When I had set out to pursue a post graduate diploma in business management, little did I know that my term would extend beyond giving me just a theoretical-bookish understanding of how to manage a business, but also give me a fair idea of what really happens in the real corporate world-what are the challenges that I will face as a manager, what happens when someone puts you down, I happened to intern with my professor, who was a cohort in the industry, and that, combined with the real-world theories he taught in the class, gave me a perfect, wholesome picture of what to be ‘warned’ about!
New managers are generally taught not to build personal relationships with direct reports — in case you have to discipline them later.
I believe that a relationship makes it more likely they will trust your guidance, including corrective behavior, before anyone needs to resort to disciplinary action.
- Invest on Building Relationships with Your Subordinates
What I didn’t get taught in Diploma in Management in the class, I experienced at the workplace. I saw a case of an employee, who had not taken well to one of the colleague’s remarks about his working style. Before he confronted the co-worker and exchanged a mouthful, or done worse, he decided to confide to the boss, who controlled the situation tactfully. While a lot of new managers are taught against building personal relationships with direct reports, I learnt that that doing so outweighs the former. Your subordinates, in this manner, will trust your guidance and accept your corrective behaviour before the policies resort to disciplinary action.
- Tolerate Undesirable Behaviours if the Results are Solid
If a person is a top performer, but always late to meetings, or takes extra time off, it’s not smart to come down hard on annoying behaviors.
This may be seen as favoritism, but I believe earned favoritism based on superior performance will be seen by others as a good thing and emulated.
- Kick Ass When Required
- Solicit volunteers for unpopular tasks
- Invest More Time with Top Performers
- Consider firing someone as the most caring thing to do.
- Don’t chase hearsay, rumors, or gossip
- Take action on legacy employees
- Hire People Who Can Replace You
- Find The Fundamental Problem In Your Industry And Focus On That
It’s easy to get distracted. You may start with solving one problem and then as you explore your industry you find other problems that you could solve.
You start thinking about those and if you think some of them are easier to solve you might be tempted to switch tracks and work on those instead. And the cycle continues.
Ultimately, you’ll never get anywhere. You’ll keep jumping from one problem to the other, never really finishing anything, never really solving anything. At the end of the day your focus will be split in so many ways you’ll start to think you don’t have time for anything and you might even get disillusioned and burn out.
Don’t get distracted, don’t water down your mission, focus. Then focus some more. Take a single problem and work only on that. Only when you have worked on it enough and tried harder than everyone else (remember lesson 1?) can you call it a success or failure and change tracks if needed.