I see it all the time when working with my EOS clients. There are people in management seats who have had virtually no education or training on how to be a manager. In fact, often the owner of the business has suffered the same fate. We are trained for accounting, programming, engineering and more but rarely for this critical job.
I have good news for you. All is not lost. Gino Wickman and Rene Boer have written a book to address that deficiency. It is called How to be a Great Boss. You can find it here on the EOS Worldwide website or here on Amazon. There are lots of books on this subject, as you saw if you clicked through to Amazon. What makes this book different is that it simplifies the challenge. Gino and Rene offer you just 5 actions or practices for being a great leader and just 5 more for being a great manager. They believe that you have to be both. And best yet, you don’t have to change your style. You get to be yourself as long as you genuinely care for your employees and are honest with yourself as to whether you are following their recommendations.
- I am giving clear direction
- I am providing the necessary tools
- I am letting go of the vine.
- I am acting with the greater good in mind
- I am taking Clarity Breaks™.
The Five Management Practices are:
- I keep expectations clear
- I communicate well
- I have the right meeting pulse
- I have Quarterly Conversations
- I reward and recognize.
But what if I uncomfortable providing face to face employee feedback?
For example, if you are a bit introverted having one on one meetings required for the 3rd management practice might be a challenge for you. Or even if you are an extrovert conducting a 30-60 minute quarterly conversation with your direct reports for the 4th management practice might seem daunting. So I have some bonus material for you,- two companion, non EOS books. One is called Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. You can find it here on Amazon. The other is Radical Candor by Kim Scott. You can find it here on Amazon.
I wrote a blog about Fierce Conversations back in 2011. You can find it here. I just finished Radical Candor and I have become a big fan of Kim Scott. Think of both these books as coaching manuals for having challenging conversations.
In Radical Candor Kim Scott provides example after example of how she screwed up employee feedback and what she learned during her time at Google, Apple and her own company. She provides specific questions and techniques for holding difficult conversations and the logic behind doing so.
The definition of Radical Candor is the combination of both Caring Personally and Challenging Directly. One without the other is a disaster. She suggests that lacking the challenge directly component, you are engaging in Ruinous Empathy. And ignoring the caring personally component you are merely demonstrating Obnoxious Aggression.
Please let me know in the comments section what you think of these books.