By J.T. O'Donnell A while back, a young job seeker contacted me with a very interesting problem. He was working in the corporate offices of a professional sports team that had just won the most coveted title in its league after many years of not winning. (I can’t tell you what team it was, but let me just mention I live outside of Boston. That should narrow it down a bit.) His problem? After two years in the job, it was made clear to him by management that while he was doing great work, there was no advancement for him in the area he wanted to build his professional skills. So, he put together his resume and started applying for positions. Well, he got plenty of interviews. In fact, he said almost every place he applied was calling him. However, their reason for contacting him wasn’t to hire him. It was to ask, “Why would you ever want to leave your current job? It’s got to be the best job in the world!” In fact, his own boss had told him that the reason he would never get a raise or promotion was because it was a 'dirt-church' job. “A WHAT!?” I asked. He explained…. According to his boss, a dirt-church job is one where you are treated like, well, dirt, and toil away for six days. But, on the seventh day, you get to clean yourself up, go to church and proudly tell everyone where you work...making it all worth doing again the following week. In short, the prestige of the job is so huge that you are willing to put up with endless amounts of bad treatment, long hours and ungrateful management. Why? Because you are getting paid to do a job that, as they say in The Devil Wears Prada, “a thousand girls would kill for.” And in many ways - it’s true. Let’s be honest, the mere listing of this team as a ‘current employer’ on this guy’s resume was enough to land him interviews. Wouldn’t we all like it to be that easy? Especially, in this economy! However, it was also a curse because nobody, I mean NOBODY, believed he really wanted to move on and advance his career. It was as if they thought he was flawed in some way. With some strategic coaching on how to shift the perceptions of potential employers, he did land a new job. But, it begs the question: Is this kind of job still worth it? Years ago, I’d say ‘yes’ without hesitation. Now, I wonder? As a career strategist, I think I'd be inclined to evaluate the pro's and con's much more deeply before advising a person to take it. What do you all think? Take the dirt-church job for a couple of years? Or, avoid it like the plague? Have any of you ever taken one of these jobs? If so, was it worth it?
January 21, 2022
Some managers can motivate you from the moment they step into a room, while others simply cannot get employees to work for them at their full potential. The real problem stands in the fact that the effective manager does need to have some traits. Failure to have them will lead to failure for the entire company.
The successful business manager needs skills and talent.
Managerial skills can easily be developed as time passes through experience, mentoring, and training. However, when referring to natural talent, this is definitely something that cannot be obtained.
Productive companies will always invest a lot of money in developing and identifying truly effective managers. If this is the type of job that you are after, you should know that the following traits are necessary.
You Must Have Great Leadership Skills
This is one crucial attribute that so many managers actually lack these days.
Most companies will promote those employees that have great individual results. The problem is that a really good salesperson will rarely be a really good manager. The true leader will always be able to inspire trust, delegate responsibility, and provide direction. A manager won't be a "leader" if they cannot perfectly perform these three tasks.
While leadership skills can be gained in time, the innately talented manager will actually be able to gain all that he or she needs to be a true leader in a short period of time. This is something that is a lot more important than what many believe at the moment. Every single successful business manager out there is a leader who takes the team he or she manages and makes it work better, faster, and more effectively.
You Need To Have A Clear Communication Strategy
It is very important for the manager to have really strong communication skills. It is not enough to show that you appreciate your employees. You need to properly highlight what you want from them so that everything can go smoothly.
The effective manager has to be able to properly decipher, understand, and then relate the vision of the organization to the employees so that productivity is maintained. If communication is ineffective, employees will not understand what the manager tells them. This can lead to so many different problems in the future, and such a chain reaction can have a devastating effect on the profit of any company.
If you need help figuring out your communication style at work, take this FREE quiz. It helps you determine your communication style, and how you can use it to your advantage in the workplace.
You Must Have The Ability To Adapt
This is something that makes him/her really effective at the job. If the manager can adapt to the circumstances that are unexpected, the entire team will achieve more success in the future. This also means that a successful manager has the necessary creative thinking skills to find a new solution to any problem that may appear.
You Need To Focus On Developing Your Team
You cannot have employees that remain still when referring to the skills that they have. Any financial blog on the internet will tell you that an effective manager will make sure that employees improve and that they become better at the job that is done.
Developing other people basically involves cultivating talents and then motivating them to channel gained talents towards increasing productivity.
You Have To Build Relationships
It's a shame to see that there are still managers who do not understand the importance of networking. A manager needs to establish good relationships with potential clients and employees. Those employees who feel they are valued will always be more effective and will put in the extra effort that can bring in better results at the end of the day.
When building a relationship with an employee, it is really important that the manager showcases empathy and trust in the ability of the team. This is something that helps everyone enjoy working under the guidance of the specific team leader. Make sure that you know as much as possible about the employees—their strong points, and their weak points.
You Need To Constantly Develop Your Skills
The effective manager is the one who knows the problems that he or she has and constantly works on solving them. Career development is a huge part of career success in this job and in any other job. You need to develop in order to be able to lead employees.
If you remain at the same level, the entire team remains at the same level. That manager that continues to grow will eventually learn how to use the above-mentioned natural talents in order to make the team work flawlessly and even encourage the employees to do the same thing.
The manager who never develops is basically bound to eventually lag behind as he or she cannot adapt to the market. This and adaptability go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other.
Try to improve as much as possible with every single project that you do and always be truthful to yourself about the flaws that you have. Work on them as soon as possible and your team members will see that you put in the effort to change.
It is so much harder to be an effective manager than we think. There is this belief that you can simply learn how to be a great leader in college. This is definitely not the case. Many of the really successful managers from around the world did not have formal training. You need to be sure that you constantly grow. That is, most likely, the most important trait to have if you want to be a great leader.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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