What makes a manager a “good manager”? Why are some of those we have worked for seemingly able to usually do the right thing, at the right time, when others consistently seem to miss the mark? It really is quite simple: the good ones just seem to know and do certain things that differentiate them from many of their colleagues. It isn’t that they are smarter, taller, better looking or of one gender or the other. Moreover, the good ones were not necessarily top notch managers right from the start. While some individuals may begin with some natural intellectual and personal assets that predispose them to succeed as managers, all the really good ones learned and honed their craft over time through hard work, experience, and a dedication to learning the craft.
My own management career spanned twenty years, from line management to the executive level. During that time I reached one incontrovertible conclusion: managing is an extremely hard, often thankless, and inherently humbling experience. Thus, learning to be a good manager not only requires the ability to constantly adapt, learn and grow in one’s managerial role but also a sense of humor and perspective especially in regard to one’s own foibles, screw ups, and failures.
For the past seven years I have been sharing what I learned by doing and observing the art of management with my consulting clients and through my Workshop also entitled “What the Best Managers Know an Do”©. I have launched this blog as a means to reach a wider audience of practicing managers, especially those of you just getting your feet wet in this demanding profession.
From time to time I will share insights, perspectives, and suggestions based on my own past experience. I will also share some of the insights I continue to gain from my clients and Workshop participants who enthusiastically share their personal stories which bring every day management challenges to life. More importantly, however, I look forward to establishing a dialog with those of my readers who are open to new ideas and dedicated to the principle that the insights of the many are invariably wiser than ours alone.
I share my email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – with all my clients and am always prepared to respond to a management question or looming challenge. I am hopeful that this blog will serve as a similar invitation.
Finally, when asked where to begin when it comes to the growth and development of managerial skills, I always give the same answer: “the first person we need to learn how to manage if we hope to succeed is ourselves”. I will have more to say about this in my next posting.