surprise -people management is about people

Being in a leadership role now for some years in this crazy growing and changing world of technology, I see myself in a position to may give you some advises you can benefit from, when you develop into your next play – a role where you´re not only responsible for yourself anymore. A people manager role. There is this quote saying, that when you develop from being an individual contributor into a management position, it is not about how great you are and perform anymore, it is about how successful you can make your team. I saw people struggling on this. Why? Because by nature sales experts are restless fighters, chasing for their own success and having a high level of ego. I don´t mean that in a negative way, it is one of the skills you do need to have in that business.

So coming from a world where it is all about you and now it is all about your them is not easy. You really have to think it over. Take a step back, collect lots of feedback from your peers and have an idea about what really makes you happy. And I mean that not only in the sense of if it is the right decision for yourself. As I mentioned in the beginning, you take on responsibility for individuals and you absolutely should care. A high performing account manager is not necessarily a good people manager and a development into leadership role may even not be seen as a development because it feels wrong. Actually this is a step backwards.

If you made up your mind I have three advices for you, which worked for me very well.

1. always hire the best team

In my past years I did hundreds of interviews together with management peers. I have often been really surprised about the indifferent way they did their interviews.(Being later on surprised about why their team is not performing) Your success as a manager is the success of your team in total. So simple as that. You should have a high interest in hiring the best people for your specific open roles. Don´t only think about skills, experience and educational background. Consider soft skills, diversity and how the person would fit into your existing social micro cosmos. Be bold to hire people for roles where they maybe not the experts in. They may have an expertise on totally different topics you never have thought about and they have interesting stories to tell. Don´t limit yourself. The best advice I have for you in doing a perfect interview is, ask as much questions you can. Ask what you´re interested in apart from the job qualifications and prepare yourself to ask creative questions based on their background. (I don´t mean those nonsense questions like google used to have – sorry google.

2. be authentic, be interested and show empathy

Now when you manage your team, you´re in a relationship with let´s say 10 people or more. (In my perspective the span of control for a people manager ends with around 10-12 individuals) The fundament of this relationship should be trust and authenticity. You will be together with your team around 10 hours per day. This relationship mustn´t be friendship (sometimes it can be) and you don´t have to leave the professional path, but it requires as much intense work to keep it up like a friendship. What does this mean? It means all those little things which appear not to be important but at the end they make a difference and make you unique as a people manager. As the headline says – your business is now about people. Be interested in them. Don´t arrive at work, sitting at your desk and claim that you´re always open for them if they have any issue. Look at your individuals maybe a minute longer and build up pro-active empathy. What can you read in their faces? Did they have a good weekend? What kind of activity have they done? What kind of activity have you done? Give and take and absorb as much as you can. Don’t always talk about the things which are going well in your life. You can share your challenges as well. And never forget, personnel development is a key factor in performance management. You have to provide the platform for it and should know all the time, by what your individual is being motivated to achieve his next play. Lead by example and prove your authenticity in speaking about your career development as well. This makes you a great people manager.

3.always tell the why

Working in IT, technology, marketing or elsewhere in a fast changing working environment means you have to do quick decisions and have to cope with a fast pace. Your management style has to be versatile and to be adapted to several different situations during one day. Sure – you could be all the time very directive and just tell you team what you want them to do. But this turns out not to be very useful as you will not benefit from the skills and knowledge from it. You must manage your team by objective (MBO) and not by control (MBC). If you have tasks for your team, make your life easier and tell them the sense behind. Why do you ask them to do it – and especially why is it important to you personally? If the spirit is right, every single individual is happy to help you out. If you have considered number one of my top three people manager skills, you are surrounded by bright minds. They will claim and want to know anyway what´s the deeper sense behind. Do concentric briefing and give a holistic explanation. Make sure that everybody understands buys in and accepts it as q common task which is in line with the companies strategy. This leads to the best performance and results.

What you think? Did you have the same experiences with being a manager or being managed?

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About monissen
- raised up analogue - arrived in the digital age - now working in Munich - living in Bremerhaven - lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland - the heart of IT, and fell in love - lived and fell in love in and with Andalusia before - born in Northern Germany, Eckernförde - affinity for lyrics in general - like reading - like running - enjoying life

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