Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are You the Type of Manager Or Leader YOU Would Follow?

Leadership expert Erika Andersen (@ErikaAndersen on Twitter) writes often for Forbes and has shared her leadership lessons in several books, but one of her timeless lessons that has remained with me is this: Be the manager or leader you’d like to have.

How often do you wonder why your boss does the things he or she does? Why does the person show his or her anger and yell at employees? Why doesn’t the boss speak to employees in private when upset rather than in group situations? Why doesn’t the boss recognize employee accomplishments in public and show gratitude for everyone’s contributions?

Why doesn’t the boss advocate for team members when annual reviews take place? Why doesn’t the boss communicate all aspects of a project instead of just one aspect of the project?

Often, people become supervisors, managers, or leaders without proper training. As a result, they don’t have the tools to be effective. They may be amazing at specific types of jobs or excel at particular projects, but they don’t interact well with their employees, so they don’t create positive work environments. And then, they wonder why they have high turnover and low morale.

Thanks to Erika Andersen, here's the secret for new supervisors, managers, or leaders: Change your behavior immediately. Be the manager/leader you’d like to have.

If you normally check the clock to make sure your employees are seated at their desks at a specific time – but you would hate it if someone did that to you – then change your behavior. If you hold meetings that run too long without an agenda – but you hate that type of meeting – then change your behavior and create agendas and set time limits for meetings. If you have favorite employees and constantly go to lunch with the same group – but you’d hate it if people left you out – then invite new people to lunch every day.

You can make a difference immediately. What behavior can you change to create more engaged employees? Give it a try – you have nothing to lose but, instead, much to gain!


Image Credit: Stuart Miles via


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