Congratulations! You have graduated from your managerial training course. You are now a Manager, at least on paper. You are at the beginning of your executive career and you hope to change the world. Unfortunately, at this point you are between a rock and a hard place. On one side there is your ever demanding boss Rock and on the other side there is the general workforce Hard Place.
Here is what you can expect from a typical day at work: Your boss hands out your first task and you are clueless as to where to start. Your job is to delegate the task to your experienced workforce but you decide to flex some muscle so you show some authority and you give the task a personal twist. Your workforce may not appreciate your naive initiative and so what follows is a fun and clever anecdote (author unknown) that demonstrates the typical reaction from the people you are depending on to do the work.
Links to hi res poster at end of article
This little story is timeless and can be witnessed in many different environments. It is human nature to pass the buck to other workmates when frustration sets in. The larger the workforce the worse the situation gets. In real world terms this situation will always have the same result. The job your boss was expecting from YOU yesterday is still at an embryonic stage and you can’t blame your workforce because they set you up for a no-win situation. Try telling your boss your workers didn’t come up with the goods…you fail for not delegating properly and monitoring the progress. In fact, your boss will probably be protective of his trusted employees and so your managerial skills will be under scrutiny. The bottom line is that you can’t produce the work so you and you alone will be deep-fried for failing.
To avoid these early career potholes I would suggest a few simple home-grown tips and tricks
1) RELAX – Give your workers their tasks exactly as you receive them from your boss; don’t get lost in translation.
2) TRUST – Have faith in the workforce. If they were there before you then they will probably know what has to be done. If they have any questions you can be sure they will ask; just give them some space to breath.
3) WATCH – Profile your workers; find out who does what best, who are the loners, who are the leaders, etc.. You will thus maximize their individual skills. Giving ten people the same job to do only causes confusion and wastes everyone’s time.
4) INVOLVMENT – Get your hands dirty with the workers; you will gain their respect. Learn what they know and you will then be better equipped to add your own spices later on and thus give the work your own personal signature.
If you follow the above tips then the fifth one will come naturally:
5) DELEGATE – If you are able to delegate more efficiently you get more from your workforce, faster and with less stress. Best of all you will be geared up with the work and proud to present the results to your boss. All this will make for one big happy family where everyone wins.
These are my own views so please take what you will and leave what you don’t need. Thanks for reading.