A leadership Master Class … on 1 Page!

LeadershipThree or four years ago, I began assembling some management tips for a future presentation. At some point during the process, the topic changed and I simply filed those notes away. I am certain that some of the tips were printed and published by CBSMoneyWatch.com. I was unable to locate the specific contributor for appropriate attribution.

These tips are powerful and simple. It’s almost like a master class on one page. As most of my readers have probably experienced, a lot of good advice and techniques are buried in thousand-page tomes. By the time you dig them out, you are too exhausted to test them in you organization or with your team. Having reexamined these ten (10) tips, I am convinced that they will be immediately useful to anyone in a team or senior leadership role.

So, here they are:

  1. “For those times when you tell someone to do something just because you’re the manager: Every time you hit someone with the ‘management’ stick, it breaks in half.”
  2. Getting bad news early is good news and that applies in nearly all walks of life.
  3. “Never tell or ask someone to do something you’re not willing to do yourself.” Team leaders should remember how it felt to be managed, and employ that consideration when managing others.
  4. Make it a point to hire people smarter than you are.
  5. Be mindful that your team members have their own goals, aspirations, dreams and visions of their future. Encourage them to share them with you. During the coaching, mentoring and managing your team, you can incorporate this understanding into your message.
  6. People are more important than a bureaucratic process. To the extent possible, when you are coaching or counseling a team member, relate to the individual in addition to applying policy. When you put people first and deal with them clearly and honestly, the violation of a policy can be handled with civility.
  7. Try to begin work relate discussions with some variation of, “What can I help you with” or “How can I help you?” This is a positive way to identify roadblocks, areas where additional training or professional development would be helpful, and to get a quick handle on team workloads and priorities. You can often gain some valuable insight into how a team member is doing mentally, physically, professionally and personally.
  8. Understand that your primary goal when making management decisions is not to earn the concurrence of the team members you manage. If the issues are related to reassignment, demotion, reprimands, lay off or termination, you may not obtain agreement. These areas of discussion are the most difficult actions a team leader or manager must undertake. If the team member or associate can come to understand why a decision of this nature has been made, that is a very valid secondary goal.
  9. Treat team members as adults and never in a condescending manner. This is especially true when you have unsettling news to share, such as, management changes, process, procedures and other serious changes. Do not try to “put lipstick on the pig.” Everything may not be wonderful, and to portray it that way will cause your team to quickly lose confidence in you and your ability to determine when a situation requires more care and gravity.
  10. Most people want to be respected and to know that what they are doing is important.

Related Articles:   Insight + Rapport   and  15 Attributes of a Great Workplace

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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