Here are some of the fast takeaways from this trip across multiple time zones:
1. Every moment in front of another human being is an OPPORTUNITY to express your highest values and best self.
2. No matter where you go, people treat you the way you treat them.
3. No work is unimportant work. Even the most seemingly insignificant job is a chance to show us your creativity and make a contribution.
4. “Perfect Moments” can happen in the least likely of places.
5. Mastery Matters.
6. If you’re not lifting others up, you’re bringing others down.
7. This time is the BEST time for each of us to show our leadership+virtuosity+humanity.
8. We each have the responsibility to Lead Without a Title and do our part to build a better world through world-class work and stepping into our best selves.
There isn’t a magic formula for good management, of course, but if you’re a manager, perhaps these tips will help you be more effective:
1. Choose a field thoughtfully. Make it one you enjoy. It’s hard to be productive without enthusiasm. This is true whether you’re a manager or employee;
2. Hire carefully and be willing to fire. You need a strong team, because a mediocre team gives mediocre results, no matter how well managed it is. One mistake is holding on to somebody who doesn’t measure up. It’s easy to keep this person on the job because he’s not terrible at what he does. But a good manager will replace him or move him to where he can succeed unambiguously;
3. Create a productive environment. This is a particular challenge because it requires different approaches depending on the context. Sometimes you maximise productivity by giving everybody his or her own office. Sometimes you achieve it by moving everybody into open space. Sometimes you use financial incentives to stimulate productivity. A combination of approaches is usually required. One element that almost always increases productivity is providing an information system that empowers employees. When I was building Microsoft, I set out to create an environment where software developers could thrive. I wanted a company where engineers liked to work. I wanted to create a culture that encouraged them to work together, share ideas and remain motivated. If I hadn’t been a software engineer myself, there’s no way I could have achieved my goal;
4. Define success. Make it clear to your employees what constitutes success and how they should measure their achievements. Goals must be realistic. Project schedules, for example, must be set by the people who do the work. People will accept a “bottoms-up” deadline they helped set, but they’ll be cynical about a schedule imposed from the top that doesn’t map to reality. Unachievable goals undermine an organisation. At my company, in addition to regular team meetings and one-on-one sessions between managers and employees, we use mass gatherings periodically and E-mail routinely to communicate what we expect from employees. If a reviewer or customer chooses another company’s product , we analyse the situation. We say to our people, “The next time around we’ve got to win. What’s needed?” The answers to these questions help us define success;
5. To be a good manager, you have to like people and be good at communicating. This is hard to fake. If you don’t enjoy interacting with people, it’ll be hard to manage them well. You must have a wide range of personal contacts within your organisation. You need relationships – not necessarily personal friendships – with a fair number of people, including your own employees. You must encourage these people to tell you what’s going on and give you feedback about what people are thinking about the company and your role in it;
6. Develop your people to do their jobs better than you can. Transfer your skills to them. This is an exciting goal, but it can be threatening to a manager who worries that he’s training his replacement. If you’re concerned, ask your boss: “If I develop somebody who can do my job super well, does the company have some other challenge for me or not?” Many smart managers like to see their employees increase their responsibilities because it frees the managers to tackle new or undone tasks. There’s no shortage of jobs for good managers. The world has an infinite amount of work to be done;
7. Build morale. Make it clear there’s plenty of goodwill to go around and that it’s not just you or some hotshot manager who’s going to look good if things go well. Give people a sense of the importance of what they’re working on – its importance to the company, its importance to customers;
8. Take on projects yourself. You need to do more than communicate. The last thing people want is a boss who just doles out stuff. From time to time, prove you can be hands-on by taking on one of the less attractive tasks and using it as an example of how your employees should meet challenges;
9. Don’t make the same decision twice. Spend the time and thought to make a solid decision the first time so that you don’t revisit the issue unnecessarily. If you’re too willing to reopen issues, it interferes not only with your execution but also with your motivation to make a decision in the first place. People hate indecisive leadership; However, that doesn’t mean you have to decide everything the moment it comes to your attention. Nor that you can’t ever reconsider a decision.
10.Let people know whom to please. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s your boss, and maybe it’s somebody who works for you. You’re in trouble and risking paralysis in your organisation when employees start saying to themselves: “Am I supposed to be making this person happy or this other person happy? They seem to have different priorities.
” I don’t pretend that these are the only 10 approaches a manager should keep in mind. There are lots of others. Just a month ago I encouraged leaders to demand bad news before good news from their employees. But these 10 ideas may help you manage well, and I hope they do.
–By Bill Gates
1. Motivate people. Why are the employees there? What keeps them with your organization and stops them from going somewhere else? What makes the good days good? What makes them stick with the organization after a bad day or a bad week? Don’t assume its money–most people aren’t that one-dimensional. Ask the employees how they’re liking their job on a regular basis. Encourage them to be honest with you. Be a good listener. Then take action based upon what they tell you. If health is important to them, give them time to go to the gym and work out. If their family is important, respect the time they may need to send their kids off to school in the morning or pick them up in the afternoon. Remember, our values are what makes us “tick”. If you manage by respecting your team’s values, they will give you 110% of their effort.
2. Delegate. You’re a manager because you’re good at what you do, but that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to do it ALL. Your job as a manager is to teach other people how to do a good job. If you’re uncomfortable with delegating, however, this can be a huge leap of faith for you. One way to overcome this is to start small. Give people tasks that, if performed incorrectly, can be fixed. Take the opportunity to teach and empower your employees. Then gradually give them tasks with greater responsibility as you come to understand their strengths and weaknesses and learn how to anticipate any problems they might have so you can coach them properly before they begin.
3. Keep the door open. Always remind people who if they have any questions or concerns, you’re ready and willing to listen. Don’t be one of those managers who inadvertently makes an employee feel like they’re “bothering” you when they bring up a question or concern. Instead of seeing it as another crisis to manage, look at it as an opportunity to show your employee how much you want this organization to be a fulfilling place to work. Never minimize or dismiss their concerns, and always make sure that you’ve answered their questions completely.
4. Let people make mistakes. As a manager, you take responsibility for other people’s actions, so the last thing you want to do is be responsible for someone else’s mistakes. In an attempt to be proactive and prevent mistakes, you might give careful instructions and create clear, strict standards. But are you making people afraid of mistakes? Do they always check with you about every little thing, reluctant to make their own decisions because they might not do it correctly? That ends up making the employees more dependent on you, which makes them less effective and unnecessarily drains a significant portion of your time. In order for people to think for themselves, they need to learn, and in order to learn, sometimes we need to make mistakes. Trust them, and give them a fair margin of error.
5. Learn from your own mistakes. When things don’t turn out the way you expected, recognize what you would’ve done differently and visualize this realization to your employees. This shows them that you make mistakes, too, and it also shows them how they should handle their own mistakes. Whenever you’re doing something correctly after having done it incorrectly in the past, let whoever is watching know. E.g. “The reason I know to press this button is because this happened to me when I first started out, and I made the mistake of pressing the blue button, thinking ‘This will shut down the system, which should resolve the issue’ and I found out–the hard way–that it makes the issue even worse!”
6. Treat everyone equally. Most of us aren’t as egalitarian as we’d like to be. Many times, favoritism happens on a subconscious level. The tendency is to give more positive recognition to the people who remind us of ourselves somehow and who actually like us, rather than to the people who make the biggest contributions to the organization. In the long run, its people in the latter group who will make the most progress in achieving the organization’s goals, so monitor your own behavior carefully and make sure you’re not accidentally short-changing them, even if they give you the impression that your positive regard doesn’t affect them. Some people shy away from positive feedback but appreciate it nonetheless.
# Celebrate success with your team, whether it’s by giving them a pat on the back, taking them to lunch, or giving them the afternoon off.
# Avoid making them stay back after normal working hours. Respect their time and personal commitments and they will reciprocate by producing exceptional results for their manager and the organization.
# Forget about your credentials. Education didn’t make you a better manager. But experience can contribute to becoming a good manager.
# As manager try to communicate with your employees in proper way and avoid making them feel down.
# Being a good manager doesn’t mean being a people pleaser. If an employee keeps crossing the line or failing to meet expectations, use a feedback sandwich or nonviolent communication to correct the situation.
# If that fails, consider firing them.