5. “They were fair (equity principle).”
Story: This is one area where trust is often violated. Time and time again I witnessed managers playing favorites with those who reported to them, allowing some employees to get away with behavior that was unacceptable for others. The equity principle is one of many reasons why managers need to develop Expectations, Job Descriptions, and Goals for employees. These steps will not eliminate the problem, but should help the manager think about their behavior before acting contrary to acceptable practices.
Employees expect fairness and consistency from their leaders.
6. “They ‘leveled’ with me (about reality).”
Story: For some reason managers think they can “pull the wool over” their employees’ eyes, but it doesn’t work. Keep in mind though that trust can be broken when a manager does level with their employees when they the only manager that is. That makes life difficult for that manager, and I’ve witnessed it as well as been involved in it (truth wins out in the end).
Leaders communicate openly and understand the importance of it.
7. “They were empathic.”
Story: My favorite boss, Harry, did have a big heart, and his ability to empathize with me, and others I was working with, was impressive. My favorite example was his willingness to “go to the wall” for me when I was being “attacked” by other managers. He would do that whether I was right in what I did, or wrong. If I was wrong he would let me know, and tell me, “don’t do that again”.
Leaders demonstrate this ability time and again.
8. “We won, together.”
Story: Leaders do not win at the expense of others, and are willing to walk over others to get what they want (promotion, attentions, $) are losers in my book. Being a leader is a team sport!
9. “They weren’t arrogant. They wanted to learn from me, and they knew I had knowledge that could help them.”
Story: My experience was that there were managers who never sought out advice, and others that frequently sought advice. Arrogance should be replaced with humbleness, and firmness.
10. “They were consistent (actions equaled words).”
Story: Unfortunately, even today, those in authority still haven’t learned that their behavior is what we “listen” to.
11. “I was not expected to be perfect (I was given allowances for being human).”
Story: Harry was a perfect example of this as I have expressed above. He gave be room to grow, and coached me along the way. A great way to demonstrate understanding.
12. “Values, ethics, and principles were more important than winning.”
Story: In one business that I owned there were tenants who rented space for me. I was out of the office for a meeting when two tenants got together and began talking about me in the hallway. My assistant heard them say something she did not like. She walked down the hall, supported me with facts, and said something they didn’t like. My assistant told me what happened the next day, and the same day, I received a letter from one of these tenants demanding an apology. I scribbled across their letter, “No apologies needed, no apologies given”, and sent it back.
If we don’t live, work, and play by shared values, ethics, and principles then what do we have?
Next: How am I doing? “The Case for Job Performance Reviews” personal stories
Bad Manager quotes: “He had delusions of adequacy.” Walter Kerr