What TeamStrength CEO’s and Key Executives wish they had known about managing people when they were younger.
1. Be authentic. It’s easier to be your true self all the time. People respond better to authenticity and someone they can relate to. If you authentically build relationships everything is a hell of a lot easier. Build trust first, then people will get on board. Don’t just mandate and yell.
2. Don’t treat them all the same. Understanding how to work with different individuals is important. People don’t think the way you think and everyone sees the world through their own lens. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just different. You can’t manage a group of people the same way, use StrengthsFinder to look at individual strengths. Not everyone is motivated by the same thing. Everyone’s perspective is complicated by lots of other factors that you may or may not be aware of. Focus on individual strengths rather than correcting weaknesses. Get the most out of each individual. Not everyone has the same work ethic.
3. Different is good. Differences that irritate you are actually an asset. Don’t hire people like me – different is better.
4. Be direct and caring. Directness matters. Don’t assume people have the same point of view. Niceties can come across different. You can never make them happy. Be direct when giving feedback, don’t put it in a shit sandwich, spit it out and resolve it together. Being nice doesn’t work. Be humble, direct and loving. Show concern for people’s development. Showing them that you care about their career is a lot better than if you just go in and boss them.
5. Presume positive intent. Always assume innocence. Assume they’re trying to do their best.
6. Let them run. Sometimes I need to let people who report to me run with their own ideas even if I know it’s not the path I would take. Sometimes I have to let them fail and learn it for themselves. Coach and ask them questions instead of telling them the answers/diving in to fix it.
7. Management vs. leadership. You don’t manage people, you manage things and lead people.
8. What you say and do matters – a lot. Everything you say is really taken to heart, even casual conversation. People pay very close attention to your words and tone. Don’t underestimate how much people watch and emulate every little thing we do. A leader’s words carry more weight. The importance of connecting what you say and what you do means you also have to lead by example. Leadership is a whole lot more than just showing up and working hard. You’re a leader 24/7. You have to be always on.
9. You don’t have to be a know-it-all. It’s okay to say you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
10. Inspiration + accountability. You can’t always inspire people to greatness, not everything is inspirational. Need to have a good mix of accountability and inspiration – the two need to work together. Need to have one person take charge on something for accountability. If more than one person is responsible, no one is.