A Different PerspectiveQuestions to ask yourself as you are taking over a Manager Position. Questions about you and your style and questions about the person you would like to work for. We hope you find words of wisdom here and it gives you food for thought.
A Different Perspective
by Byron and Catherine Pulsifer, © 2004
"a boss", "a supervisor", "a manager". Automatically you think of the top person, the one who makes all the decisions, the one who tells you what and how to do it. The one who you never question or voice your opinion to.
Now what about "a coach"? Do you think of a person who helps you, who demands the best of you, who teaches you, who encourages you, who motivates and inspires you to become all you can be.
Which paragraph above best describes you?
Now think about who you would like to work for. Is it the person who makes all the decisions, tells you what to do and how to do it. Or, would you prefer to work for someone who demands the best, someone who teaches and encourages.
Thinking about yourself, and thinking about who you would like to work for should help you decide what type of Manager/Coach you would like to be.
There is a real need for you to decide what a coach means to you. The reason you should strongly consider this is that you may one day strive to be a supervisor, manager or executive. One thing is for sure. You might have all the knowledge you need but unless you have very strong people skills, you will have a very tough time requesting solid work and output from other people. The higher you go in an organization, the stronger your people skills need to be. Now is the time to start practicing what you would like your own boss to demonstrate. You cannot wait until you are in a position of leadership – the task is to have these skills developed now so that you can easily demonstrate by way of example how and why you have acquired these skills.
Over the years, I have witnessed some very skilled managers and executives who had a tremendously strong background and a fabulous knowledge base but who failed miserably in leadership positions because they had no people skills whatsoever. Their ideas of leading were to bark orders, or to devalue their immediate staff members, or to provide absolutely no assistance in developing their people. Each one of these types of leaders was only a leader because of their stated title not because they demonstrated leadership qualities.
Now, for those who may be wondering how to go about becoming a leader that people will not only gladly work for but one who also has the ability to motivate staff to excel or expand their knowledge, there are several ways to learn these skills.
One of the first things that you can do all on your own is to start conducting research about what a leader is and isn’t. This search can start with scouring the Internet for leadership articles, books and web sites that have many different points of view but point to some very basic and common themes. Another thing you can do on your own is to visit your local library and ask the librarian to help you locate books and magazines on leadership and management. What you are specifically looking for are articles that describe leadership styles and actual case examples of this leadership practice in actual companies or workplaces. You are also looking for books that talk about different successful leaders and managers or owners of companies who excelled at developing staff members or mentoring their skills. You can also find a growing selection of books and articles on coaching which is a more up to date term for a leader who spends more time helping staff members grow in personal and professional ways rather than just delegating, or instructing employees what to do.
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear;
and the next, the people hate ...
When the best leader's work is done the people say,
"We did it ourselves!"
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