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What do You Want to be Known For? The Management Philosophy.

Many of you have been there. You work hard for a number of years to move up the corporate ladder. One day that recognition finally comes with “Congratulations! You are now a manager!” This is a great testament to what you’ve achieved but doesn’t arm you for what comes next – managing people.

So often individuals are promoted and not given even the basic skills to help them manage people. And P.S. – your daily duties don’t necessarily go away either, so now you’ve got to balance those tasks with understanding the goals, challenges and behaviors of others. You were chosen as a leader because of your extraordinary individual contributions. Your challenge now? To redefine success in terms of the team’s effectiveness, not just your own.

One tactic that can help you feel more grounded is to create your management philosophy. This is typically defined as a core set of beliefs used by managers to guide their decisions. Think about a short list of guidelines and key elements that you believe are most important to your success as a manager. Consider past leaders you've admired - what did they do best? How did they care for and develop you? How did they help you get to where you are today?

Don Hasseltine, Vice President and Senior Consultant at Aspen Leadership Group, penned a good article on this topic. In it he wrote that a good management philosophy “serves as your moral compass about how you will lead and inspire your team. The more consistently you apply these principles the greater likelihood you will build a team that will thrive and perform beyond your expectations.” For more examples, read the entire article here -https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-management-philosophy-should-i-have-one-don-hasseltine/

In considering how to develop as a manager, I like the following analogy.


Average managers play checkers. Great managers play chess.

In checkers all of the pieces are uniform and move in the same way; they are interchangeable. You need to plan and coordinate their movements, certainly, but they all move at the same pace, on parallel paths.

In chess each type moves in a different way, and you can’t play if you don’t know how each piece moves. More important, you won’t win if you don’t think carefully about how you move the pieces. Great managers know and value the unique abilities of their employees and learn best how to integrate them into a coordinated plan.

I love the concept of great managers using a coordinated plan for success. One day, when you look back at your career - what do you want to be known for?

I’d love to hear your philosophies, managers – share in comments!




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