Do You Want to be a Good Manager?

 In leadership

Of course, you do…everyone wants to be the best they can be at their jobs, right? By being the best you get noticed, you get promoted, your options increase, etc. I may have asked the wrong question in the title…I could have asked; do you really want to be a manager?

I love to ask questions, but even better I love to hear the answers! Here is a question that you should ask yourself. Who is the leader in my organization? You know who the managers are…because it is normally their title, Example: John Q. Public – Operations Manager. Clearly, John is a manager…but who is the leader? When I ask this question of employees, either hourly or salary, I normally get the name of the CEO or President. Hopefully, that is a correct answer…but the employees I ask, act as if that is the only leader in the organization.

If I continue to question or probe I find that most employees are unaware of the differences between a manager and a leader. So, let’s look at the differences; what does a manager do vs. what a leader does. Managers typically manage people and processes…they make sure that people are doing what they are supposed to be doing correctly, following procedure and using all the tools available to them so that the work is done correctly and efficiently. Leaders create visions and inspire others to engage in that vision. Can you see where there may be room for more than one leader in an organization if their visions are the same?

For some reason, in our society, most of us believe that there can only be one leader. This probably comes from the way we are “programmed” as kids… class president, captain of the team, head coach, etc. We may even continue to solidify these beliefs in our adult life… look around your life outside of work, there are many singular leaders. The president of the HOA, community watch leader, president of this club, president of that club…

I don’t subscribe to one vision one leader; it’s a bit outdated. Today, one vision many leaders is the path. Some of us call that an engaged workforce. After all, if you share the vision of the organization you are engaged and employee engagement has been proven time and time again to increase productivity. Being an engaged employee is way more fun than getting up every morning to get a paycheck, you have the feeling of belonging, being respected, appreciated, recognized, you are treated fairly, you are trained and prepared for everything you will encounter and you are an integral piece of the company communication.

I am obligated to issue this warning; employee engagement is contagious. Once you and your organization strive to have many leaders or create a culture of employee engagement, you will not be able to stop it. It will grow at a very rapid rate and productivity will increase, smiles on faces will be the norm, complaining about everything will cease to exist, things like tardiness and absenteeism will decline, people will enjoy coming to work and look forward to getting to work. Don’t blame your outrageous success on me, you have been warned.

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