positive terms building strong relationships.
Managers are teachers
I like to advise people who want to lead others first, learn to lead yourself by becoming self-aware. Learn as well to be a great follower. This builds empathy and compassion. Finally, learn how to teach people. Teachers guide, provide ideas, enable goal setting, and enable their followers to learn and apply what they do in productive ways. This is also what a manager needs to do.
I’ll be cheering you on as you go!
Craig Nathanson is the founder of The Best Manager™, workshops and products aimed at bringing out the best in those who manage and lead others.
Craig is a 25 year management veteran, Executive coach, college professor, author and workshop leader. Craig Nathanson is also The Vocational Coach helping people and organizations thrive in their work and life.