Did anybody else see this great piece in the Financial Post?
You aren't him...are you?
When the US version of the Office was launched, I remember someone telling me about seeing Steve Carell, who plays Michael Scott, being interviewed on NBC. He said something like this:
“Yeah, for sure, there’s a Michael Scott in every office. And if there isn’t one in yours….it might be YOU.”
Being a good boss is tough, no question. It requires so many talents. And a busy person can be forgiven for not being the perfect manager at all times. But there’s no question good boss=better employees=more productivity.
We all know this. It is a real pleasure to work for someone who values what you do, & when they don’t, tell you so PRIVATELY. You’ll work all day for that person. On the other hand, & we’ve all been there, nothing is worse than going to work where the boss makes you feel about 2 mm tall, no matter how hard or well you work. You always do the bare minimum for this person–sometimes even less than that, when he’s not watching. Why companies keep these managers is a mystery I’ll never fathom, because it costs them, big time. (Ever notice you can always tell instantly which places are well run & which are not? Why? Eye contact. At well run places of business, people will smile or nod. At badly run places….everyone will pretend you are not there.)
The article is good, but let me add a few insights from my 15+ years of running successful businesses:
1) Good managers get out of the way. There’s no point in hiring good people & then fussing over them like newborn hens. Give them the tools they need & then stay out of the way.
2) As mentioned above, all correction is done PRIVATELY. You want plummeting morale? Point out an employee’s shortcomings in front of witnesses. (Praise in public- correct in private)
3) If possible, always ask, never tell. There is a world of difference. A friend of mine once said: “Ask me nicely to clean the bathroom, & I’ll make it shine. Tell me to do it….& we have a problem.”
4) If there’s deadwood on the team, get rid of it. This does not have to be done nastily or rudely, but a team with one bad apple & 9 good ones eventually becomes 10 very bad apples.
5) Your door is always open. That doesn’t mean the rules will change: but everything should be up for discussion.
6) Finally, if nothing else, be a listener. Employees don’t expect perfection. They DO expect to be taken seriously.