Effective leaders and managers are good collaborators, organizers and problem solvers.
Being a manager is tough enough, but being an effective one that truly leads and gets things done…this is another level entirely. An effective manager is many things in one: problem solver, solution finder, organizer, leader and strategizer. In other words, it’s not enough to run the show, you have to produce effective results that introduce change and forward thinking.
And yet, so many companies continue to make the wrong hiring choices when it comes to their management teams. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies fail to select the candidate with the right talent 82 percent of the time. It’s no secret that poor management costs businesses billions of dollars each year. Truly, the best defense against this type of problem is a good offense. Companies that choose managers based on talent will thrive and gain a significant competitive advantage.
There is no magic bullet to being an effective manager, particularly in a small business. It takes many inherent qualities to become the type of leader people look up to. Here are some ways to stand out.
The Lens of Opportunity
Forbes puts it best: the most effective leaders view problems through a lens of opportunity. Those who lack this wisdom view problems with linear vision – that is, they only see the challenge lying directly in front of them while tuning out the many other possibilities that exist in the periphery.
Thus, they never quite grasp the totality of what the situation represents. They don’t see the problem as serving as a catalyst for improving existing best practices, protocols and standard operating procedures that are critical for growth and competition in today’s marketplace. Good managers, on the other hand, realize that in the end, all challenges are essentially the same, just packaged differently.
Golden Rules of Effective Management
Being an effective leader is about more than just pushing your employees to work harder. Forcing people to work a certain way tends to breed resentment and disloyalty; being too soft tends to encourage laziness, bad habits and boredom. It’s true, there’s no “right” management style, but Entrepreneur points out some golden rules of effective management to live by:
- Be consistent: Your management approach must be consistent before it can be effective. Reward the behaviors you want to see every time they happen, and likewise, discourage behaviors you don’t. Don’t switch up the rules of the game every time. And treat every member of your team with a level-headed, equal view.
- Set team goals: To help your team work better together, give them something to work towards as a group. Setting goals just for individuals breeds a limited mentality, forcing team members to stay isolated. Instead, give team members a unified focus and purpose so they are inspired to work together, not against.
- Be an example: “Do as I say, not as I do” is just about the worst management strategy you can have. As the leader, it’s your job to set an example in terms of your behavior, to reinforce what you want to see in others. For example, if you value punctuality, show up early to work every day and to meetings.
- Be transparent: Transparency showcases your integrity as a leader, building trust with the members of your team. Don’t lie or withhold information, as you could jeopardize the respect you deserve as the leader.
Applying your own personal brand of leadership and management will come with time and experience. But if your organization is struggling with management at the strategic level, let us help.
INFIX Accountability Coaching Program is designed to bring direction and focus to small businesses in any industry. Think of us as your very own personal trainer for growing your business, fostering the guidance and structure you need to enhance and grow your management approach.
Call us now at 949-484-6349 to schedule your free, 30-minute consultation with our small business consulting team.