Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Four Practices of Effective Managers

Photo by ntr23

At its most basic, management involves a few set of practices that are deceptively simple. As the old saying goes: it's not hard, it's just hard work. When we struggle as managers, it is often because we have failed to do one of the following:

1. Set clear expectations.

Most often when I observe managers (including myself!) experiencing difficulties, it is because we have not established clear expectations. Expectations come from many sources: the team itself, the manager, the organization. Regardless, if they are not clear, they will not be met.

2. Train and equip.

After clear expectations, the next pitfall is in assuming that everyone has the knowledge or skills to meet those expectations. Ensure your team members are set up for success!

3. Reinforce expectations.

Most of us are flooded with information. Think about how easily you get distracted. We all need reminders from time to time about where we're going and why we're going there.

4. Celebrate and practice accountability.

Accountability doesn't only mean discipline - real accountability celebrates our accomplishments and gives us course corrections as needed. We can easily demotivate our teams by failing to acknowledge success or by not holding everyone accountable.

Whenever I find myself challenged with a management issue, I first look to these four steps for a solution.

*Bonus Practice: #5. Get out of the way.

If you have a team of motivated people and are consistently practicing the first four steps, it's time to get out of their way and watch what they accomplish!

David M. Dye

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Twitter: @davidmdye
David shares twenty years experience teaching, coaching, leading, and managing in youth service, education advocacy, city governance, and faith-based nonprofits. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Colorado UpLift and enjoys helping others discover and realize their own potential.

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At July 20, 2011 at 2:51 PM , Blogger Mary said...

I think this post is getting printed and posted at work. Love the way you put this--its simple, factual, and easy to implement.

At July 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM , Blogger David M. Dye said...


Hi Mary and thanks for reading. I'm glad this post was helpful!


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