There is only one thing that I truly have learned that sums up what anyone needs to do – TAKE ACTION. No one likes a person that just talks and does not deliver on their words. Coaches are not fond of players that when crunch time comes and their players just watch. Employees are not excited to work for a manager that just sits in their office and does little to help out on delivering. Over those many years of managing, I think of taking action as a manager as:
- Expect the best! As a manager and a coach, I learned that if you set your expectations low, you will achieve them. So, why not set those expectations high. Think back over your experiences, did you have a teacher that stands out that remember fondly? For me, it was that teacher that really set lofty expectations on me. He showed me, that I could do more than I was doing. You just have to set high expectations and take action.
- Put the work into context. As a manager, you have to communicate to each team member how their work fits within the larger objectives. Each person has a piece of the overall mission, they need to completely understand where they fit. Then you can set the goals, expectations and take action.
- Be clear. Communication is a critical skill. Make sure that are clear when assigning tasks. If you write them out, read them for clarity before sending them out. If you discuss them with your team, look for understanding in your team. Never hurts to ask you team to repeat them. Clear instructions will help to insure taking action is in the right direction.
- Make sure the resources are available. Think of this as your key role for success of your team. Do you have everything needed to accomplish your mission? Enough people? Enough material? Equipment running properly?
- Let your people do the work. The goals and resources are provided, all that is left it taking action to complete the mission, let those folks take that action. One of the things that is hard to remember is to stay out of your people’s way as they are taking action.
- Vary your style. Is everyone the same? Does your team response the same to how you communicate or motivate? Make sure that you are varying your style to match your team. In sports, a successful coach is one that adapts to the players that he has. You can not expect each team member to change to your style.
- Let them fail. Scary to let your employees fail, but their is success in failure. Learning experiences are key to taking action in the future. No one is perfect! Not everything is going to work right the first time. It is okay to fail, just don’t do the same mistake over and over again. It is all about helping those employees learn.
- Think “WE”. How many times have you heard the I, me, mine and my from a manager? Was that manager successful? I bet not! Those words should not belong in the managers vocabulary. Success is when every part of the team is taking action to accomplish the mission. With your words, never leave out anyone.