Here is the Fantasyland definition of management: expecting people to show up, memorize their job descriptions and “just do their job.” In other words, it’s not real. And here is another pretend definition of management: any sort of nonsense that includes things like hitting the number or growing profit. Revenue and profit are the results of great management; hitting the number does not define anyone as a great manager. That makes you a great profiteer.
A more accurate, real-life definition of management is this: doing what is needed to help talented people succeed. It’s kind of broad and certainly vague, I know, but it’s absolutely the right starting point.
You have to be very specific about the definition of success in your own management job before you can possibly help anyone else succeed. So, what is it that you actually DO to help people succeed? How would you explain your job to your grammy? Or a third grader? Or more interesting, how do you explain your job to your staff? How would your staff explain your job to others?
This is a really useful exercise…complete these five simple sentences. And then have your employees do the same.
1. I help my employees to DO the following:
2. I am responsible for my employees learning how to DO this:
3. I recently solved this important problem for my team:
4. My team is focused on this important goal:
5. The most important result my team will accomplish this year is:
You, and each member of your team should be able to finish those sentences. And all the answers should be the same.