The first rule of management is to manage
When I left my previous company, I transferred truthful information to the new manager about customers, team leaders, and employees. In addition, I advised about management topics.
One day in this hand-over period, in a meeting, I told him, “You are the ‘new guy’ according to the employees. Give time to the team to know you, and please try to understand your team. After a while, you will get a chance to reorganize the company. There are plenty of talented employees here. Work with them and don’t spend any talent. You don’t have to work with anyone you don’t want to, but today you need them to survive. They know all the history of relations with customers. They are experts in marketing and advertising. When you are ready, you can change everything you think wrong.”
He answered to me wisely: “You don’t have to care about anything that can go wrong. As you know, I was also a general manager in my previous position. So I’m good at preventing possible issues with customers. One of my strong sides is control. For example, no one can send an email to a customer without my mail control. Most of the time, I’m the one who speaks with the customer. So I can not risk anything this kind of things.”
I was shocked. I asked him, “You mean that you are working with people who can not write an email to the customers. You are managing an employee you never trust. Did I get you true?”
“Without me, they can not do anything,” he answered. “I have to control everything they deliver. I have to manage them.”
After one month’s hand-over period, my management time finished. And I left the company. You can easily guess what happened then. He mobbed nearly most of the employees, fired many people, and blamed everybody for the issues that occurred, even me. Of course, in some cases, he was right about me. I had plenty of mistakes in my life and career. But I learned from them.
In my first management position in the bank, my boss advised me the first and maybe the essential rule for management. “Never do something yourself that you can make someone else do.”
When you read the phrase, it looks like it advises not much for management. But believe me, it hard to keep this advice than reading it. Most of the managers prefer micro-management and control instead of trust and support. As a manager, you are responsible for the result, of course. Instead of doing it yourself, you have to use the power you have about delivering work to your team. This attitude makes you a manager and leader. Otherwise, Your unit will quit because you don’t trust them, and they didn’t get any chance to do their best.
Of course, you are an expert on your job. I’m sure you are more experienced than others. That is why you are a manager, probably. But experience or expertise is not enough for being a good manager. Managing people is about supporting, educating, and trusting your team.
Don’t command your team. Lead your team.
Give them a chance to write their own story.
I am here to listen to your ideas and learn from you about management, marketing, and branding. So don’t hesitate to share and comment!