how can I be a better manager?

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Answered by: Kyle, An Expert in the Leadership Category
We have all worked for a manager before who made everyone think, "Damn, how did this jerk get in the position he's in! All he does is tell us what to do, then claim all the credit for the work." But let's jump ahead he's been fired and now the position is open to you! There are a few basic rules you can follow so you can not just "manage" your crew and actually become a solid and respected leader, and in turn be a better manager.

First, you want to work in front of your crew — not beside and not behind them barking orders. If you work beside your crew they will view you as on their level, and while not a bad thing this can cause them to not want to go the extra mile for you because you yourself are not doing it. You want to work in front, going that extra mile to make the difference. By doing this your crew will want to try and get to your level. Create a challenge and something for them to strive for. I remember I worked for a pizza joint one time and we had to fold boxes. Our manager (who was a good leader) bet us a free lunch we couldn’t beat him in a folding contest. This motivated us to try and pick up our pace so we could beat him at his challenge. The free lunch was just an extra. He always made sure to bring his "A game" and held competitions like this all the time. A leader must take lead!

Second, take steps to actually solve training problems within your crew — not just ignore them. If someone is slowing your staff down don't just get mad and tell them they have to improve. Work with them so they can improve. Not everyone can advance or learn as quickly as the next and I have personally turned slow, inefficient workers into prize employees. All it took was taking a step back with them and rebuilding on their basics. Even "A game" employees can improve by looking back to the basics.

Lastly — actually care. When your employee has a bad day, ask about it and listen. I'm not saying solve their problem but show that even at work there are people who care about their wellbeing. This will go a long and I mean a LONG way in improving morale in your crew. No one wants to work for someone who doesn't care for them. It will build career-long respect and make the person happier to know that their boss actually cares for them as a valued employee and not just there to fill in a spot on the schedule until someone else fills their role after they quit.

In closing, there is so much more to being a good leader over just another boss than the topics covered within this article, but I feel that I have covered three of the stronger issues that we as management fail to do. Always give your all and naturally you will be ahead of your crew with them in your footsteps. In return, they will challenge you to be the best you can be. By giving your team the best training you can you ensure no one is left behind and everyone is working towards the same goal. By caring they will respect you and do tasks for you because they know you care about them and they want to make a difference, if for nothing more than just to help you out. A leader will always be a better manager.

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