Yes, I admit it. I was once a control freak! I was an “old school” micro-manager. Trust me – in my 40+ year career as an award-winning entrepreneur and general manager for a major corporation, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I’m here to confess my number one sin in the hope that first-time supervisors, managers and business leaders will learn what not to do. I also think there’s a lesson here for seasoned veterans who developed their management style in the late 1960’s like I did. Social psychologist Douglas McGregor referred to it as a “Theory X” style of management. Managers who adopted this style believed that workers were inherently lazy and needed to be bullied or brow-beaten into performing their work. Employees were never to question authority. “Do as I say – not as I do. When I tell you to jump – the only thing you can ask is how high”. There are still a number of managers and business leaders out there who continue to manage and lead that way. They manage and lead by intimidation. I’m here to tell you the days of the “Bully Boss” are over.
#Worth Remembering …The definition of insanity is doing the same thing – expecting a different result” – Albert Einstein
Times have certainly changed for the better. If I knew then what I know now there is no question I would have managed differently. After reading this article I hope you’ll manage differently too. What you need to decide is – will the management style that got you here – be the same style that will help you be as successful moving forward? I believe we’re not born knowing how to manage or lead others effectively. I believe it’s a learned behaviour. We all start out making certain assumptions, based on our past experiences and perceptions, as to the kind of role we think managers and leaders need to play. But we also know, based on our experiences, that our perceptions may not always be correct and that sometimes we have to change our way of thinking to become better at what we do. Today’s managers and business leaders need to change the way they manage others to stay in step with an ever-changing workforce. Different folks require different stokes. It’s now about inclusion – not exclusion. It’s now about building collaborative teams.
#Worth Remembering … One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you have to know what’s at the heart of a business and that’s people. – Oprah Winfrey
Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book – “Working with Emotional Intelligence”, might have said it best. “We are being judged by a new yardstick; not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”. Emotional intelligence often referred to as soft-skills now plays a more pivotal role in how we manage and lead others. If you can’t connect on an emotional level with the people you work with and interact with – then you stand little chance of being successful. Productivity and profitability is still the name of the game. That will never change. But how we get there has. People like to work with people they like. And the only way to get people to like you is to work with them in a way that they like. It’s no longer about your technical ability. It’s about your ability to connect with others, communicate, educate and delegate in a style that they like. If you can’t do that then you can’t manage or lead. It’s no longer my way or the highway. It’s about our way. You need to learn to manage and lead the 21st Century way. You need to change because they aren’t going to.
Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator who can deliver an entertaining and informative session on a variety of soft skills topics? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com
Would you work for you? Would you work for a Boss who belittles you, and berates you in front of your co-workers, instead of behind closed doors? Would you work for a Boss who always needs to be right – even when they are wrong.? Would you work for a Boss who promises you something one day – and then takes it away from you the next? Does this sound all too familiar? Chances are we’ve all worked for a Boss just like that. I believe great Bosses aren’t born – they’re made. If given the chance, what kind of Boss would you be? Take a moment and think about that. If you had to put a list together of the top ten things a great Boss should be – what would you put on your list?
I think a great Boss should be:
- Patient: Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or impatient.
- Open-minded: Be willing to accept new ideas.
- Honest: The quality of being honest.
- Empathetic: Show an ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
- Flexible: Demonstrate a willingness to change or compromise.
- Trustworthy: Have the ability to be relied on, to be honest, or truthful.
- Fair: Treat others in a way that is right or reasonable and not allowing personal opinions to influence their judgement.
- Consistent: Acting or doing things in the same way over time, especially to be fair or accurate.
- Loyal: Give firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or organization.
- Compassionate: Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others regardless of their standing or position.
People don’t quit companies – they quit lousy Bosses. Always remember that you get to decide what kind of Boss you want to be. Culture is created from the top down, never the bottom up. Most people, if given a choice, would rather not be the Boss. But everyone gets to decide what kind of Boss they want to follow. Keep that in mind the next time you’re given the opportunity. Be the kind of Boss you’d like to follow. Ask yourself – would you work for you? If the answer is no – then you need to change.
Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or someone to conduct an in-house training session on soft-skills training or leadership development? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com
Being passionate about becoming an Entrepreneur is only the beginning. It’s going to take a great deal more than just being passionate about your small business to be successful. Being passionate is a good start – It will get you out of the starting blocks but it won’t get you to the finish line. The majority of small businesses fail. A study conducted by Eileen Fisher, Schulich School of Business concluded that thirty percent of all new small businesses fail within the first two years, and only half make it to year five. Some of those failures are out of their control. It wasn’t because they weren’t passionate. They failed because they lacked the management or financial skills they needed to succeed.
#Worth Remembering … I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson.
Being an Entrepreneur and starting your own small business is not for the faint of heart. You have to be comfortable flying without a net. You have to be comfortable with not knowing where your next pay cheque is going to come from. You have to be comfortable with not having all the answers all of the time. You have to decide what you are willing to give up to succeed. Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky or Tiger Woods didn’t succeed by being lucky. Luck had nothing to do with it. Did they catch a break now and again? Absolutely. However, the truth of the matter is, they became the best at their sport because they were willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed. How much time and effort are you willing to put in?
#Worth Remembering … Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can live the rest of your life like most people can’t – Unknown
You aren’t going to be great at everything but I believe you must be good at most things. If you study successful entrepreneurs you’ll discover they have some common characteristics. If you had to put a list together what would be your top five? Here are my top five. I’ve listed them here in no particular order.
- Time Management: Be able to manage your time well. Learn to prioritize what needs to be done, so that you do the most important things first. Sometimes that will mean doing things that you don’t like to do. Don’t waste your valuable time on things that won’t help you succeed.
- Open-Mindedness: You only know what you know – you don’t know what you don’t know – and it’s what you don’t know that could sink you. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and be smart enough to use it.
- Patience: However long you think it’s going to take you to accomplish a task, times that by two. Rarely does anything happen just the way you thought it would. Learn to take a deep breath and count to ten. All good things happen to those who wait.
- Communicate: You must be able to communicate in a way that others will understand. If you can’t communicate both verbally and by the written word, then you stand little chance of being understood.
- Goal Setting: Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and then put a plan together to get there. However, you need to be flexible enough to change or adjust your plan if it’s not going to help you achieve your goal.
I taught Entrepreneurship for over a dozen years at Algonquin College’s School of Business. On the first day of class, I would give the students my “Dorothy doesn’t live here anymore” speech. I’d tell them if I haven’t talked you out of being an Entrepreneur by the end of the semester than chances are you might succeed. If I have talked you out of being an Entrepreneur than I have saved you from yourself. Either way, it would be a win-win. I would have done my job and you would have learned a thing or two. Being a Passionpreneur is never enough.
Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or seminar leader who can deliver an entertaining and informative presentation on a variety of soft-skills topics? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com
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