Thanks for loyal readers.
It’s been a long time since my last post.
I’ve been busy with some business and leisure travel (local and overseas) last month.
Lets move on.
We are always grow up, no matter what we decided not to.
From kids to mature, from staff to manager, from employees to business owner.
Change is always happen to everyone.
If we not change and make innovation, we will “die”.
Take a look from case of mobile phone history.
From Ericson to Nokia to Blackberry to Samsung & Apple.
In the past, the companies resist to change, to innovate, to adapt, to manage its risk.
Ericson, fails to promote good supply chain inventory for mobile chips and the position take over by Nokia.
Nokia fails to adapt new internet booming and replace by Blackberry.
Blackberry fails to make a huge step on mobile internet technology and replace by Samsung and Apple.
In just less than 5 years, Xiomi take 3rd place for the best selling phone, and take it from Sony, LG, and others.
I am not discuss with you about change, but we will focus on leadership transition.
Most of us have been experiences as a managers.
It’s not only a job title, but also improve our leadership skill.
I remember a long time ago when first time be a manager and have a team member.
From self working, to be a person who manage team.
Luckily, I am experiences on event organizer and handle events for more than 100 peoples.
But of course, it’s different between manage people on event and on office role.
Okay, lets discuss on some different role.
When you have a new role, from staff to manager, the first impression are
“yuppie, I am a manager. My salary is increase. I can buy anything I like. I am super star”.
“Hmn, I can buy new car or new house”.
Its natural, most peoples will react the same things.
Most of them forget that become a manager is a huge step, need a new soft skill.
They need to manage a team, manage expectation from boss and team member, manage conflict from other departments.
Its need a good communication skill, negotiation skill, etc.
Most of us fails become a good manager.
They will accept all things that comes from others to his department.
Its very easy to say yes, I can, I do.
But, they need to re-analyst the role.
We can not say all request to be our responsibility.
As a good leader, you need to screen all task.
Okay, maybe you are good at this, to say no, but what about your team member.
Its hard for you to “return back the ball” to the owner.
You can always blame your team about this, but its not healthy team work.
As a leader, you need to lead them, not become a boss who always drive them.
Yes, it’s very easy to do all things by your self.
I was experiences the same way.
But it will take 99% of your energy to accomplish your goals and KPI.
I guarantee, you can not sleep well and always thinking of your work.
As a leader, you need to delegate.
Its hard, but must to.
A leader is someone who can do the right things.
When I first time be a manager, its took me few years to become a good leader, but not great leader.
I did some step:
- I create a 5 years plan, 3 years plan, annual plan, then break it down into quarter, monthly, and weekly. It’s took a week to do that, but must to do. Once you have a clear path to go for glory, or a road map, you know exactly to do.
- Discuss with team and agree with them about who does what and target date. Book a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual internal meeting and reporting on your team calendar. It would save your time and avoid some one “stole” your meeting time. Once book on calendar and create a warning, it would save you to reminder all the times.
- Make an internal and external training. For internal, make it like a focus group discussion, to make same perception. Teach each other how to achieve goals, what kind of tool need. Also teach them how to deals with “office politics”, say no, and be a good leader.
- Be a coach not a trainer. Its different between coach and trainer. Wikipedia said that In sports, a coach is a person involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople. Coaches also often create game plans, or instructions for what their players will do during the game. Yes, coach is deeper and more comprehensive than ordinary trainer. It’s from heart to heart. As a good leader and coach, you need to facilitate them, support them, and make them as good as your self. I used to give all I have to my team. Make them smarter than you are. Now days, my ex team become same and higher compare with my current role. I am happy with them. That’s my job.
- Make them responsible of they work, avoid to do their work even it could speed up your work.
One of my friend, will become a father, in few hours.
He’s waiting for his first boy.
I remember about a time when we hang out together with others and now he must take care of new person in his home.
He’s not single again, he must be a father, a leader for his family.
On last few months, he learn from an internet, from parents, from friends, how to become a good leader of his family.
Yes, many input already on his mind, but now, its time to practice.
Okay, we move to another case.
Assume this man grow and have a 3 kids.
He need to manage his time for work, family, and his “me time”.
I ask him, how.
He tells that he always spent weekend with family, no matter what urgent office things.
He has a dinner time, and family time almost everyday.
He ask his family on each role, coach them about new improvement, and include them on every family decision.
It’s similar with staff to manager’s style.
I share my friend’s experience as a business owner.
At first year, he did all effort, by his self.
From administration, marketing, meeting, dealing, accounting, IT, etc.
It took 120% of his time.
Then, after 1 year, his business grow up for 20%.
It’s not bad.
Then, he decided to find a team, 2-3 peoples to take care of some internal matters.
He hired person who in charge for back office and front office.
At first 3 months, he coach them.
Yes, they have an experience, but as a leader, he need to create a synergy of internal team.
After 6 months, he decided to add new store and of course, need to focus on this new task.
He rely on internal team.
When he open new business, he just copy an internal team system to new business.
Now, he just monitoring and coach them every day.
You can read an original article, as follow.
Not long ago, I worked with a client who was stepping into management for the first time. Terry, a highly regarded marketing associate in a pharmaceutical firm, had just been asked to lead a marketing team. In this new role, she was responsible for directing a group of bright, but inexperienced marketing professionals (most of whom had been her peers) in producing plans and promotions for a small portfolio of globally sold drugs. This required pulling together market data, financial trends, and competitive information — and then working with medical and regulatory professionals, ad agencies, product managers, and country staff to shape the final plans.
Terry herself had been very good at coordinating these efforts on her own, but many of her team members struggled to get the right information at the right times, to extract the most important highlights, and to engage people from different groups. They just weren’t putting together a high-quality product. Not wanting to disappoint her boss and miss marketing deadlines, Terry jumped into the breach and started doing much of the work herself, taking over whenever a team member ran into problems, running interference with other functions, and correcting and rewriting plans.
At the same time, of course, Terry also had to meet her new responsibilities, which included filing status reports, assessing existing marketing programs, and devising team budgets while attending now-required staff meetings, department meetings, global conference calls, and so on. Soon she was routinely working 15-hour days and coming in on weekends — but still not producing the quality work that was expected. She knew that this was not sustainable, but she couldn’t find the time to figure out what else to do.
Unfortunately, this scenario is not uncommon for first-time managers, with failure rates reported to be as high as 50% in the first year. While some of this may be attributable to poor selection or inadequate training and mentoring, some of it is under the control of managers themselves. One of the most common stumbling blocks for new managers is failing to set the right boundaries in their new job. Here, I’m referring to boundaries as the guardrails that determine what the new manager should and should not do, how much time to spend on the job, and how success will be measured. These lines tend to get blurry as new leaders clamber to justify their promotion, often over-performing to produce great results. There’s nothing wrong with this, per se. But problems arise when there’s no ongoing dialogue with team members, peers, and bosses about the definition of “success” and “results”— and who is responsible for what. Without clear boundaries, novice managers can become quickly overwhelmed by an unmanageable workload.In Terry’s case, she felt personally accountable for making sure that everything her team produced was perfect, which meant she often jumped in to do things herself. This bad habit communicated to others that they were less accountable. As a result, her team wasn’t learning how to produce high quality work on their own, other departments weren’t collaborating efficiently (they would sporadically send information in whatever form suited them), and her boss had no role in helping her improve the process. Everything was on Terry.
Eventually, with the help of a coach, Terry learned that she had to establish boundaries by clarifying her role with all stakeholders.
To start, she made sure her team knew that they were responsible for producing high quality plans, but that she would give them the tools, training, and coaching necessary to make them happen. In other words, her job was not to cover for them or step in whenever they weren’t sure what to do; her job was to help them be successful on their own. To do this, Terry drew on her own experience as a star marketer. She created models of what good plans looked like and what key elements they contained, and shared these with her team. She set up sessions to go over different aspects of the planning process — such as analyzing market data and managing compliance — and facilitated discussions between team members and company experts. Terry also scheduled frequent one-on-one reviews with each of her employees, so she could give real-time feedback about how they might improve.
For most new managers, making this transition to training and coaching isn’t easy. It seems faster to do everything yourself — but we’ve seen how destructive that impulse can be. New managers like Terry can get stuck doing their subordinates’ jobs and keep their teams from developing the skills they need to succeed.
Terry also learned to set boundaries with her new peers — the other department leaders. She met with these managers to develop a set of service level agreements for how their functions would work together. This way, any information her team needed from finance, sales, or any other department would arrive on time and in the specified format. Eventually, this allowed her team to better manage their workflow, and it became easier for her to help out when miscommunications occurred.
Finally, Terry sat down with her boss to define her role more clearly and determine what success meant for her. A common mistake for first-time managers is assuming that every objective is important and needs to be completed as soon as possible. Without being clear on how her priorities had to change in her new role, Terry fell into this trap; she tried to do everything. When she finally worked with her boss to distinguish between new and old priorities, she was able to clearly see what was expected of her as a manager.
Initiating these boundary discussions, and raising them again when need be, is an essential part of learning how to manage. It requires courage at first (especially if you’re trying to justify your promotion to your manager), but without it, you’re trapped into taking on far more than is realistic, which will limit your own success and that of your team. Setting boundaries effectively gives you a way of multiplying your impact through others, which is, after all, the fundamental role of a manager. It’s also a lot more fun than working 15-hour days. Just ask Terry.