Leading Managers

Many leaders become frustrated with mid-level managers because of the perception they’re not doing their jobs adequately. When you really dig into this observation, it’s often because new mid-level managers don’t fully understand what is expected of them.

The leader is responsible for outlining the core elements of what is expected from managers. Here are some guidelines to consider:

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Updating Priorities

Many people made priorities based on an old list of what is important to them. Every once in a while (Every month? Once a quarter? Twice a year?) it is helpful to rethink your priorities and determine whether a change is appropriate.

This is especially important for leaders because their priorities certainly change based on what is going on in their companies.

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Meeting Madness

Do you have too many meetings in a typical week? It happens a lot, and you can suffer from “meeting madness” as a result. This is an affliction caused by too many meetings that aren’t focused, take too long, and accomplish a tenth of what you expect. Here are some tips to consider.

Start and end on time. The obvious breach is when people are late. That isn’t fair to those who are on time, especially if it means that you won’t complete what you expected to accomplish. As important, however, is having a firm end time. Stay true to the end time even if you haven’t completed the agenda. It will help build the discipline to end on time in the future.

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Prioritize to Organize

In many respects, leaders need to be more organized than their team members. A disorganized leader sends a message that isn’t flattering and reinforces disorganization, rather than efficiency and being on top of things.

Being able to prioritize effectively is an essential key to successful organizing. In this fast-moving environment that we work in, however, leaders need to be nimble enough to switch gears and reprioritize when things change.

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Renewal

This weekend the holidays of Easter and Passover will be celebrated. Whether either is part of your tradition, celebrated formally or not, the feeling of renewal offers a time for hope and reflection.

Given the horrific events happening elsewhere in the world, especially the devastation in the Ukraine, we are blessed that we can pause and express gratitude for our individual circumstances.

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Workplace Drama

How often does your staff create distractions with an avalanche of finger-pointing and accusations? You may find yourself at a loss of words contemplating the right way to approach the situation. Or worse, you may blow up adding fuel to the fire.

It’s up to the leader to cut off this behavior as it ramps up, because frequent incidences are bad for your organization’s health. Often, the right hand doesn’t know what the left is saying or doing; and that is where the problems begin.

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Time to Redd Up!

Spring has arrived. It’s that time of the year when once upon a time spring cleaning was the source of household activity. Some researchers attribute the origins to the Iranian Norouz, the Persian new year, which is also the first day of spring. Tradition was that Iranians would “shake the house” prior to and in anticipate of the new year.

Closer to home, a colloquial version is to “redd up,” like the verb, to rid, meaning “clear, put in order, clean up.” If you’ve ever lived or passed through Pittsburgh, PA, you’ve probably heard this expression!

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The Office Whisperer

Every organization has its gossipers. Usually, it’s an innocent part of organizational life – you see Joan in the break room and one thing leads to another, including a little buzz about what’s happening in the marketing department.

Other times, though, there are certain people who feel it’s their personal mission to find out everything that’s going on. They will do whatever they can to “dig for dirt” even where no dirt exists.

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Accountability for Others

Managers often ask how to hold their employees accountable. This is a difficult question to answer, because one of the biggest variables is your organizational culture. Some cultures support their people when it comes to accountability issues, while others cast blame.

If your culture is focused on learning and growth, you tend to tie accountability with learning and professional development. For example, if Sarah misses an important deadline, the manager will discuss what happened to create that result. Sarah may have had a good reason but didn’t communicate it ahead of time.

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