Over the course of a highly eclectic career, I’ve had the ah, opportunity, to observe the management skills (or lack thereof) of many bosses. Since almost no one is trained in how to manage people effectively, I’ve generally been willing to cut them some slack based on the idea that I probably couldn’t do much better.
Despite that, I’ve ended up managing people and teams numerous times – and pretty much always felt like my primary goal (besides completing our project) was to not screw up my team members. “Winging it” was probably too generous a description of my best efforts….
Which is why this INC. post by a guy named Jeff Haden really struck me, both for its simplicity and clarity. In 10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees, Haden notes that “Good bosses care about getting important things done. Exceptional bosses care about their people.”
According to Haden, who comes from a manufacturing background, managers should strive to provide ten things for their employees:
1. Autonomy and independence
2. Clear expectations
3. Meaningful objectives
4. A true sense of purpose
5. Opportunities to provide significant input
6. A real sense of connection
7. Reliable consistency
8. Private criticism
9. Public praise
10. A chance for a meaningful future
Haden elaborates a bit on each point, noting why it’s important and/or how to implement. The result? In less than 1,000 words, he provides one of the best overviews I’ve ever read of how to manage people ethically, humanely, and in a manner guaranteed to call forth their best efforts. When I read his post, I kept thinking how amazing it would be to work for someone who understood how incredibly important – and motivating – these points are. Talk about a high-performance workplace!
If you manage people in a library or other information setting, this is a terrific (and brief) read to see where you might improve your management approach. If you’re one of the people being managed? Haden’s post may give you ideas on how you might be able to work with your manager to develop these approaches in your department.
At the very least, they’ll be great guidelines for you to keep in mind when you start managing others.