Archive for July, 2011
One of the nice things about my job is I get to listen to a lot of people, especially when I travel to our offices outside of Bangalore. The last couple of weeks, I have had an overload of listening, and in the few hours I got on a plane: away from people, flipping through my notes, it struck me that I had great material for a blog!
Reading through my notes I found, people love to talk about their managers. Why they love them, hate them or just don’t care about them. Often I get to hear about the same person from many folks in the team, their peers, their bosses all of them providing me different perspectives. Sometimes the same action is interpreted in opposite ways by two individuals! I suddenly realized, now this is a treasure trove of data, that I can use to find out what makes some managers more effective than the others!
To keep it very quantitative and prevent any of my prejudices, I took frequently noted comments, affinitized them, ranked them, and kept my intelligence away!
The result is a very simple “Must dos’ to be an effective manager” ideas from my notes.
What the effective manager’s team members said?
- I learn a lot from him/her
- He/She has the ability to get things done – they have great equity with clients, with their boss, peers and know how to push through things for the team
- I know what to expect
- I know when I am screwing up – they will tell me
The order they appear is based on the most heard at no 1 and least heard at no 4. This is from a list of 15 – that included oh! My boss knows my moods and manages it! Huh! I am not going to put that on the list!
Surprise – most of the managers were not popular but respected! They were actually tough task masters but never aggressive yellers, people were petrified of their reviews with them but enjoyed the outcome and the completely different perspective they provided when they spoke to them.
Striking was no 2 – it missed the no 1 spot by just 1! If I only took Sales, no 2 was at no 1 by a huge margin! Sales guys wanted a manager who will make things happen for them, open doors, connect them…
What the effective manager’s supervisor said?
- Gets it done – I say it and I know it will be done – I don’t have to worry about how I say it, whether I was polite
- Knows their job
- Less maintenance
Surprise – it wasn’t about the team members listening to them, being nice to them – it was all about getting things done
Something else that came up was that most managers seemed to like team members who had a point of view and actually pushed them back!
With peers, people generally were averse to the kind that managed upwards too much – there was envy, mixed with I wish they focussed on results and did not just focus on upward management.
Honestly I was quite surprised at the simplicity of the learning, and it did bust some of my commonly held beliefs.
I hope you will find the listing above useful too
Now I am poring over my notes to see if I can find out what is it that makes some of us so good at getting things done. This seems to be the biggest win with managers so if I can get some insights into this – I am sure I will benefit. If I find something you will see a blog soon.
Till then go ahead and leave your comments, on the blog – it will make it real for all of our readers.
I love it when people don’t agree and have a different perspective to mine – makes me think and get out of my comfort zone. But you can tell me even if you agree
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