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« Dodgers Determination - Trying to Catch Lightning Again | Main | Former President Bill Clinton Leads 2nd Annual Clinton Global Initiative »

Sep20
Timeless Principles

Recently, I tackled the monster that is my basement. It was a project I put off as long as possible, but a combination of bad weather and nothing else to do gave me no more excuses. I keep my library down there and since it seems to always be growing, one of my major challenges was putting up a new bookshelf and reorganizing the books. It was an interesting experience.

I have probably over 800 books – all management related. I’ve read most of them, some of them more than once. There are some timeless classics (The One Minute Manager, The Fifth Discipline, Leaders) written by some of the sharpest minds in the industry, including Warren Bennis, Peter Drucker, Chris Argyris, and others. Of course there are a few “flash in the pan,” one-hit wonder books too but all in all, it’s a wealth of information. However as I sorted the books by subject and author, a strange realization hit. With all the information in just my library, there are still just a few key timeless principles that really make a big difference in your management ability, and yet don’t require volumes of research. Simple (but not simplistic) principles that if every manager lived by, productivity and morale would skyrocket, and turnover rates would plummet. Shows like The Office would be seen as irrelevant. Dilbert would cease to provide an outlet for passive-aggressive protest. And much like the poster that proclaims Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned in Kindergarten, we could reflect on them and make them a part of our lives. So here they are:

1. Quit focusing on the outward appearance and concentrate on what’s on the inside.

2. Be a good listener.

3. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes.

4. Be humble – nobody is good enough to be arrogant!

5. Allow people to have some autonomy – don’t micromanage them.

6. Realize that most people are motivated long term by intrinsic aspects of a job – it’s not always about more money.

7. Ranting, raving, yelling, and screaming at employees won’t motivate them. They’ll actually think you look stupid and immature.

8. Understand that your employees have outside concerns. They can’t just turn off their personal lives at work.

9. People are emotional beings. You must deal with them on an emotional level too.

10. No matter how many classes you take and how many books you read, you’ll never know everything there is to know about management – commit yourself to an hour of reading and study per day.

11. People are individuals with unique needs, desires, personalities, and motivation. A “one size fits all” approach won’t work for you.

12. Management is not for everyone. If you see that it’s not a good role for you, do everyone a favor and get out. Your knowledge, skills, and experience will be a better fit elsewhere.

I’m sure there are many more, but that’s a good start. Think about that list this week and see where you can make some positive adjustments. This kind of development is a lifelong process so pick just a couple and set an action plan to improve. You’ll feel better about yourself and it won’t take long for your employees to notice a difference!

These principles are the focus of my latest book entitled 12 Simple (but not simplistic) Principles Every Manager Needs to know.  Check it out at www.12simpleprinciples.com!

comments

Thanks! If you liked #1, just wait for the other 11!
Malcolm
www.12simpleprinciples.com

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