What is a Manager?
Ensuring paper and employees are pushed forward is the function of a manager, right? Err. Wrong. While these are certainly aspects of the manager’s role, the whole focus is missing. Managers are a critical part of the structure -- and success -- of a business as they cultivate the individuality of their teammates into a high-functioning collective more than the sum of its parts. How?
- They coach. Attuned to employee idiosyncrasies, company expectations, and active tasks, managers direct each employee and the team as a whole toward excellence.
- They build. Like a carpenter of empowerment, managers create the container for their team’s best output and autonomy.
- They encourage thinking, not just doing. Managers are the social influencers of the org, living examples of the norms that establish everyone’s approach.
- They plan. Working within the team’s level, managers create a tangible vision and strategy for achievement.
- They are inclusive. It’s a manager’s responsibility to nurture team conditions so everyone’s perspectives and ideas, results of their unique experiences, are considered.
- They are a conduit. Managers are highly connected across the organization, utilizing their network to drive collaboration, share information, and resolve discrepancies.
- They are subject experts. Having their own solid knowledge foundation, managers are able to lend their advice when appropriate to their team and outside entities.
- They are decisive. Managers are able to look at both the forest and the trees to take clear initiative, while also taking responsibility as a team.
And yes, managers also work in partnership with the HR team to develop their employees on their career journey. This comes hand-in-hand with the everyday coaching. They are also there to oversee work completion alongside project managers (or, there is no additional project manager.) But in order to do either of these, an effective manager comes from a place of servant leadership, focused on the growth and well-being of their team, a well-oiled machine.