Lessons from the Manager's Boot Camp, Part VII:
How to Jump Start Becoming a Strong Manager
This is the seventh and final in a series based on our managerís boot camp:
STEP ONE: DECIDE TO BE A STRONG MANAGER. Recognize this as a huge commitment. It requires time, energy, effort and consistency. Itís going to change your role at work and your relationships. Itís going to be a hard transition. You have to make sure, before you start, that you are really sure.
STEP TWO: START TUNING IN INFORMALLY. First, stop talking about everything under the sun with your people and start talking about the work. Start by asking questions. You will start to learn who is doing what where why when and how. Second, start finding other ways to gather information about who is doing what where why when and how.
STEP THREE: KEEP TUNING IN: THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT EVERY INDIVIDUAL YOU NEED TO MANAGE. Make a list of every person you need to manage. Remember that every person is different and youíll need to customize your approach to managing each person.
STEP FOUR: MAKE A PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE FOR MANAGING PEOPLE. Remember that the centerpiece of managing people more closely is maintaining an ongoing conversation---or coaching dialogue---with every person about the work that person is doing. Just like everything else, your schedule of management conversations is going to be a moving target. But just like everything else, you have to start somewhere.
STEP FIVE: CREATE A TRACKING SYSTEM. You need a system to monitor, measure, and document each personís performance on an ongoing basis. Over time youíll refine a system that works for you. The most important thing with a tracking system is that you actually use it.
STEP SIX: GO PUBLIC. Before you sit down with the people you manage, you should think about the other key people you need to prepare. Your boss would be a good place to start. Then other key managers and colleagues. Next consider a team meeting.
STEP SEVEN: START ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS WITH EVERY PERSON YOU MANAGE. Now there is nothing left to do but start managing people more closely. This is what itís all about. This is where you start the ongoing conversation---or coaching dialogue---with every person about the work that person is doing.
STEP EIGHT: STAY FLEXIBLE. People change. Circumstances change. Youíll have to keep adjusting your approach every step of the way.