Leadership is a privilege – a lesson for young managers

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Every day, there are more and more managers in Poland. In the outsourcing sector itself, nearly 20,000 team leaders, operational managers and senior managers are struggling with high employee turnover, looking for ways to engage their people and they often expose themselves to solitary coping with stress and everyday challenges. Being a manager is a responsibility. However, it is also a kind of ennoblement, because employees basically consider their supervisors as a direct representative of the company. How, then, to realize yourself and at the same time meet the needs of employees so they want to stay with us?

People come to the company, but they leave the boss – surely every leader knows this truth. By taking a managerial position, you get responsibility, but also a great benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, only a few companies prepare employees for the role of a boss. The most often promoted are those who are reliable, active, showing initiative and at least seems to at first glance that more than others are involved. Rarely are they people who have achieved a really high level of understanding not only of business but also their role as a boss. And even more rarely, the organization presents to the promoted employee the full scope of the goal and expectations of the given position. In this way, the young manager bases his work on imagination, experience with his own superiors and what he thinks is right.


The results of the exit interview, which I carried out over the years, show that in almost half of the cases the reason for leaving the company was the attitude of the manager. In addition, the results of the oldest organization of public opinion research, the Gallup Institute, show that almost 60% of the population have trouble sleeping because of their relationship with the supervisor. Being a boss is a responsible job, burdened with risks and requiring work over and with yourself. And this is not about psychological gibbering, but about the fact that you can communicate, choose responsibilities and build relationships based on your and your employees’ strengths, so that people will love their work. Especially that the vast majority of us really want to work and they like their work.


Putting the cart before the horse meaning

I like my research and I often go deeper into the results of the latest analyzes. However, reading the above data, and adding that only 8% of the society has a dream job, fills me with fear. Because in the end our children will also go to work and will also have a boss, and perhaps later they become bosses themselves. Is really the condition of Polish management so bad, then? Well, it’s not about evaluation but about understanding the causes of the current situation. On average, once a month I receive inquiries about motivation trainings and employees’ engagement building trainings. By consulting and implementing development programs, I also observe that corporations have huge possibilities and budgets for improving social conditions, further benefits and entertainment. Recently, I have suggested to the client a reduction in the number of integration events a year. Such activities can reduce discomfort, be entertaining, cause that employees will not hate their work. However, it does not make their job a dream job. Therefore, we put the cart before the horse mean – instead of expanding the leadership function and preparing employees to be leaders, we invite everyone for the next events, believing that they will improve relations and engagement.

I have written many times about the need for competence as one of the most important needs of every human being. As a reminder – this is the desire to feel their own effectiveness and to feel a sense of the taken actions. Thanks to this you are interested in your own activity, open to new experiences and willing to learn new things. So how do „games and fun” or colorful offices ensure this need?


Credibility makes a difference

I recently did a small experiment. I asked a question, to over a hundred seminar participants, who likes to know why they are doing something. As you probably guess, I saw a show of hands. You are probably wondering how it is with you now. I bet you are also one of those for whom sense of meaning and purpose is a condition of motivation and commitment. It is so obvious that up to unbelievable, how often we forget about it. Bosses happen to forget that they are dealing with people the same that they are. They make decisions and commission tasks without justification, without a broader context. „My employee, I will transfer him myself” – that is how one of the managers justified his decision to change the scope of duties for his subordinate, who was informed about new tasks by e-mail without being able to comment on this topic. Information is necessary to give people choices, and this is the foundation of effective leadership. Mahatma Gandhi said that at one time muscle strength was enough, today you have to get along with people. So, the point is to develop a set of competences that will make people follow you. Here, the basis is trust and credibility. You will not build this one through a single meeting, message or the above-mentioned integration event. In fact, it will be a long and endless process. This is one of those things that you have to constantly strive for.


„They do not know what they are doing, they do not know how it will be …”

That’s what Muniek Staszczyk and Ziemowit Kosmowski sang about. This is a song about newlyweds – it is supposued to be funny but it is a bit scary. At the same time, this nonchalant joy, happiness, hope and conviction about the rightness of a young couple’s decision reminds me of the emotions and experiences that accompany a young manager. And then comes life and it turns out that working with people is one of the biggest challenges in life. I work with experienced managers and management on a daily basis. They know very often how hard work and the number of challenges comes to a position when people follow you not because you have power, but because you let them grow. That is why, we are building programs for beginning leaders increasingly. Smart organizations know that the condition of managers determines the condition of employees. Here the metaphor of family life is hit – we are more and more conscious parents. We know that it is up to our decisions, the way we bring up and the time we devote to building relationships with children. As a boss, a leader you also take responsibility for the well-being of your people. Yes – they are adults, so they are also responsible for themselves. However, the deeply rooted sense of hierarchy and „place in line” means that before your employees surprise you with their creativity and competence, you will first have to reach them.


The proper lesson – 3 steps


– Leader’s identity

The boss’s responsibility and challenges are fantastic experiences and space for self-development. In order to draw from this fact a satisfaction and pride, determine what kind of boss you want to be? What do you want people to say about you? How do you want them to feel with you? By answering these questions, you define yourself, your leader’s identity – a kind of brand that others will love. The relationship and trust that employees give is the best compensation for the effort you need to make to be the boss you would like to have.


– Ask for help

At the moment of promotion, something strange happens in your head – suddenly you feel like you have to know everything, and in addition, do everything by yourself. Even being a boss, remember you are still an employee and, above all, a human being. Look for a mentor, refer to your own authorities, ask questions and take advantage of the involvement of your people. And while deciding on a promotion, establish a development plan with your superiors, implementation time and rules on which you will learn new responsibilities.


– Not everything HR

This function has gained its deserved rank and role in the whole management process. However, for me it is a function that meets the needs of leaders. Therefore, do not wait for someone to guess that you need support, training or additional tools to develop yourself or your employees. Report them, share your thoughts, regularly meet with your HR Specialist and build synergies that will not be experience but status. Remember, you will go faster on your own, you will go further with someone.


– Monitoring

More and more often I feel that being a boss just not happens, the man becomes a boss. It is continuous development and internal changes that result in external results. Therefore, observe, formulate goals and monitor their achievement. Adolescence is rarely pleasant for a teenager. Adolescence in becoming a boss can be not only pleasant, but above all conscious. Take advantage of this and enjoy every success. Pride and satisfaction are the best motivators. And when you develop it in yourself, you can easily give it to others.


As you wish

I know it is summer and you would like to read something light, and here is a serious topic and still so commo

n. However, half of the year and a favorable holiday climate is a good time for reflection that only sophisticated management tools and techniques are not enough today. The standards are already well-developed. Time for a human factor and a personalized approach to the
employee. This, however, starts with the approach to yourself – your goals and values. So, if you are struggling with the challenges of a young manager, let this holiday time inspire you to define your role, define yourself as the boss and set a plan to reach the point where people will fight to be in your team. There is no one effective way to be a leader, but being a boss is really a privilege.



Monika Reszko

Co-Founder of Corporate Differently

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