Discussing the topic of Management is like beating a dead horse. When people start talking about “Management” and “Managing People” you’ve probably heard it all at this point in your career. All the information out there about how to manage people well only results in more frustration about what practices are actually effective. So what could I possibly say about this topic that has not already been said? The answer is nothing.
Yet one important thing comes to mind: Today’s workforce is vastly different from just 30 years ago. Employees change jobs more frequently; technology allows workers to have flexible work hours, and people can find out so much more about any topic.
Changes in employee work behaviors will naturally result in a change in the way that companies manage their workers. So what companies really need to do is let go of their outdated management practices and keep the stuff that works.
Identifying outdated management practices is actually pretty easy since it’s mostly a reflection of how much our society has changed. Things like technological advances and how the new workforce thinks are big factors that have helped to create this new style of working.
Fixed hours don’t make sense anymore in many industries because with technology almost anyone can work from anywhere. Micro-managing and simply delegating tasks to employees is declining. Now a group of employees under a manager discuss, collaborate, and give feedback to provide guidance as to what everyone should do. As a result, your position doesn’t hold that same level of power as before. Managers do manage people, but managers are providing more support for employees.
Having no tolerance for mistakes is the sure sign of a bad boss. Now managers are more empathetic and tolerant of workers making mistakes. Workers are also not as afraid to admit any wrongdoing and can work to rectify mistakes in a less stressful way. If there’s zero tolerance for mistakes (unless it’s a life-threatening scenario), instead of firing the employee, maybe it’s time for the boss to go.
So now we’ve let go of all these outdated practices, updated the way we work to match the current workforce’s needs and perhaps even eliminated a bad boss. But we may have accidently left some great, time-tested methods in the dark. So what are some classic management practices that need to be revisited?
While looking for some great leadership practices, I got some help from a wonderful man by the name of John Maxwell. He also just happens to be a New York Times best-selling author, and knows what works in the field of leadership no matter where you are or what year it is.
In my opinion, here are some of his most important and timeless points:
We all have to keep up with the changing times. However, it’s important to never lose sight of simple practices that always work. John says it best when he states that management is a “people growing” business and it’s very tough to do well.
When you work with people, there are a lot of opinions, relations, information, and stress, yet you have to take control and want to be a better manager. That is something no one can teach you.
What’s your favorite management secret or quote and who said it?
You are so right when you say that a manager must want to grow and be a better manager. Without such motivation, managers remain mediocre and cannot help others grow either. Such people drive their subordinates to move to other jobs; even if it means taking a pay cut or having to relocate!
That is why, my favorite quote is “People Leave Managers, Not Companies,” an old saying popularized by management writer, Victor Lipman.
I have numerous leadership quotes I believe are inspirational and aspirational. One of my favorites is from former President Ronald Reagan that epitomizes great leadership (not just management): “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one who gets the people to do the greatest things.” And yet another from Dr. John C. Maxwell: “A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.”
A favorite quote of mine, that I think applies to leadership scenarios and motivating a team, is this:
“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown — only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”
– Captain James T. Kirk
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