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A Fundamental Requirement for Becoming a Good Manager

A client of mine recently started working as a manager for a leading worldwide IT business.

She is attempting to fit into the culture of the new environment after more than ten years of management experience.

During a recent conversation, she told me about her boss and the problems she has in aligning with him. Although she considers him a good person, she stated that "the difficulty is that he never has time for me."

Despite how excellent an individual he can be or how much concern he must have for his staff, that statement gave me an image of that person's management skills.

I wonder what he understands about what managing people really is.

The definition of a manager's responsibilities provided by Google is one of the best ones I've ever read.

According to Google, a manager's three main responsibilities are:

1. Drive results

2. Develop people 

3. Create a community

Simple and clear.

The first responsibility is about taking the actions towards achieving the results the organization needs, like creating the right structure, procedures, metrics, etc. to ensure that the company’s resources and value-add will be effectively controlled and addressed towards providing the results our Customers need.

The second responsibility is to support the results' ongoing growth, which is directly related to employees' personal development. The more technical and interpersonal skills the employees possess, and the greater level of cooperation that exists among them, the more equipped the organization will be to handle the ongoing and escalating challenges.

The third responsibility focuses on keeping talent by establishing the conditions that will entice people to work there. These conditions include a feeling of belonging to a big family with a good cause they can be proud to support.

These three responsibilities serve as Google's ideal, a guide for all of its managers, and a path for them to follow. Not all Google managers are impeccable at these three responsibilities, though.

So you can envision how things would be at other, less resourceful, or culture-focused businesses!!

If you look at any manager's weekly agenda, you will notice that almost all of their time is spent on driving results (department meetings, conference calls, customer complaints, budget control, cost control, operational status reviews, etc.), and very little time (if any) is spent on developing people and building a community.

Then, situations like the one with my client arise: the manager is so preoccupied with driving results that they "don't have time" to communicate with their staff when they want to:

- Agree on expectations

- Discuss personal wants or frustrations 

- Discuss their future development

- Look for chances to increase their impact

- Receive advice on personal matters, or, simply

- Feel cared for and heard.

Then, the same boss is taken aback when a key employee leaves. He missed it because he did not take the time to get to know his employees' ambitions, preferences, limitations, beliefs, purposes, fears, or concerns.

Therefore, we are harming our organization and its potential for future growth and success by not completely carrying out our managerial responsibilities 2 and 3.

How much time do you allot to each of these three responsibilities, when you honestly look at your weekly schedule?

What can you do to balance your time between the three of them starting today, ensuring that you not only focus to drive results but also grow your team members and foster a feeling of community where everyone will want to give their all?

Which obstacles are you facing in making it happen?

You will be taking the necessary actions to improve your managerial performance if you respond positively to these questions and begin "having more time for your employees."


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