The Path to Being a Good Manager

Yesterday, I received an unexpected compliment from an old co-worker. I should clarify that this is someone who worked under someone who worked under me. He was reminiscing about how much he enjoyed working for me and how great of an environment I provided. He even said that a call I made to offer him an advanced opportunity (at this point, we weren’t working together) was “fateful.”

 Thanks! But I have to admit that while I’d love to think I’m this super-incentivizing, all-star manager. I don’t think I am. Sure, I’d like to think I’m a great manager, but I think I just do what I do. I try to adhere to the Golden Rule – to treat others as I’d like them to treat me. I try to provide information and knowledge so that those who work for me can grow and (yes) enjoy their time at work.

 Do I do this 100% of the time? Honestly, no. I can’t. Sometimes, I have a huge project that I’m struggling to finish. Sometimes, people are really bugging me. And, yes, sometimes I just don’t feel like paying attention to anyone but me!

 I’ve not been a good manager to some folks. I didn’t provide them great feedback. I didn’t show them how to grow. Why not? I’d like to think it was them, and not me, but I don’t think they’re the reason.

 Being a good and inspirational manager is a two-way street with a little chemistry mixed in. I think you have to provide feedback, encouragement and praise. I think people (in general) deserve feedback and encouragement, and they earn praise. I think there is often chemistry between a manager and a worker that encourages this environment. When that chemistry isn’t there, I’m not a good manager and they can never become a successful contributor.

 Organizational fit is an often overlooked element when hiring. It’s not on the list of skills and job responsibilities, but maybe it should be. I’ve seen disastrous results when people who don’t “fit” together are forced to work together.

 I’ve never been a fan of being interviewed by a group of people, but I’ve had candidates be interviewed by several members of our team – not my boss, or my boss’s boss but the people they have to work with every hour of every workday. These are the people that need to depend on each other.

 When we all agree on someone, there’s chemistry! Maybe I should welcome the group interview on my next job hunt. Maybe that will give me a better sense of the environment, both for my success and that of my co-workers.

The Path to Being a Good Manager

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