Many management professionals, at some time, become convinced of their own superiority and forget how they were able to achieve their level of success. The truth is that behind every successful manager there is a highly effective team that helped put them there in the first place.
I know that I am nothing without my team, and they are the reason for our overall success. Every team member I have, from the woman who cleans the office, all the way up the corporate ladder, is an essential part of our operation. No one position holds more importance than any another. If one of us fails we all fail. This applies to every structure, in every job discipline, across all economic make ups. For example, I have seen many incidences where people will walk right by a receptionist without so much as a head nod of acknowledgement. But think about it for a minute. If the receptionist didn’t answer the phone and transfer the calls, your customers would have a more difficult time getting in contact with you. If the receptionist didn’t file the papers for you, then all of your documentation would begin to pile up. Or worse yet, you might have to file it yourself! OMG!
While it may be easy to appreciate your team when everything is ‘rainbows and unicorns’; it is when everything goes wrong that your team needs to know their value more than ever. I know that I am guilty, when thrown into a stressful situation, of firing off at individuals about where their mistakes were and how they had better get a grip on things ASAP! I would like to think that in most cases, after the first tirade, I make it a point to go back and help lend the support required to resolve the issues in a supportive effort. You need to take the time to remember that your team members are people too, and they will make mistakes. They want to do a good job and are more than likely just as upset about the situation as you are; in many cases even more distraught. It is in these circumstances when true character is revealed. When it seems that everything is falling apart, those are the times I realize how lucky I am, and how great my team is. When I have multiple offers of help, and when we all really come together to quickly resolve the issue.
In recent months things have become very stressful and multiple issues have surfaced during the restructuring process within our company. However, due to the help of my team and their relentless support, we are getting over the hump and getting things back under control. It became obvious that my team cared about me and the situation I was in by the way they came to my rescue. I believe that this is a direct result of the fact that I have cared about them as well, throughout my tenure. As Lee Cockerell said in his book “Creating Magic”, treat your employees the way you want your customers to be treated, and treat them as though they were your family. When you think about this, it is really pretty simple. I spend more time with my team at work than I do with my family. Right or wrong, that is the truth. I do truly care about them and their futures. I want to make sure they get where they want to in their careers, and I want them to enjoy coming to work.
Every morning when I get out of bed, I look myself in the mirror. I focus on trying to be a better person, a better mentor, a better father, and a better husband. This is a ritual I started decades ago but it has really helped me to become an all around better person than I was in my younger years. As managers it is important to spend some time self analyzing and paying attention to how you are affecting those around you. The best advice I can give when it comes to being an effective manager or leader is to let go of your ego and your narcissistic ways. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Stop thinking that your kingdom belongs to you because it doesn’t; it exists because of your team, and therefore it belongs to everyone. Treat your team the same way you want to be treated, the same way you want them to treat your customers, and care about their future more than your own. Take the time to try and better the lives of others and you will live a better life.