Whatever office you encounter, there’s a vibe that you feel the moment you walk in. It’s an expression of the culture and personality of the office. This is due in large part to the leadership team.
A company would be nothing without its managers. Some will be more laid back than others. And some will be more unique than traditional.
If you’ve spent any time in a company, you’ll recognize that these people have a TON of influence in most things they do. No two managers are the same and they all have their own manner in which they choose to conduct their business.
So what does it mean to be a great manager? (Here are some more tips for new Office Managers!!)
Let’s deep dive into the manager position and how to excel in a leadership role.
Types Of Bosses
Throughout your career, keep an eye out for those managers that you want to learn from and those you want to avoid.
Perhaps you’ve encountered them in your company, or you even see one of these managers in yourself.
Start to become comfortable identifying different management styles. Once you do, it becomes easier to tailor your own approach to management and become a better leader than you were before.
Here’s a list of 6 types of managers that you may or may not be familiar with.
The Nit Picky Manager
This is the guy/gal that does everything by the books.
And we mean EVERYTHING.
They’re also very meticulous about how they like things done to the point where they put perfectionists to shame.
There’s always going to be a procedure or rule for most things. From sending out reports, following up with clients, sending out information requests, etc.
In this case, it wouldn’t be so absurd for these managers to pull out a rule book for how they like their pencils sharpened.
There’s not a lot of room left for trust in their employees and they like to be in control of just about everything.
The Superior Boss
Speaking of control, this manager lives to feel the extent of their authority. They don’t appreciate others questioning their word nor the quality of their work.
For these managers, the title says it all and is really the only thing they strive to maintain. These types of people need a lesson in humility and collaboration.
These type of managers won’t be around for long with this mentality.
The Traditional Boss
They’re usually stuck in the good old days of how an office should be.
The issue here is that traditional management styles are exactly what they sound: traditional and outdated.
In this approach to management, employees are often to blame for any lack of perceived quality of a product. There is not much room for error and there’s always a ‘you can do better’ attitude around the quality of an employee’s work.
The Workaholic Manager
Somebody needs to educate this manager on what a break is because you will rarely ever see them take one.
They will more often than always be at their desk or doing something productive. They tend to arrive early and stay late for the sake of their job.
While this may not seem all bad, there are some drawbacks here. They tend to compulsively take on more work than they can handle.
A workaholic is very liable to place other duties to the wayside that they may deem a lesser priority. Furthermore, a dead set fixation to this extent can interfere with how they handle their team or the main duties of their job.
The Friend Manager
You might not think that having a manager who is your friend is wrong and in most cases, it’s not!
You want to be comfortable with the person you call manager. Compatibility is key in an office.
But! When a manager starts to act more like your friend than your manager, that’s where the problem occurs.
They want others to see them as equals, someone that can be relatable in the effort to be admired. The important thing to remember is to find the balance between manager and friend.
The Non-Existent Manager
You won’t even remember who your manager is if they’re
Whether they’re working remotely, from home, or just don’t like to come out of their office, they are seldom seen.
They are not present enough to have that connection with their team. Instant feedback and face to face communication are virtually non-existent.
For independent employees this is fine. But for others who enjoy a little more contact, it can affect their motivation, not to mention their need for support.
What NOT To Do
If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to get yourself fired and placed on your employee’s hit list, you may want to pay close attention to these next tips.
Closely related to the nitpicky manager stereotype (and in some cases, they are that manager) they will see to it that everyone abides by their rules.
A lot of the reasons why managers will micromanage is due to not being able to let go of their previous role in the employee chair. And partly because they like to be in control over minor processes as opposed to overseeing the bigger goal.
Employees will start to question their abilities if their managers are constantly telling them how to do their job.
There is a lack of trust here. Moreover, they will not appreciate their manager always breathing down their neck.
As a manager, rather than trying to oversee everything your team does, start by setting clear expectations.
What results do you expect from your team? How do you plan to measure their efficiency or the quality of their work?
According to J. Keith Murnighan in his book titled DO NOTHING, the key is to do nothing. The reason being that employees will discover their own strengths when their managers aren’t doing the work for them.
Most importantly, have faith that your team will fulfill the duties they’re hired to do.
Don’t Overload The Work
Don’t overload your team with more work than they can handle. Some managers also subscribe to the idea that a lack of results is due to a lack of skill.
This is not always the case.
If you find that there is more to be desired from your team’s abilities, you may want to reflect on how you delegate responsibilities.
What happens when employees bite off more than they can chew?
This is a no-brainer. The outcome is the same thing that happens to any person when they’re overworked.
That person becomes stressed. Thus, the quality of their work goes down and their level of satisfaction in their job will decrease as well. Also putting a damper on the quality of their work.
There are several solutions to this issue.
First off, you may want to consider your team’s abilities and if they’re equipped with the tools they need to see their job through successfully.
If so, then take a look at how the work is distributed. Are some receiving more work than others? Determine who is more capable of taking on a bit more work than others.
If redistributing tasks does not resolve any issues, then it can’t hurt to expand the team and hire more talent.
Don’t Mix Personal With Work
Draw the line between work and personal life.
In other words, don’t steal your employees time when they’re no longer in the office or on the clock.
This can mean one of several things.
Don’t guilt them into staying late and don’t fault them for wanting to go home at a decent time.
If they are struggling to finish their duties on time then resolve the root of the issue. That way your employees don’t have to stay until such ungodly hours.
When we say draw the line between work and personal life, this can apply to time outside of the office.
If you’re one to preach about work-life balance as you sit there sending work emails to your employees at 9 pm, it’s time to rethink your definition of work-life balance.
Hypocrisy is not a nice suit to wear.
Don’t Be The Bad Guy
Simple as that. We’re human above all else so let’s show others the same respect that we’d like to see towards ourselves.
Just because you’re having a bad day doesn’t give you the right to punt your employees off the metaphorical cliff of contentment. If you need an outlet for the day then join a gym but don’t take out your frustrations on those around you.
Guaranteed you will lose your employees trust this way right after you lose their respect.
One of a manager’s main responsibilities is to maintain an optimistic work-space. They are a huge factor in the culture of the office.
If the environment is toxic, then your employees will be the first to notice. The best we can do is take the ball and roll with it without negatively impacting those around us.
The best we can do is take the ball and roll with it without negatively impacting those around us.
What Does Being A Manager Mean
Thinking Like A Team Versus An Individual
Here at Office Libations, we can’t even imagine doing all that we do with only one person behind the wheel. We have a shared vision and a shared goal of providing the best possible service to our customers. That shared goal is the North Star for every action our team takes, from an individual’s actions to the actions of our business as a whole.
Gone are the days when you could work without involving yourself in anyone’s business. A manager’s existence rides heavy on their ability to unite others into a cohesive unit.
Even better for them if they can instill collaboration between employees and departments.
As a manager, you have to be able to train your team, motivate them, and support them. The best measure of success for a manager is how successful their team is.
One way to go about this is to develop a training method for new and old employees. For those under your management, ensure that they have the right tools that they need to excel in their position.
Have a one on one session with them or make a group session. Keep them up to date with the latest techniques so they can perform to their highest potential.
Something else you will want to keep in mind is how to organize your team.
Ensure that everyone knows their place and everyone knows their part. Otherwise, it becomes your job to provide guidance to where they need to be.
Be Proactive As An Individual And A Team
In order to think like a team, a manager has to also be able to think like an individual on behalf of their team.
Understand the difference between independence and interdependence. To each their own value, it’s only a matter of understanding when they are most valuable.
A collective decision holds more sway over a decision made by a single person. Especially if this decision impacts matters of great importance.
In another instance, a manager needs to know when to make that executive decision as well.
Become a planner in all things productive.
Stay on top of your tasks if you want to make the most of your time each day you’re in the office.
If you need an all-in-one organization genie then ProofHub is the tool for you. If you need to connect your apps and services then try IFTTT.
There’s a tool for everything from time tracking, social media management and everything in between.
It’s all about how you choose to manage your time and that of your team.
Thinking Like A Leader
As a liaison and a communicator, a manager is a role model to their employees and their peers.
A leader leads, and everyone else acts in accordance with their manager. If a manager decides to slack off on their work then it’s likely that one of two things are bound to occur.
It’s quite possible that a manager’s team will slack off. If their manager doesn’t do their work then why should they?
Another destined route is that employees will feel the need to pick up the slack on behalf of their manager.
Neither of these two options results in optimal results where the outcome is a loss in motivation.
According to Michael Armstrong:
“People learn to manage by managing under the guidance of a good manager.”Michael Armstrong, How to be an Even Better Manager: A Complete A-Z of Proven Techniques and Essential Skills
You need to exhibit the same behaviors that you want your employees to exhibit. Display prime qualities and work ethic so that your employees will learn to do the same.
Leadership and management positions require people to occasionally put others before themselves. This will help leaders create value through their decisions and amplify their positive actions through their empowered and motivated team.
A leadership position is what you make it. It’s never too late for improvement so take some time to reflect on how to be a great manager that the company will refuse to let go.
Make sure to share this article with anyone you think could use it!
When you find yourself in need of wine, coffee, kombucha, tea, beer, or snacks for your office or event, shoot us a message!
This article was brought to you by Office Libations, your San Francisco Bay Area office coffee, keg delivery, and snack service. Delivering top local brands and kegs of cold brew coffee, kombucha, beer, and wine.