My career has been shaped by the managers that I have worked for and the teams that I’ve worked with. It is the managers that have shaped who I am and what I think about work more so than the companies. When deciding about our future careers we often have a list of companies that we want to work with who have got the brand and reputation for changing the world. It is often overlooked that within these companies are smaller teams and managers that will shape your future career. After becoming a manager myself and having the difficult task of mentoring my team I now have much more respect to the managers that have worked for in the past. If you are new to management there is little training that will replace the day-to-day experiences that you have and which you will learn from. It is now conceivable that leaders and managers within businesses will have their own brand and reputation which is for all to see online. A lot of focus is often put on the short term results however the successful managers will have an impact on their team and make the work fun and enjoyable and inspirational.
If managers get things wrong this will not only affect the company’s performance but also make it difficult to retain quality employees. A lot of candidates that I speak with may be unhappy or feel unfulfilled as their managers do not provide the motivation and support to progress their careers. It is not easy to understand how the future manager will conduct themselves before you actually join an organisation and are sitting at your desk. The interview process on both sides can often be a sales pitch that doesn’t give a honest reflection of the strength and weaknesses of the individuals involved. It is therefore important for candidates to look at the track record of their future managers and also understand their values and motivations for doing the job. How do they interact with the team and are they capable of turning an average performer into a great performer. Management is more about coaching now than it ever was and like top athletes professionals need this support within a workplace. We often spend more time in our workplace than we do with our friends, family and loved ones so getting things right here can have a big impact over the long term.
In my early career I was still learning about selling and had all the motivation but lacked the experience. I was lucky enough to work with a very charismatic individual who produced phenomenal results and ensured that his team were highly motivated and consistently exceeding targets. I would be often asked “are you winning”? “How does it feel to be a winner”? “How does it feel”? The banter in the office was incredible and although it was somewhat of a school playground environment may be these were the best days of my life!
To get the best out of your current situation it is also necessary to develop the toolkit and skills to manage upwards. The management process is no longer linear and successful employees will be capable of managing upwards so to manage their expectations of their superiors whilst ensuring they get the support and recognition of the achievements.
It’s amazing how much we can achieve and get done when we are inspired by the right manager.
There’s no doubt an inspired employee can do great things. The question is how do we get the manager we deserve?
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