Random Observation/Comment #344: I naively used to believe that middle management was bloated overhead that made little contribution to team deliverables and mostly twiddled their fingers in their corner offices (I think I watched too much of The Office). After a few years of work experience noticing the battle of budget, resources, ambitions, and ego, I’ve come to respect the intricacies of management and its role of not only guiding a team, but also representing it.
Before I joined Credit Suisse, I’ve never had a true manager. I had teachers, professors, project managers, lawyers, team leads, and bosses, but never someone who fit all the aspects of a true manager. In my current group, I am lucky enough to have a true manager with the right balance, charisma, and leadership to inspire the team, shield us from bureaucracy, and keep everyone productive.
Here are the values and principles that I’ve learned from observing effective management:
- Trust. This is a two way street and forms from an underlying relationship with the team. My managers do not need to micromanage, but rather trusts each team member will take responsibility and ownership of their projects. They instill the importance of the project and its success.
- Open-minded/Transparency. My managers listen to each team member and considers new ideas. They welcome input and explain the logic and reasons behind certain decisions. There are fewer commands and more discussions.
- Spirit/Motivation. My managers keep the group uplifted in troubled times. They keep it real, but point out the silver lining. Happy hour celebrations of the good have also kept us motivated.
- Team Investment. What is a manager without a team? What is a leader without its followers? I believe the whole point of management is to make a team productive and focused on completing a common goal. In order to do this, my managers recognize each team member’s contributions and praise them appropriately. They invest time to help individuals solve their own problems, and they don’t just see us as headcounts.
- Representation. My managers fight for me. I don’t know all the details around the politics of the horizontal strategies or platinum initiatives, but I assume it’s a struggle to keep headcounts and defend projects/applications. Without clear representation for our interests, our hard work and jobs can be on the line. The team roams free in the fields knowing that the fences will be guarded safely.
- Leading by Example. My managers are experienced and smart. I trust and respect their decision making skills because they always act in the team’s best interest.
Effective management delivers results while silently hiding in the shadows. It’s an underlying force that mostly goes unrecognized. It’s difficult to find a true manager, and I am personally very grateful for my good fortune. Thank you for the guidance and support that makes me feel like I have one of the most awesome jobs in the world.
~See Lemons Managed and Happy