I am currently reading a book titled “The Rules of Management” – by Richard Templar. It is really a group of hints and tips and pieces of advice on how to be a good manager. I talks about how to manage your team from one side and yourself from another side. I will summarize a couple of the points mentioned in the book (The ones that I like and believe that MOST managers lack!)
1- Make your team better than you
This means you have to trust them, get them the best resources, train them, give them your experience, encourage innovation, give them space to be creative. To be able to do this you have to have a lot of self-confidence. Many managers don’t like their team to be better because they are afraid one of them will jump to take his position. I personally see this as sick. You are a leader ONLY if you create leaders.
2- Let them make mistakes
I liked this point. In the book, the author used an old Chinese proverb that says ” Tell me and I’ll remember for an hour; Show me and I’ll remember for a day; But Let me do it and I’ll remember forever.” You as a manager have to give your employees space and be ready to fix their mistakes, this is the only way they will learn. It is like raising your child, at first you let him spill food and drinks on himself and the floor when he first learns how to eat on his own. Gradually he learns how to eat on his own without spilling. But if you keep feeding him yourself, he will never learn. If you don’t leave room for your team to make mistakes and learn from them, they will always be dependent on you and you will never have an effective, productive team.
3- Create a good atmoshpere
This is not easy and it is one of the things we lack much. A manager has to be polite, friendly and kind. He has to respect his team if he wants them to respect him. Treat them in a civilized manner even if you are in the process of issuing a penalty for someone who made a mistake. Be cheerful and helpful to motivate them and encourage to come to work everyday and do their best. I like the quotation he used in the book “Without them you are nothing. with them you are a team.”
4- Don’t always have to have the last word!
This is something that is really crucial. Some managers think that being a manager then he has to dominate and he has to have the last word and force everyone to do what he thinks and says! well not true! You have to use your ears. Listen to what your team members have to say, don’t rush into speaking, just listen. If you listen well and understand and postpone speaking and getting angry, you might be amazed by what you hear. Some good ideas can come out of your team. Encourage them to speak out and contribute with their feedback. And in the end you can judge reasonably whether they have something of value or not. But be reasonable and don’t always just listen to yourself.
I’ll keep reading the book and I’ll write again if I find something else interesting as well.