As a small business owner I am constantly looking for ways to help our new managers succeed within their positions and grow to be good managers in future positions. One of the biggest challenges I face as a small business owner on a daily basis is the challenge of making everything consistent within our six chain tanning salon company. I like consistency within the company and especially within the management organization, as Im sure most managers and business owners do.
When it comes to Extreme Tan and Smoothies and the management staff that is responsible for operating and maintaining each location on a daily basis I want GREAT managers, not good… GREAT! Here’s a list of 10 things that I feel a GREAT Manager MUST DO in order to have success within their position and build an effective team, without effective teams you rarely have great managers.
10 Things a Great Manager Must Do
1. Actively Listen
Nodding your head like a puppet monkey on a string isn’t going to impress anyone or get anyone to believe that you actually care about their issue so stop the silly act . Instead of nodding your head, saying yes and firing off a response you might consider actively listening….. That means SHUT UP and listen, wait for the individual speaking to finish, think about what the individual said, consider repeating what the individual said back to them to ensure that you understand and most importantly, they understand that YOU understand. Now respond.
Be willing to explore and find new information. When someone with more experience and knowledge than you offers you information you should refer to the first thing in this list. You don’t know it all, be willing to learn.
3. Ask Questions
Not too many people like a “know it all”, and not too many “know it all’s” make it as successful GREAT managers. Ask your associates questions about their job and responsibilities, ask them the things they dislike most and work to make those things a little better whenever you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in regards to your job, you never know what you might hear or learn.
The days of protecting your job because you hold all infinite wisdom are over. Don’t be selfish with the knowledge you have been fortunate enough to obtain, share it with your staff and teach them ways to put your knowledge to use.
You might be one of those super efficient small business owners or managers that feels like they must get everything done on their own, even with awesome tools like Remember the Milk the best managers can’t get EVERYTHING done. Don’t be afraid to DELEGATE tasks to your associates. Delegating tasks and delegating them the right way does nothing but empower your associates and help you to achieve more in the long run.
6. Follow Up
You might be fantastic at writing massive lists for your associates, delegating everything under the sun out to your associates so that you can “be the manager”. Only problem is if you don’t know how to effectively follow-up chances are all of your delegated tasks will soon become trash can decorations. Actually, do me a favor…… If your not going to follow-up don’t bother delegating, it saves you from pretending to be a good manager and it saves your associates from having to do tasks for someone that doesn’t really care anyway.
7. Hold People Accountable
In a perfect world every associate does exactly what they are suppose to do every time they come to work. Perfect worlds don’t exist. When your associates don’t do what they are expected to do it’s a good managers job to manage and hold people accountable for their actions. A solid 3 step counseling process can make this very easy.
8. Take Grief
Managers that point fingers are weak. When something doesn’t go the way it’s suppose to take the heat and keep your head up, don’t place blame and don’t point fingers it just destroys any respect your associates might have for you.
9. Give Glory
Ahhh your finally the big shot which means you probably worked your buns of steel off and you probably had a few people out there that helped you along the way with your promotions, etc. Now instead of being the same “bask in the glory” manager that you use to despise and work for you can now be a better manager, GIVE THE GLORY to your associates and co-workers. Instead of being willing to take every bit of praise and run with it earn respect from your associates and peers by allowing them to experience the excitement of a job well done.
Sounds ridiculous I know and you hardcore old school managers are thinking how badly you would like to tell me to go screw myself. Smile? Yes, Smile. Nobody wants to give 110% to some raging jackass that can’t remove the stone look from their face, take time to be a little human and smile. Enjoy your position and your team, and remember without a great team you won’t enjoy your position.
Initially I didn’t plan on making this a blog post on Extreme John.com, instead it was going to be a manager tip sheet for managers within Extreme Tan and Smoothies. After putting the sheet together I decided that I might as well write a quick post about it, who knows maybe someone will find it helpful.
Feel free to leave a comment with any additional input or tips for managers or other small business owners.