The Days of “Manager Knows Best” Are Ending – Sujai Hajela – Harvard Business Review

Your success as a manager will be based on your ability to communicate and interact effectively with others. – It’s no longer totally dependent on what you know. Do what you do well and delegate the rest. Learn to give up control to get control. Great article – well worth the read. – Enjoy

The Days of “Manager Knows Best” Are Ending – Sujai Hajela – Harvard Business Review.

Do You Lack Self-Confidence? Then Fake it Until You Make It

Worth Remembering …

“The better people think they are , the better they will be. A positive self-image creates success.”    – Liisa Joronen

What is your biggest obstacle to more self-confidence? I think it’s your internal dialogue – the way you talk to yourself. If you think negative thoughts – then negative thoughts will happen. (It’s the law of attraction)

Here’s a story that will help explain what negative thinking can do. I know most of the golfers out there can identify with this. (Certainly the ones I play with) Have you ever walked on to a tee-box – ready to hit your first drive down the centre of the fairway – but you couldn’t stop thinking about the water hazard lurking just out of the corner of your eye to your right? You kept saying to yourself, “Whatever you do – DON’T hit it into the water”. And what did you end up doing? That’s right – you hit it into the water anyways. (That’s the law of attraction)

World class athletes, just like world class actors visualize a gold medal – Oscar winning performance. They set themselves up for a positive experience by visualizing in their minds eye what their performance will look like. And then they go out and replay that winning performance in real time.

If you have recently been promoted to a management position – but lack the self-confidence that only experience on the job can bring – take a page out of the actors handbook and try visualizing how a good manager looks and acts and then play that video in real time. (Fake it – until you make it) The more you do it – the more it will become you.

Here are five helpful tips on how to give your self-confidence a boost:

  • Look for a role model or mentor. What is it about their style that you like? What do they do that makes them appear confident? How do they act? Act like they act –  you will eventually act the same way. 
  • Focus on your achievements rather then your failures. Focus on what you’ve done well and what you are going to do better the next time you have the same opportunity. We can all improve. We’ve all done things that in hindsight we would have done differently. 
  • Focus on your good qualities. I can’t grow a full beard to save my life – but I can grow a great mustache. I’m a compassionate person and will give anyone a break. I believe in second chances. (Up to a point – but don’t try to take advantage of my good nature. I can be assertive when the situation warrants it) 
  • Dress for the job you want not the one you have. Clothes have a way of framing  our thoughts. If you feel good about the way you look – you’ll feel better about yourself and project a more confident image. Their perception is the new reality. 
  • Expect the unexpected. Remember – nothing ever goes completely as planned. You need to learn to go with the flow and adapt. Have confidence in your own ability to deal with whatever gets thrown your way. You need to be able to solve problems by thinking on your feet – making the best decision that you can – with the information that you have at the moment – and move on. 

Worth Remembering ”’

“Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence.”  – Seneca 

Move Over Gents – It’s The Ladies Turn To Lead

In the words of Bob Dylan – “The times they are a changing” – And I for one – applaud it. Frankly it’s about time. I’m pleased to see that more and more women are now taking back their right to choose; the right to choose when and if they want children – without feeling guilty if they choose not to have children at all. I’m pleased to see that more and more women are now taking back their right to choose when and if they want a career outside of the traditional family model. (Try managing the family home on your own and then tell me that’s not work.)

It’s great to see that more and more women are now managing and leading Fortune 500 Companies. That more and more women are now starting their own small businesses. Matter of fact they are out pacing men in that category. They’ve taken the management skills they developed managing the family home and are now applying them in the business world. According to research conducted by The Centre for Women’s Business – 10.1 Million firms are owned by women – employing more than 13 Million people. One in five of all firms generating 1 Million dollars or more in sales are owned by women. The total number of sales generated by firms owned by women topped 1.1 Trillion dollars in 2008. (These are American numbers but women are outpacing men in starting small businesses in Canada as well)

Dee Dee Myers – Author of “Why Women Should Rule The World” believes that women are more successful at running small businesses because women can make people accountable for their actions, but, they can also be there to support them. “Females have that trait, where maybe most males do not” – The trait that Myers is talking about it empathy – The ability to see things from another persons point of view. As Myers suggests – women come by it naturally – men on the other hand have to work at it.  If your success as a manager is predicated on your ability to build relationships and develop collaborative teams then what better skill is there to have then empathy? After all think of a job that you could have in your life time that didn’t involve communicating and interacting effectively with people. (There isn’t any)

Research conducted by Distinguished Professor Julia T. Wood – Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina and Deborah Frances Tannen – Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University may also explain why women have made tremendous inroads into a territory once considered a “man’s” domain.

Wood’s and Tannen’s research produced the following theories:

  • Men and women have different ways of showing support, interests and caring. .
  • Women tend to see communication as a way to connect and enhance a sense of closeness in a relationship. Men see communication as a way to accomplish objectives.
  • Men emphasize independence and are less likely to ask for help in accomplishing an objective. Where as women seek out and welcome relationships.
  • Women are inclined to express agreement and support, while men are more inclined to debate.
  • Women are more inclined to face each other and make eye contact when talking while men are more likely to look away.
  • Men tend to jump from topic to topic but women tend to talk at length on one topic at a time.

A very dear and close personal friend of mine likes to remind me now and again that she doesn’t need a man in her life to “complete” her. She’s capable enough to do that all on her own. After all she’s been operating her own very successful small business now for over 30 years. She knows who she is. She’s not afraid to speak up and ask for what she wants. That’s one of the many qualities I love and admire about her.

Mary Matalin, former counselor to President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney was quoted as saying – “Women around the world are rewriting history at a ferocious pace with or without mans permission”. After all – it’s easy to argue that men haven’t been doing such a great job of managing things lately.

The glass ceiling is still there. The key to breaking through that barrier in today’s world has more to do with your ability to get along with people. And in today’s world women seem to be better equipped to do that.