Great management is always genuine...
t's unlikely that when the Kotzker Rebbe, made this statement he had any sort of management training in mind, but I think it’s a very relevant idea for managers, at any level of an organization.
He’s teaching us about being genuine and true to ourselves. Perhaps even more importantly, we cannot let external factors affect who we are. Our fulfillment should be derived internally and certainly not from someone else’s standing. Often, managers get caught up with status, honor, salary, prestige, credit etc. It’s perfectly natural to want to be appreciated and rewarded accordingly for you work, but it should never be your focus.
A manager should have their own style, without being afraid of owning it. There is no one way to manage, as first and foremost you need to be yourself. For example, as a new manager maybe you want to be more hands on that you would ordinarily be, or that your employees would like. You can say to your team members, “It’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s just that I am new to the job and want to have a good grasp of the details. This way, they understand that your micromanagement has a purpose.
Additionally, don’t shy away from acknowledging self-growth areas with employees. “I’ve received some feedback that I (fill in the blank) sometimes, so if you see me displaying this type of behavior, please feel free to point it out”. Your employees will be able to relate to you much more so if they see that you too are human, and of course, genuinely mean it.
Being genuine also means…
ALWAYS acting the same no matter who is in the room. If you try and impress a more senior manager, or visitor, your employees will pick up on it immediately, especially if you’re feeding them tall tales about your team.
Being truthful to everyone, always.
You pay attention to your employees. Previously, I’ve written about the importance of developing good listening habits. Genuinely listening to people is as important management trait as any.
Being truthful to yourself. What are my limitations? When should I ask for help? Is there data to support my decisions, or is it, “I am the manager and therefore I decide”?
You are as self- aware as possible. Are you intimately familiar with your own strengths and weaknesses? What character traits should you work on as a manager and where do you need to develop? If you aren’t sure just ask around! (It pays to develop at least one strong relationship with another manager in your department who won’t be afraid to give you feedback when you need it.)
You care about others. Are you truly concerned with your employee’s welfare or do you simply pay lip service to them? If someone was out for a week with a sick child, do you call them to check up on them and make sure they are ok without making them feel guilty about missing work? Do you ask how everything is when they return or is it back to business as usual?
Never talking about someone behind their back. If you have something to say about someone it’s best to say it to that someone. This goes double for talking poorly about someone else in the company to your team.
You give heartfelt praise or compliments to people. A kind word can go a long way to building up capital with employees, but you don’t do it for that purpose. You do it because it’s true and real and for no other reason than to make that person feel good.
Perhaps most importantly of all, being genuine means there’s no need to feed your ego. Your fulfillment is from within and you are self-confident enough to realize that.
We are all human, and everyone has their own character flaws. Employees might forgive their managers for many things, but it’s tough to pardon phoniness.