Great managers are not lone wolf types. There are certain individuals great managers rely on as they go about their work. Here are four “must develop” associations great managers foster.
Your Own Manager
It doesn’t matter who you are, newly hired or long-time member of the organization, every employee should have a good association with their own manager. This is no different for those who are in management roles. If you are a manager who wants to be as effective as possible, a key ingredient to this is to be on the same page as your own supervisor. If you find yourself working under a manager who cannot or will not support you in this, you may want to consider a different place to work. It’s that important.
Your Human Resource Contact
Human Resource offices exists to help organizational members be successful at work. If you’re lucky, you may never need your human resource office outside of the regular matters of payroll and vacation-related questions. The reality is, no manager who serves for any length of time is this lucky. Regardless of the issue, when its time to have a heart to heart conversation, your Human Resource contact will be your best resource. For this reason, I recommend that you not wait until you need their help to foster this connection. If you haven’t done it already, do it now. Having this connection before help is needed will facilitate matters when their expertise is needed.
A Peer Manager
A perspective outside of one’s own is extremely valuable. If you’re a manager who thinks they know everything, please believe me when I say you’re wrong. You cannot know everything from just your own perspective any more than the light from a flashlight can bend around the corner of a building. Great managers know this. In this example, what is needed to see what’s around a corner? There are two options, get to the corner yourself and then look around, or, ask someone to stand at the corner and tell you what they see. I’m suggesting this second approach. To borrow a phrase from British English parlance, if you think you don’t need someone else’s perspective about things, you’re daft. Does any more need to be said on this point? I’m hoping not.
A Manager Outside of Your Organization
Similar to the input a peer manager can give, a manager outside of the organization can also provide additional perspectives to help you succeed. Unlike what the internal peer can help with, great managers who work in a completely different organization can share what happens where they work; what works, what doesn’t work, and other ideas you might try where you are. The more ideas you have to work with, the better you can be at managing.
Summing It All Up
If you want to be a great manager, one of your most important responsibilities is to remove roadblocks for your team members. Do this so they can stay focused on the work they have been hired to do. Having insights from others is one advantage you can give yourself in working to remove roadblocks. Having good associations with those who will be in the best position to help you if you need their help is a second strategy you should employ. So foster these four associations. You’ll be glad you did.
Photo credit: Sabine Beßendörfer