Let’s start with the basics – a great manager knows how to manage!
The definition of the word manage:
- Be in charge, administer; run. A person who directs a team…
The reality is a little more complicated. The best way to think of being in charge of anything is to consider what you would need in a similar circumstance if you were part of the team and not in charge. From an employee’s perspective, in order to succeed, a manager is the person to “go to” for structure, guidance and information, among other things…so, to start, BE that expert with the information.
Let’s break it down:
Provide Structure: As a manager you have the template for what’s about to happen. You know the boundaries and how everyone should work. You have a plan. Structure implies that you are organized, have a plan, and know how the task at hand will be implemented from point A to Z. Be able to explain it clearly with no equivocation. You’re in charge, this is the schedule, timing, day due, etc.
Provide Guidance: A manager knows the answers to the questions or how to get the answers. If a decision needs to be made, the person in charge (manager) will make decision or be the deciding vote. The guidance provided by the person in charge is basically the weaver of focus for the group. You keep people on track. If the team is going down the wrong path, the manager gets them back on course. You’re open to all possibilities to get the job done, but always walking the team through down the right course of action to get everything done on time and on-point. You’ve calculated the risks, you know all the outcomes and you make choices to empower the group but never sway from the goals. The definition of guidance: The direction provided by a guide.
Provide Information: You have the knowledge and facts to decide what is appropriate and what is not. Because you’re in charge, employees will always defer to you when unsure or if a question arises during the project. Information that quantifies your decision is all a staff member needs to move forward.
Among other things….
Managers have people work for them or with them. Providing structure, guidance and information to get the job is what a manager does. But what makes someone a great manager?
A great manager, among other things, is someone who’s also considered a leader. There’s a difference. A manager heads a group of people towards an outcome. People work for the manager.
A leader is someone people want to follow whether they work for them or not.
What are the three things you need to know to make you a LEADER? We’ll cover that in our next post.