What I’ve learned throughout the years as a Manager is that there are three (3) essential things that are fundamental for your success. They are your ability; to Manage yourself, how you Manage your people, and how you Manage your work to execute for concrete results.
Number one, you must be able to learn how to “Manage Yourself” in order for you to be able to think clearly, manage your emotions, manage your energy and to understand your own ‘headspace’ capacity and its limits. This is very important as a Manager whose main tasks involve managing people to get things done. When you manage a group of people, you aren’t managing robots or managing paperwork, you are managing human beings with emotions, behaviors, thoughts, perspectives, aspirations, personal lives and life experiences. All of these attributes make up how your people work with you as their manager. You will run into stress and headaches if you aren’t able to manage yourself when things get out of control. You must be able to be self aware of your limits in emotions, headspace and energy for you to contain yourself. Your main job as a manager is to get things done through other people and when things get out of hand, you must find ways to deal with the situation without burning out. At times you will feel belittled, feel not respected, not sure of yourself, your people can hate you, talk about you behind your back, wait for your failure, the pressures of performing and you are at a boiling point when things don’t go the way you expect it to be; this is normal for a Manager to feel. You must possess the ability for you to “extinguish the fire inside of you”, and understand how to kill those flames inside to keep yourself from “blowing up”. You must control and manage your mind and control what you feed it. Finding ways to have a peaceful mind is key in managing yourself as a Manager.
Number two, you must be able to “Manage your people” by first understanding the characteristics of each one of them. You can do several activities that are suitable for you in order to understand who your people are. You’ll need to get to know them, from their strengths and weaknesses and to know them as an individual human being. If you have a small team, it’ll take a shorter period of time to know them on a one-on-one basis, but if you have a bigger team, you must find a way to get to know and understand all of them. Every manager has their own style of managing, but without knowing your people, you won’t be able to maximize your results of getting things done through other people. By knowing your people, you will be able to manage yourself better and utilize your people to set out the direction that you have aspired them to go to. You will need to have the ability to inspire your people to give their best efforts in achieving the needed goals. Your people need to be engaged in their work that they themselves know that they are an important factor in making things happen. You can conduct teamwork building activities to keep your people inspired and energized to keep them engaged. Also, it is a must to be on the same page with your people of what you expect of them, their ability to meet those expectations and how they are doing to meet your expectations. There are various tools and initiatives to get this going, but you and your people must be on the same page at all times to prevent miscommunication. Your team of people must understand that they have the duty to assist you as their manager to accomplish the needed goals. Your people need to be reminded of how important they are to the team, as they are not just peas in pod “doing their own thing” for the sake of work keeping themselves “busy” everyday. Your people are there to assist you to achieve concrete results in which you are responsible for as the Manager.
Number three, you must be able to “Manage your work” by your ability to execute your plans. You must jot down your plans physically on paper or on a laptop/computer for yourself and to show your people visually of your plans and direction. You can’t just “fly blindly” and expect things to happen. You’ve got to visually show your people where the direction is going and what you expect of them. You must then create a monitoring system for yourself in order for you to manage your own work and the work of your people. With this, you can create review sessions regularly with your people to keep track of the progress of goal achievement. This way you will have a daily focus to guide you and your people on the end goal.
In conclusion, remember these three essential things as a Manager:
1. You’ll need to Manage yourself, which means to manage your energy and emotions by managing your mind.
2. You’ll need to Manage your people, which means to manage your ability to know all your team members, inspire them and have them on the same page at all times to prevent miscommunication.
3. You’ll need to Manage your work, which means your ability to execute your plans through your people for concrete results.