Do you consider yourself a manager? Do you have managers in your organization? If so, from your perspective, what is a manager? What is the purpose of the manager? What are managers supposed to accomplish? These are great questions. We as business coaches, want you to understand that managers are simply people who entrepreneurs have put in place to make employees get things done. There are many lofty ideas of what a manager could and should be, however, at the core of what a manager is supposed to be, they need to be a person who can make sure that stuff gets done. Within the context of your organization, if the key performance indicators are not being done on a day-to-day basis, then the business cannot function. If the business does not function, then you will not make money. If you hate money, then hire managers who are more focused on the opinions of others versus getting things done. If you actually want to make money though, you need to make sure that your managers are people who know how to get stuff done.
When it comes to management, managers need to understand that no one will like you. The goal of management is not to be liked. The goal of management is to hold people accountable. When you hold people accountable, it causes friction. As Clay likes to say, “without friction, success is a fiction.” A good manager understands this and is not afraid of friction. Friction is essential in holding people accountable. As a general rule, the typical employee will try to take the path of least resistance. Just like water running downhill, they want to do as little work as possible. Good managers are people who can put clear boundaries and expectations in place so that the people that they are managing know that they either do what they’re supposed to do or they will no longer be with the company. No matter what your current management team looks like, you can take the steps to begin to make your managers more effective. The first business coaching step we help people take in this is helping to really cast the vision that a manager is not supposed to be liked, but needs to be the person that deals with the friction of holding people accountable.
The goal of management is not to be liked. The goal of management is to hold people accountable.
Good managers also understand that a little bit of fear is very beneficial. As Machiavelli says, “It is better to be feared than loved.” The word fear does not necessarily mean that your employees are actually afraid of the manager, but it implies more of a respect for their authority. Employees need to understand that the manager’s expectations must be met. If your manager is more focused on being friends with your employees (and as a business coach I see it all the time) versus accomplishing the goals set out by the organization, then you have a bad manager. A good manager always focuses on managing and having a healthy fear first before they ever build relationships with the employees. Without fear, it is very hard to get things done. As you’ve heard before, it can be lonely at the top. When you are overseeing people, you cannot expect to be both their manager and their friend. You must be willing to sacrifice relationships in order to move forward the goals of the organization.
Finally, in order to empower someone to be a good manager, they need to be supplied with checklists and systems. If a person is left to manage according to their own opinions, then there will be a high level of inconsistency and flakiness that is created within the culture of your organization. You must specifically define the goals and the steps to get there. The goal of checklists and systems is to take thinking out of the equation. If you can empower your management team to be able to lead your employees through proven checklists and systems, then not only will you have a clear view into whether an employee is functioning where they are supposed to, but you will also be able to hit the goals that you are leading them to. Stop managing from a place of worrying about the opinions of others. Take the time today to engage with the friction of management. Take the time today to establish a healthy fear. Take the time today to build the checklist and systems needed for success. This is essential for the growth and success of your organization. There is your weekly business coach tip!