Simple Management Success: Dare to Care
Many more eloquent people than I have written libraries of books on how to be a successful manager. For me, it all boils down to one word: caring. Caring about getting the work done right, caring about the people on your team and caring enough to make a long term investment in yourself.
Caring about getting the work done means that you're focused on the results and putting in the effort needed to achieve them. Doing it right is the mindset that can differentiate you. No cutting corners, making sure the result is sustainable and creating plenty of documentation so the next person can make improvements to the foundation you've created. This doesn't mean that you take more time, you just incorporate those concepts into all that you do.
Caring about your team is all about getting to know them and letting them know who you are. What's going on in their lives? What are their challenges? What are their unique skills that can help the whole team? What perspectives do they bring to the table? Understand not only what motivates them, but why. What do they need to be successful? When each individual on the team is valued and contributes, everyone wins. Work becomes more than just a chore. It becomes a challenge and opportunity to shine. And when everyone feels this way, the team thrives and success follows.
Investing in yourself is continuous learning. How can you be better at what you do? What's new in your field? What are other people excited about? This isn't about new degrees and certifications, it's about keeping your finger on the pulse of your field and paying attention not only to the views that match yours, but on all perspectives. Strong opinions, weakly held, Paul Saffo's framework works well here. Learn, form an opinion and update it as new information feeds your knowledge. Investing in yourself takes time, but it is well spent.
Caring is a simple concept and makes you more vulnerable, but also opens you up to so much more. Work, team, yourself - put your heart into it and watch what happens.