Interested to know how management plays a key role to business success?
Learn from Business Experts and Successful Entrepreneurs about Management
In this expert roundup, successful business owners and entrepreneurs share how meaningfully they incorporated the most important management lessons they learned
Know your strengths and the strengths of your team.
As a manager, keep things on your plate that you excel at and that push the business forward. Take the areas of the business that you’re not best at and delegate them to someone else that is great in those areas. The more you tap into the knowledge of your team and keep your own time focused on where you add the most value, the faster your business will grow, the happier you will collectively be as a team, and the more impact you’ll see coming from your organization.
Anna Shcherbyna – Remotivate
From leading numerous teams of all shapes, sizes and cultures, I’ve realized it all comes down to taking care of your team.
If this is done well, they will take care of your business. These are the people you’ve invited and trusted to come into your work “home”. They need to know the rules of the house and be given feedback both positive and negative so they can be their “best” selves. You need to allow them to fail and succeed. You need to guide them and encourage them. When your team feels taken care of – financially, emotionally and professionally, not only will they not have a reason to leave, but they will be loyal. At the end of the day, most people deep down want to feel they are a part of something bigger than just themselves and are bringing value as well as growing along the way. If they feel they are part of a “bigger” purpose/vision and understand the valuable part they are playing, their behavior and work performance will definitely reflect that.
The most important management lesson for me was to qualify a recruit before you hire them AND having those hard conversations when they make a mistake or you feel like there was a misunderstanding.
Carefully looking at everything from the time it takes them to respond, how hungry they are, what drives them, time availability and personal commitments (especially if they’ll be working from home).
Understanding their why is very important because the last thing you want is someone who’s just there to make some cash and move on. You want someone who is passionate about what they’ll do.
Dig deeper into what they say and don’t just settle with the first answer they give you. I’ve hired a few people who seemed to be hungry and motivated but then flaked after only a few weeks. That’s why I now qualify them hard so I can work with them easily. g this question because it gives candidates a chance to talk about something they’re excited about and potentially cover off on a topic that may have been missed otherwise.
I’m always interested to hear what they place emphasis on and why. It’s usually a great conversation starter!
I’m personally really excited about the future of work, and the shifts that are happening and will continue to happen in the way we run organizations.
So for me, the most important lesson I’ve learned over the last years is that the old “management” techniques no longer work.
Instead of clinging to them, we should become vision champions and someone our teams *want* to follow. We should ensure that our teams are aligned, and understand and work towards the same goals. We should aim to inspire, empower and motivate our team members. Strive to stay innovative and “lean”. Instead of focusing on micromanaging, we should work to remove the obstacles that prevent our team members from succeeding. Hire smarter people than us, and get out of their way. And help our team members hone their own leadership skills, so we can all build together organizations that last and do good. I believe we’re all better off if we do or at least attempt to do the above.
Believe the data, doubly so if you pulled it yourself.
This requires massive amounts of self-awareness and getting comfortable being uncomfortable, especially with change, especially when the data tells you something that opposes your emotional investments.
Take as much time as you need to explain things and teach what you know.
Too often it could be tempting to rush the onboarding of a new teammate/employee, skip some steps or brush over some concepts. But all the time that seems to have been saved during the process will create knowledge gaps that compound over time.
It’s basically like the old adage: “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime”. I find this is the single most important thing to keep in mind when managing people, especially on roles you have deep experience with or even roles you’ve held in the past.
The most important management lesson I have learned over the years is that empathy trumps all else.
As a driven individual I push myself hard. I’ve learned that when I do that without taking into account the people doing the real work, nothing works as well and people burn out. It’s much more important to understand the person, their goals and dreams and fears, and to help them be successful as much as possible within our company.
Our tag line, “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” doesn’t just apply to our marketing mantra. It also applies to my management style.
Many managers or leaders think team members only “DO.” It’s all about delegation and doing. However, for me, it’s more about having open lines of communication and constant conversation about how our team needs support, how they can support me, and letting them weigh in on the future of B Squared Media.
When people feel like they “own” something, they’re far more likely to be engaged. That’s important for me and our team, and I think we do a good job of looking at everyone beyond just what they DO.
Defining a set of principles that serve as the foundation for your own and your teams’ decision making may be the most crucial piece of work you ever do.
It took me nine-years to define my own clear, well-communicated and continuously reinforced set of guiding principles for my organization. From the moment I did, everything changed.
My team went from a group who’d weigh on me when problems arose to a ruthless team of independent thinkers solving complex issues, acting decisively on their own. Introducing a set of guiding principles (and displaying them everywhere) taught my team how to act. And, when your team know how to act, they need very little management at all.
Managers must have great communication skills to thrive.
One-off messages and misinterpretations ruin relationships. It’s more important than ever that managers know how to communicate effectively with their teams on both the tactical and strategic levels.
John Rampton – Calendar.com
The most important management lesson I’ve learned is to be open to feedback from everyone around you.
Those around you have insights and perspectives that you can’t see when you are in the middle of everything and engrossed in your business. Don’t take what they say personal or as criticism but stop, reflect, and address what they recommend or feel. This approach has helped me to better manage all types of relationships — employees and remote teams, colleagues, investors, business partners, and even those outside of my work life.
It is impossible to lead a company without leveraging your staff to work independent from you.
Play people to their strengths and give them space to breath, be creative and give feedback.
While you may be the entrepreneur, you’re going to need a team to help you execute big and bold dreams and goals. In order to get people to work to their full potential, you want to ensure they are happy, feeling valued and heard. Ask them from day one, what do they enjoy doing? Where do they feel they can help and what would they like to contribute? It makes for a more collaborative workplace rather than just having people do shit for you.
When you’re struggling to get your team to meet your expectations, oftentimes it’s not that they lack the skill but rather that you as a leader have not been able to clearly communicate the vision.
Focus on how you can better communicate and get buy-in for your vision on an emotional level rather than just intellectually.
Take your time to explain things thoroughly.
I’ve found that the reason many people “failed” wasn’t because they were incapable of doing the task I assigned — it was because I didn’t fully explain what I wanted to have done.
Take your time, think through the problem and the solution that you are looking for, and clearly communicate it. Give your team a chance to wow you by making your expectations and desired outcome very clear.
They just might surprise you.
Give the members on your team PURPOSE.
Our company and brand must be bigger than completing TASKS. Do you have a mission that you’re trying to accomplish that people can rally behind and support? That is what drives people to work hard and for it to feel like a team effort instead of a boss to employee relationship.
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