Are you a good manager?



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Are You a Good Manager?.

are you a good manager

Get the webinar

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of my professional development program can download this webinar for free.

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Assess yourself or your team: How good are you at being a manager?
  • Get a clear outline of the intangible factors that make someone a great manager
  • Improve yourself, or train someone on your team to be a better manager
  • Create a development framework for managers in your company
  • Prepare for a job interview for a management position — at any level

Here is what we talked about:

Are YOU a good manager?

This is a special and really important webinar, and I thought it was a really good topic to start the year on

There is nothing you can do to improve the bottom line of your business more than to make sure that all your managers are good managers. (some research on this)

But what makes a good manager?

I spend a lot of time on this topic. Through my workshops with clients I help educate and motivate their leaders to think and work more strategically, improve their management skills and to develop a strong personal leadership strategy.

Also in my work I get to hear about a lot of really bad managers. People are suffering out there!

Where do you land?

The webinar:

I put together this webinar to give a practical overview of what makes a good manager.

It outlines the basics of great management and provides many ideas for action to help people become better managers. The webinar also includes definitions of the more intangible traits of great managers.

This webinar: Are you a good manager? is one that I wish I had access to years ago, when I was learning how to be an effective manager and leader of people.

I had to learn this stuff through many years of trial and error! I’m happy now, to be able to share what really works with you.

What the webinar covered:

1: People: Get the intangibles right

Being a good manager, first and foremost, is about people and team. It’s about building the right team, fit for a clear purpose, and enabling and motivating the individuals and the team to function well.

I had an employee who worked in my organization years ago send me a note that said, “When I worked for you I felt like superman”.

Wow. You can’t say it better that than. So that has become my measure.

A good manager will make their people feel like super-heroes.

There are specific things you can do that build trust, empowerment and motivation. We talked about ways to delegate and to make sure that people feel that their work is important and recognized.

2. Strategy and Execution

So many executives tell me that they need their managers to take more proactive ownership of problems and opportunities.

They need their managers to think and work more strategically. They need them to personally step up to solve problems and lead improvements without being asked or directed.

Good managers also step up and lead the stuff no one else is seeing.

Great managers know that they need to think beyond what they are working on and take a bigger view of the problems that are presented to them. The webinar covered specific questions and techniques to do this.

3. Improvement

Of course, predictable execution is important, but a big part of being an effective manager is to make sure that the team also develops. We talked about how to make sure you lead your team to get better at what they do over time.

If you only deliver, but don’t increase the capability of your team, you are not doing your whole job as a manager.

4. Credibility and Team Brand

Managers also need to be effective spokespeople for the business and their team. A manager can not opt out of communicating. They need to find productive ways to share the value of what their team delivers.

A good manager is always sharing relevant information and building broad support for their team.

A Manager’s Checklist

This webinar provides an excellent checklist for any manager to rate how effective they are being, and to find out where they can improve.

It is a great tool for a development plan, OR to prep for an interview.

This webinar is loaded with valuable resources.

It includes the outline of what it really takes to be an effective manager, as well as specific “manager actions” in 10 key areas, about how to do it.

And it includes worksheets and templates on delegating, prioritizing, negotiating, communicating and performance management.

Members: Download this webinar for free.

Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

More, useful webinars for managers!

As a member, just around this topic of improving your management approach, you can also get additional webinars for free on:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Join Now
Join Now.

TODAY ONLY
USE CODE: MANAGER
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Let me be your mentor

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Members of the Azzarello Group program for Professional Development basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership to Azzarello Group is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

TODAY ONLY
USE CODE: MANAGER
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Join Now
Join Now

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Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Managing Effectively in Difficult Situations



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Managing Effectively in Difficult Situations.

Join now and get this webinar and all the webinars for free!

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.18.42 PM

Get the webinar

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of Azzarello group can download this webinar for free.

TODAY ONLY
USE CODE: DIFFICULT
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

The tough situations require the most leadership

As I grew my own career and took on bigger and bigger leadership roles, when I would encounter a truly ugly, stressful, and seemingly impossible situation, I always had the thought of, “I guess this is what leadership is really for”.

When everything is going great, you do need some leadership skills to keep projects and programs on track, but when it all goes horribly wrong, that’s when you truly need to lead!

This is a very useful webinar to download if you want to:

  • Deal with a tough situation with bosses, employees, or peers
  • Improve your self confidence when dealing with challenges
  • Push back and effectively negotiate with high credibility
  • Better understand how to manage teams going though tough times
  • Have difficult conversations when necessary

All leaders face tough challenges – It’s good to have a strategy

In this webinar, I focused on 5 of the toughest leadership challenges that we as leaders all face at one time or another. These are the situations that also come up most frequently in my Coaching Hour calls for my FORWARD program for professional development.

I wanted to share specific ways of thinking about tough situations and give you practical and specific ideas to deal with them.

This webinar covers how to:

  • Serve multiple over-demanding bosses
  • Manage a team whose work you don’t understand
  • Deal with a manager who is micro-managing you
  • Push back when there is too much work or not enough resources
  • Deal with problem performers

Increase your effectiveness and decrease your stress

In each of these areas, I outlined what makes it so hard, and gave specific ideas for how to manage it.

I talked through how to focus on the right outcomes through the conflict, and how to avoid making it worse!

I shared ideas for how to most effectively communicate and how to create the kind of clarity which removes the difficult, emotional content from the situation.

Leadership is not about getting your job done when everything lines up to support you.
Leadership is figuring out a way to get your job done when everything lines up to kill you!

Once you get your mind around this fact and begin to treat these challenges the same was as you would treat any other project, with specific plans and strategies to overcome them, you’ll be on the right track.

Want some help?

To get some help with this and learn the specific ideas and techniques that we talked about, download the webinar: Managing Effectively in Difficult Situations, now.

Members: Download the webinar for free.
Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

There are some other really useful webinars in the Member Library related to this topic.

Members get these additional webinars for free:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Let me be your mentor

Members of Azzarello Group basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

Join Now
Join Now.

TODAY ONLY
USE CODE: DIFFICULT
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Other Options:

Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)


ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

How to lead a team when you don’t understand their work



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As a manger, particularly as a CEO or general manger, sometimes you are going to be in the position of leading a group whose function you have no experience in, and frankly, don’t have a clue about!

Before I get to the specifics here, I want to say: This is OK.

The road to become a CEO or General Manager is not to spend years — as I call it — “collecting all the cards” to get your own personal experience in every single function that you will ultimately manage. The goal is to make sure you have the ability to manage those functions effectively, not to DO all those functions personally.

In fact, one of the things that distinguishes the people who attain CEO and general manager roles is that they are willing to step into a job without having ALL the experience.

Remember, everyone who has been a CEO, has been a CEO for the first time.

But at the same time, you do need a way to credibly lead those functions even if you don’t know how to do the work yourself.

Lessons learned…

I learned this lesson at a point in my career where I did not know how to do the work my engineering team did.

Although I have degrees in electronic engineering and computer science, I had not been an engineer personally for many years when I found myself in the role of managing a team of engineering managers whose jobs I did not fully understand.

The good news: from a micromanagement standpoint I was totally safe because I had no idea how to do any of the work they were doing! Because technology moves so fast, whatever technical stuff I did know or do in the past was out of date.

But then I needed to figure out what else to do! If I wasn’t going to be adding value to the work my team was doing — then what should I be doing?

This is such an important question, and many leaders miss this when they have a role to manage a function that they themselves are personally expert in.

I was lucky…

It was wonderful bit of luck in my career because this situation forced me to figure out how to add value as a manger in ways other than adding value to the work itself. If I been an expert, I think it would have been too tempting to jump in, show my expertise and try to add value to the work, (which was not my job) instead of developing my team, and making sure we executed (which was my job).

Working ON the business vs. IN the business

I talk about this dynamic of working at the right level as working ON the business vs. working IN the business.
As managers we need to realize that our work is not to add value in the detailed content, but to focus your work on the excellent, and always improving functioning of the team.

Working IN the business is competing with your team. Working ON the business is making your team more capable and creating an environment where they can thrive.

One of the things that was scary and fascinating to me at this point in my career was that after a year of managing this team whose work I didn’t understand, I was really nervous about my own performance review. I was concerned that my team would not think I was a credible leader, because I did not understand their work at a sufficient depth.

But to the contrary, my boss received feedback from all of my direct reports who said, “Patty is the best manager I’ve ever had”.

So what did I do to warrant this feedback?

I found the right course between the two ends of the spectrum which as a manager you always want to avoid: Micromanaging, and Abdicating..

The temptation to abdicate

Managers (including me) are tempted to abdicate (run away happily!) when either they know nothing about the work, or the work is so boring and distasteful that they wish they didn’t have to deal with it at all!

If you’ve got someone on your team who actually understands and wants to do this unpleasant work, it’s so very tempting to say, “Thank god! YOU take it, I trust you… Please don’t even talk to me about it!”

That’s abdicating! But here is where you have to find the right point between micromanaging and abdicating. There is no danger in micromanaging because you don’t have the knowledge and skills to engage.

The real danger is in abdicating. So if you don’t abdicate, and you don’t jump in and try to add value to the work, how do you add value as a leader?

Keep ownership of the outcome

They way that I have learned to deal with this situation is to focus on outcomes.

When you are not an expert in the work, you can still be a strong leader by keeping ownership of outcomes. Sit down with the manager and have a discussion about concrete, desired outcomes.

Here are some useful outcome-oriented questions:

1. Over the next year, what do you think are the most important outcomes your team needs to deliver each quarter?
2. Can you walk me through the rationale for you selected those outcomes? Are these internally or externally driven?
3. Who other than our team cares about these outcomes? Have they agreed?
4. Are there any other outcomes that you think we might have missed?
5. How do you propose that I should measure you and your team on those outcomes?
6. What do you see as the risks you will face in delivering those outcomes? Can I help?

I have found that my direct reports (who were expert in the work that I knew nothing about) could bring to the table excellent ideas and specific measures, and we could have a really concrete discussion about necessary outcomes.

Solid Leadership

Through this conversation you show that you care about the work, that you are interested in maximizing outcomes, and that are ready to help mitigate risks. And you will end up with a solid performance and tracking plan. This is so much better than abdicating!

Use your network

Another useful technique I have discovered is to find people who have a lot more experience than you managing this same function, and to ask them:

• What is your definition of high performance in this area?
• What is your definition of a failure?
• What are the biggest risks you need to manage?
• What opportunities do you think the best organizations of this type need to be focused on now and moving forward?
• What do you think the biggest problems on the horizon are for this type or organization?
• How do you measure your people?
• What signs should I be looking for to know if things are going in the right or work direction?

Remember your goal is to educate your self on how to manage the function – not how to DO the function.

One caveat: I’ll write about this in a future post: All aspiring executives can benefit from personally spending some time in a sales role. But you can stop worrying about needing to “collect all the cards” to get experience in everything – it takes too long and you are getting the wrong experience. You need to learn how to manage all the functions, not do all the functions.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

Simple Test: Are you a good manager?


good manager

Is every manager in your company a good manager?

If you want to positively impact the bottom line in your business, insist that all your managers are good managers.

Bad managers wreak havoc. Bad managers cost growth and profit. And I can tell you — there a lot of bad managers out there.

I know this first hand because I regularly interact with leaders from companies in many industries, from all over the world, who are asking for help in how to deal with the ugly, soul-crushing problems that arise from having a bad manager.

Here’s a sampling of bad manager behaviors I’ve been seeing lately:

  • Poor communicators
  • Sometimes backstabbing or undermining employees
  • Lack of decision making (will or ability)
  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of support
  • Poor planning and resource management
  • Unwilling, unable to give constructive feedback or deal with performance issues
  • Prevention of opportunities for development and visibility (either active or clueless)
  • Lack of ability to understand and make tradeoffs
  • Can’t stick to a long term plan, crisis driven
  • Solely politically motivated
  • A bully…

…this list goes on and on.

It will serve your business well to make sure that you select, support, train and set expectations about what is required of a good manager in your organization.

On my Coaching Hour calls for my FORWARD program for leadership and professional development — I hear so many stories of truly bad managers from the leaders who attend. It’s easy to see the negative impact on the person who would otherwise be committed and productive. They are looking for help so that they can still be committed and productive, despite being tortured in some way by their bad manager.

With bad managers lurking about in your organization, people who should be doing work are instead getting confused, discouraged, frustrated, scared, and are simply not doing the right things for the business.

You need your managers to be engaging, motivating, supporting and facilitating the right work, not preventing it.

This is one of my favorite types of work to do with corporations — to train their managers to be good managers — because it makes such a huge difference not only to the business, but to the health and sanity of everyone involved!

Here’a a quick, “Are you a good manager?” Checklist:

Every manager should be able to get a YES answer from each of their employees on the following questions:

  • Do you understand the strategy of our business?
  • Do you understand the mission of your team and why it is important?
  • Do you understand how your job fits into that mission?
  • Are you strengths acknowledged? Do you get to use your strengths in your work?
  • Do you know what is expected of you? Do you know how you will be measured? Did you have input into this process?
  • Do you feel acknowledged and recognized by your manager?
  • Do you feel informed and in the loop about information that is relevant to you and your work?
  • Do you feel like you can work without fear?
  • Are you excited about something you are working on?
  • Does your manager help you network?
  • Does your manager encourage you to meet his/her boss and peers?
  • Do you feel like you can deliver agreed outcomes without being micromanaged?
  • Do you feel like you can give your manager feedback without fear?

If you’d like to learn more about my FORWARD program for leadership and professional development or my training workshops for mid-level managers, contact me I’d be happy to talk with you about your business and your managers.

Also I offer a webinar on this topic which offers lots of practical advice.
Check out the webinar: Are you a good manager?

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page.

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.

ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download