A famous philosopher named Tina Fey once wrote, “In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way,” in her best selling Autobiography Bossy Pants . In today’s economy where companies need to meet their numbers, goals and deadlines more than ever to stay afloat, managing for productivity doesn’t need to mean micro managing. Micro-management can suffocate a worker taking away the confidence or drive to creatively problem solve. Having never managed anyone myself, I called upon current and past managers to give me insight into what being a good manager means or requires.
David Chernow, our Chief Marketing Officer, is all about communication. The marketing team of Brightwing, which also services Tri-Chem and Jaavis, has a talented team from different backgrounds and skill sets.
“I think that the standard of communication should be high. It creates a rhythm and a collaborative environment that can only occur if you don’t try to control every aspect of a project. When you put constraints on people it impinges in their creative ability.”
David also commented on group and individual needs, “No employee comes into a company with all of the answers, but with an open environment I can learn what their strengths are and play to them. In a group meeting we are trying to get some level of collaboration or conjoined intelligence.
One on one meetings give the manager and employee a chance to check in and find out where the person is in their time and space. What’s concerning you? Where are your problems? We so frequently move forward and keep moving all day every day that it’s natural that issues occur and things happen. In one on ones you can gather information that you wouldn’t be able to gather in another setting and make adjustments for that person.”
Steve Stepniewski is Director of Sales (he lovingly called it Director of Trouble) for Brightwing Florida. He is not currently a manager, but has managed several teams for past employers.
“My philosophy is to be sure to give your employees the tools and skills to succeed, or as I like to put it coach in before you coach out. Lead by example, so your team can see what is possible and what is expected. Be sure that they know how to succeed, give them positive reinforcement and acknowledge them for a job well done.
Key performance indicators (KPI’s) are a good measure of quantity but not quality. They should be used as benchmark goals, but not set in stone. When I had managed a team we met daily to talk about successes, best practices, important information, and takeaways from the pitfalls. We would also have one on one meetings so that all individual needs were met. “
Hiring talented people and getting out of their way is a great mindset for managers, but they should also remember to create environments in which information can be shared collaboratively, and examples can be set, but not in stone. Company work environments are fluid and managers should focus on providing their teams with the necessary tools and support so that all teams in their company benefit.
Author: Elyse Lopez