In the organizational and leadership space there are a lot of things that get me excited. Yet there is nothing as juicy for me as considering what is possible for an employee when they have a great manager. Managers, more than anyone have the power to impact the lives of every person in an organization.
Managers are often the un-sung hero’s of organizations. Often an extra-curricular job that you are not thanked for, given credit for or rewarded for. You invest in management because you enjoy it or perhaps you are on to the big secret. Great management leads to extraordinary results. If you are lucky you work for a leader that gets it – they perhaps are also a great manager and value and respect the role a manager plays in creating a thriving workplace.
As employees, we consider it an exception when we have a manager we’d consider outstanding. A chance to be on a steeper trajectory, to really be rewarded, to be seen or even to work on some things that have been holding us back without fear of impact to our career. Great management also means that you have an ally in your development process. Someone that believes in you sometimes more than you believe in yourself.
I once worked with someone that said about her manager, “I’d follow her to Safeway to bag her groceries.” Her manager was that good. The content of her job was less important to her than how she was growing and evolving as a person within the organization. We all want that, as managers we are all capable of creating that, and as employees, if you ask me, we are all entitled to it.
We know that employees do not leave companies, they leave bad managers (OK I don’t have the data or reference to prove this – it is just something we former HR folks know) so why don’t we place more of an emphasis on keeping the talent we have and working on improving the managers?
Being great is easier said than done. Management is more than a checklist yet that is how it is often approached. There are a lot of things in our workplaces that are outside of our control. What we do control, is how we treat our people. How we celebrate their potential, their capabilities, their strengths.
What inspires me is working with managers to bring forth their talents so that how they approach management is more about what they believe in and who they are. And, working with employees to co-create relationships based on what all employees know they need to be successful.