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The Role of the Manager

The Role of the Manager

I have long considered management to be a calling. In my view, to call management a job, position, or title is completely missing the mark.

I believe that the truly great managers of the world have answered their calling to bring the very best out in people, maximizing their potential. They count their successes in counting the people who thrive working with them —not for them, but with them in the pursuit of a common cause.

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Management is situational and complex; it is mentoring opportunity which happens individual by individual. If I were to reduce it to its essence, I would boil management down to four things.

1. People: Managers concentrate on strengths and make weaknesses irrelevant.
Discover what strengths each of the people you manage possess.
Place people where they are called on to employ those strengths and capitalize on them.
Give people authority to completely own their responsibilities.

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2. Place: Managers create great workplaces where people thrive.
Focus on creating an environment where rewarding work happens.
Continually work to remove obstacles, barriers, and excuses.
Be the steward of the organizational culture.

3. Mission: Managers get the work to make perfect sense.
Connect the work to be done with the meaning why.
Plan to succeed with a viable business model, so people always see realistic possibility.
Encourage people to work on the enterprise with you, not just within it.

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4. Vision: Managers expect and promote the exceptional.
Never settle for mediocrity; champion excellence so people rise to the occasion.
Lead, mentor and coach. Harness energy and drive action. Do with, not for.
Foster sequential and consequential learning so people continue to grow.

How does your day-to-day behavior as a manager compare to this checklist?

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Rosa Say

is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is the founder of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership. Her most recent online collaboration effort is JJLN: the Joyful Jubilant Learning Network. For more of Rosa’s ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives; you’ll find her index in the left column of www.ManagingWithAloha.com


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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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