I'm crazy-busy with the finishing of Behind Closed Doors, so I'm starting another series of blog posts, this time about management myths. (When I'm in a series of posts, it's easier for me to stay focused on writing a post every or every other day.)
I've worked with many managers and teams who think there is One Right Way to manage. Nope. There are as many ways to manage as there are managers and people to manage. But there are handful of practices that make sense:
- Learn what people are doing and learn where they are stuck.
- Provide feedback and coaching to reinforce great work and develop new capabilities.
- Prioritize the work and complete the strategically important work first.
We (Esther and I) recommend managers use one-on-one meetings and project portfolio management techniques to accomplish these goals. But every person in unique, and the best advice we have is to get to know your people so you can determine how to accomplish this.
Here's an excerpt from the book's preface:
If you don't know what people are doing, you can't organize the project portfolio. And if you can't organize the project portfolio, you can't know whether the work is being done well and on time, or if your group can take on more work, or if you need more people. You just don't know. And that's just not acceptable for a manager.
If you're a manager, how adaptable are you? Can you manage each person individually and fairly, and still perform a manager's work: deliver results and develop capacity? It's hard. And necessary.