Sunday, January 07, 2007

Top 10 Management Lessons Learned

As I wrapped up my gig as the VP eMarketing at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I took some time to jot down some lessons learned. Some background and disclaimers for this series of posts:
  • This was my first Vice President position and I took the title seriously and accepted all the implied and actual accountability that came with it.
  • I'd felt that in the past I wasn't a very good manager and was extremely dedicated about improving my management and leadership skills.
  • I've organized each of these posts into a top 10 for easy reference
Top 10 Management Lessons Learned

10. Check the ego/be humble. I constantly am working on this - getting staff involved more on the front end of projects and letting them drive the bus keeps them happy and growing.

09. Act like a manager, not a friend. This has been an area where I've really messed up before - try giving a bad review that you don't agree with to an employee that you hang out with. Ugh. I managed to find the right balance this time around and it worked out just fine.

08. Take a deep breath. There are times when being a boss really sucks. Doing yoga a few times a week has helped me understand the power of breathing. Long, deep breaths can really help managers get focused.

07. You can't make or force people to do the right thing.

06. It's all politics and that's fine. Even going to lunch involves some measure of politics but it's fine. I learned that politics isn't a bad word, it's just how you get stuff done and how you build good (or bad) relationships.

05. Not everyone wants to be a star. Just because I want to be a star and am always able to give 100%, not everyone can. It's ok if someone on my team just wants a job and isn't out to be an all-star.

04. Don't pigeonhole people. People are complex and fascinating. Having a certain background or experience doesn't mean that they can't do a job that isn't a perfect match. Smart, talented peoiple like to have an opportunity to stretch themselves - give it to them!

03. Being authentic and nice is a good thing. I'm maybe the most accessible guy you'll ever meet - it's part of what I think works for me as a manager and I think people appreciate it. That said, not everyone can be completely authentic all the time. Being nice is a requirement however. No reason to have to spend all your time at work with a jerk.

02. Not everyone can (or should) see the big picture. Some people are just tacticians who want step by step directions. Give them hands on direction and then let them tell you when they are ready for more.

01. Listen. My wife will dispute how good I've become at this and she' be right. I'm not perfect. But this was my number 1 management goal last year and I hope that I did get better at it.

Lessons on execution, communications and IT coming soon!


Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home