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Natural High



 

Teresa called. When she asked how I was doing I replied that I felt like I was on a natural high. When she asked what happened I shared that earlier I had breakfast with three people I supervised years ago. One of the three had moved to Texas over twelve years ago and was in town for a quick visit and wanted to see me.

 

As we ate we talked about our former office and laughed at the memories. What touched me during the visit was their remembrance of me. All three said I dealt fairly with them, had high expectations but prepared them well to thrive in other positions. One said that when she accepted a new position her new supervisor was so impressed by her performance that she asked her, who trained you?

 

When I came home I told Nashid that nothing makes me feel more validated than when my former proteges have moved on but make a point of seeing me to tell me I helped them develop personally and professionally.

 

Most of us strive to be leaders in our profession. Once we master the core job responsibilities, we believe we are ready for a higher position and of course we know we are ready for all the perks (and the money!) that comes with management.

 

In a Forbes article (www.forbes.com) titled “What Qualities Should a Manager-Leader Have?” the following qualities were noted:

 

Openness To Dialogue

I believe that a good leader should be able to listen to and really hear their employees. This makes the team understand that their opinions are important and valuable. At my IT recruiting agency, for instance, I regularly hold personal meetings with each employee. We discuss not only the current progress and the trajectory of further development but also any and all comments or suggestions that the member of the team would like to share. In addition, all employees are aware that such meetings can be initiated by them as well. Leaders need to ensure that anyone can ask for a meeting themselves if they want to offer something or discuss it.

 

Honesty

It is important to talk openly and honestly with your team. For example, I always try to keep employees informed of what is happening with the company, share news in a timely manner and build communication as transparently as possible, without hiding any important points. Transparency shows your employees that you trust them and are keeping them in the loop.

 

Objectivity — In Relation To Yourself And To Others

I am convinced that a leader should, first of all, be able to objectively evaluate their own actions, decisions, strengths and weaknesses. Only then can a leader evaluate others objectively. It is necessary to understand your growth zones and problem areas clearly in order to know which aspects should be given priority attention. You need to be able to analyze the decisions made and build correct conclusions based on the results of the analysis. Being a leader means constantly moving forward in terms of self-development and improvement of your professional competencies. To do this, you need to learn to look at yourself from the outside and give yourself an objective assessment — and only then, evaluate employees.

 

Relationship Building

Whenever there are relationships between people, there will be conflicts that arise from time to time. For this reason, it is important for the leader not only to create a friendly atmosphere inside the team but also to work with emerging conflicts in a timely manner. Finding a compromise, listening to both sides involved in the dispute and searching for the optimal way out of the situation are all skills without which it will be difficult for a leader-manager to excel. 

Problem-Solving 

During the work process, various situations associated with relationships within the team can take place. A leader should focus on finding solutions to the problem, analyze these issues to identify the optimal strategy and act not only quickly, but also competently. 

These are just a few qualities that are important for a manager who wants to become a leader for their employees. Leadership is a long, difficult road that requires you to work on yourself, your competencies, personal growth and your ability to draw conclusions and apply them in practice. An effective leader-manager can significantly improve the microclimate in the team, make various internal processes better and lead the team to achieve new goals. 

 

If I had to name one thing that helped me manage well it was that I never managed from a place of desperation. When I advanced and made more money I resisted the impulse to immediately use the new money for more stuff. This allowed me to build a nest egg I could fall back on should I become a casualty because of some decision I made or action I took. Knowing I could walk away if I had to and be okay allowed me to think more clearly in my role and manage with compassion. I am not naive enough to believe that all of my former staff members felt favorably towards me. However, on this particular day, I don’t think CBD could make me feel any higher than I feel as I remember the comments made by members of my former staffs. Their comments served as validation that I didn’t always get it right but there were many times I made the right call and their lives were the better for it. They certainly made my job easier and my life better too. That's a win!

 

 

 Lou

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