If you’ve read my previous posts, you may think I’ve got it all figured out; I don’t. One thing I have figured out is that management is an evolutionary process that is only improved when things change. With change remain positive.
Do not get attached to a policy or process because it will change and probably should change at some point. Encourage your team to identify new solutions to existing problems. You may have looked at the problem from every angle and landed on a solution – you could still be wrong. Allow your team to voice their opinions or new ideas and be flexible with yours.
You are the thermostat. If a process or policy change is forced upon you or your team, be flexible, but also be positive. How you react to the change is critical for your team morale. You may not agree with the change, but you must “spin” it in such a way that the team will see it as a positive. If not, you will breed an “us against them” mentality (them being HR, IT or upper management). An “us against them” mentality will erode your team’s effectiveness, productivity and morale. It will also influence your interactions with these teams in the future. Keeping positive in the face of change or insurmountable odds is key to your team’s success.
Along with staying positive you need to give your team hope. Hope is critical to seeing the potential of the team. A new “feature” may be rolled out that causes an increase in workload and is filled with bugs. This could destroy the morale of the team if you allow it. Your focus should be to provide hope to the team that these bugs will be fixed or this new feature will eventually make our jobs easier or is better for the company as a whole.
Not only do you want to remain positive and hopeful, you’ll need to address any complaints from your team. Do not ignore or disregard them in the name of staying positive, but engage the employee and encourage them to find solutions and not just complain.
Often the only thing we have control over is our attitude. No amount of “spin” or problem solving will change the fact that something bad happened. Do not vocalize your frustration or jump on the bandwagon of negative speaking. Put on a smile and think happy thoughts.
Finally, always be your teams advocate. When issues come up, fight for your team. If a change is going to be implemented that will directly impact your team, speak up. Fight to get your teams ideas and issues to the top. It won’t always work, but if your team sees you fighting for them, this can be enough to inspire hope and positive thinking.
In the end you are not here for you. You are not here to maintain processes. You are not here to manage production queues. You are not here to adjust timecards. You are here to see your team succeed both as a whole and individually.
At the end of the day, the best managers will inspire greatness, but will seldom be recognized. Nobody will remember you, but the product of your management has the potential to change the world. It’s not about you; it’s about them.