Welcome to the first Develop Great Managers podcast for 2020.

This will be a new and fun year!!

Before we get to that, I would like to stop and celebrate 2019.

Looking at 2019

  • Launched the Podcast
    • This is no small feat…
    • Learned so much
    • Listened to podcasts and watched how-to videos
      • Pat Flynn does a podcast called  Smart Passive Income (renamed now) where he provided lots of great information on how to make a podcast.
    • Learned how to record and edit on Audacity
    • Purchased a good microphone (Yeti Blue)
    • Decided on Libsyn for hosting
    • Hired a freelancer through Upwork to do sound quality cleanup, especially to fix my mistakes (Pat) and for remote recordings (eg. Zoom)
  • Interviewed 23 Great Managers
  • Completed 2 Panel Sessions
  • Created 48 Episodes
  • Collected Feedback and Improved my style and the questions
  • Smashed my Goal of 500 with Over 900!

I just want to say THANK YOU!!

Now on to 2020.

In order to make the podcasts more valuable, I will move to focus more deeply on the topics that are most important to you.

This will give me more time to get into the details.

I will spend one to two months on each topic. During this time, some of the podcasts will be just me, and others will include invited guests. There will continue to be interviews with great managers. These will be interspersed with podcasts on various topics.

Before getting into the topics that I plan to cover, I want to step back and talk about why I am so focused on managers.  There are two primary reasons…

First, there really isn’t much on management or specifically, on how to be a better manager. I would like to fill this gap.

Second, and most importantly, I believe managers are critical to the success of any organization or company.

And third, I see managers as the engine that makes sure things get done for organizations or companies!

There have been a few notable companies that questioned the value of managers. The one that was most visible in this was Google. They looked to prove that the quality of a manager didn’t impact a team’s performance. What they found through their research was just the opposite. Managers can have a significant impact on business outcomes and employee engagement.

This research produced a list of the most important traits of a manager.

  1. Be a good coach.
  2. Empower teams and don’t micromanage.
  3. Create an inclusive team environment, showing concern for success and well-being.
  4. Be productive and results-oriented.
  5. Be a good communicator — listen and share information.
  6. Have a clear vision/strategy for the team.
  7. Support career development and discuss performance.
  8. Have the expertise to advise the team.
  9. Collaborate.
  10. Be a strong decision-maker.

A pretty good result in the end!!

Gallup completed research it calls “The State of the American Manager” where they point out some very similar findings.

Key stats.

  • Gallup employee engagement stats show neither employees nor managers are engaged.
    • Only 30% of employees are engaged at work.
    • Only 35% of managers are engaged at work.

Put 10 people in a room and chances are 7 of them aren’t happy to go to work in the morning. I’m depressed just thinking about that…

  • …and managers are to blame for the low engagement.
    • The manager accounts for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement.
    • 50% of Americans have left a job to “get away from their manager at some point in their career.”

Wow, this research is so clear. We desperately need managers to ensure that our employees are engaged. Engaged employees do great work!

So back to how I can best help.  There are lots of descriptions out there of what makes a great manager. Here is mine.

  1. They have their team’s trust
  2. They aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty
  3. They want you to succeed as individuals and as a team
  4. They are transparent 
  5. They are innovative
  6. They take risks
  7. They say no
  8. They encourage collaboration
  9. They give credit where credit is due
  10. They find time to have fun
  11. They have found their life balance

I plan to focus on topics that address the items on this list. I will not follow the list directly but over the year will hit on most or all of them.

At the end of each podcast, it is my intent to give you one suggestion. Something that I think you should do related to the topic that was just covered. Since I did not cover a topic this time, the suggestion that I will make is related to the time of year. A kind of housekeeping item.

I would like you to think about 2019. What were your successes and what would you have liked to have done better.

Find a way to celebrate the successes. It doesn’t matter whether this is small or large. Anything from telling your significant other what you did that you are proud of, to going out to dinner or even taking a vacation. Enjoy what you accomplished.

You will remember what you could have done better. That is enough. Move on.

Thank you again for the great 2019. Here is to an even better 2020!

See Also

Inc – Google Wanted to Know What Makes a Manager Great, So It Conducted a Study. Here Are the Results

Gallup – State of American Manager

Categories: Leadership


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