3 Simple Things

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Jared is a new manager in a pretty big company. Here’s the key paragraph from an email he sent me.

“I’m overwhelmed by all the management advice out there. I have no idea how to make sense of it all. Can you give me three things that I can do that will help me do a good job?”

At first I thought that coming up with just three things that create success as a boss was going to be hard. But it only took me a few minutes to come up with my list. Here’s what I told Jared.

Touch Base a Lot

You can’t be part of the team if you’re always in your office with your head down. If you can do it, show up a lot where the work is getting done. Take the initiative to contact virtual team members. Keep in mind that your purpose is not to micromanage. It is to learn and to help.

Have Conversations with Team Members

Conversations are a great way to learn about team members and the work they do. They’re a great opportunity for team members to learn about you, too. Remember that conversations are two way human activities, so listen a lot. And remember that you’re the boss. That doesn’t make you a superior human being. But it does mean that team members listen to what you say and watch what you do for clues to what they should say and do.

Have Regular Meetings with the Team and Team Members

Frequent conversations are great for sharing and for catching problems when they’re still small enough to solve easily. But they’re not enough. Have regular team meetings to coordinate effort and make sure things are on track. Have regular one-on-one meetings with team members for the same reasons, plus one. Use one-on-one meetings to help team members succeed, grow, and develop.

What do you think?

Those were the three things I suggested to Jared. What would you tell him?

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