Even if your management skills are world class, you still can't be the best possible manager unless you first take the simple steps outlined in this video and focus on yourself first.
- For most people, managing a team is hard work. If you don't believe me, do a search on Amazon.com for the category of management and leadership and you'll find around 4,000 or 5,000 titles released just in the past 90 days. Why do you think there are so many different management books? Well, it's not easy, that's why. Helping others to do their best work is challenging. I'm not going to even try to recount any of the many different management theories. As Peter Drucker famously said, "most of what we call management consists of making it "difficult for people to get their work done." Instead, let met tell you what I believe are the two most important areas of focus for a manager in disruptive times.
The first focus of a manager has nothing to do with managing your team. If you want to become a manager of the future, your first focus has to be you, you first. Why does the principle of you first matter so much? If you're doing the work that you feel you're meant to do, or at least you're on the path to doing that, you will inevitably be better at your work, and therefore you're going to be better as a manager. But if you don't feel that you have the right portfolio of work, that you're not doing what you're meant to be doing for work, you're going to have a much harder time helping others.
It's also much harder to serve as a role model for your team. I don't necessarily care what process you use to be very clear on the skills you love using the most, there are many different approaches, what matters most is that you firmly believe that you've been given some deep and recent insights into what makes you different, what makes you tick. Whatever your preference, it's important that you update those insights regularly. Remember, the fundamental shift towards lifelong learning means that we're all constantly changing and adapting, using new skills and polishing old ones, so it's critical to have a recent snapshot of your personal abilities and goals.
Now, obviously I'm not trying to puff up your ego and tell you, you first means you matter more than your workers. Instead, I want to make it clear you have to do your own career homework on a regular basis or you won't be anywhere near as useful to your team as you could be. Remember too, that the world is changing rapidly. If you aren't constantly updating your understanding of the work you most enjoy doing, you kind find your work environment shifts dramatically overnight and you'll suddenly need to adapt and dramatically.
What's the second critical area of focus? Making sure your team members are all aware of their own unique skills and knowledges and are doing the work they most want to do as well.
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- Dealing with disruptive change and the new rules of work
- Establishing a new contract with workers
- Rethinking job qualifications
- Hiring for diversity and inclusion
- Identifying key skills for adaptive workers
- Helping your team become lifelong learners
- Leveraging automation for your team
- Becoming an adaptive manager
- Making human resources a partner
- Recognizing when your adaptive strategy is working