Saturday, 28 January 2017

Questions you must ask to yourself, to become a Successful Manager/Leader

questions you must ask to yourself



Should I Become a Manager?
If you are considering a management role, there are these questions you must ask yourself and discuss with at least one trusted advisor:

1. "Why do I want to be a manager?"

People often want to be managers because they want to:
-Tell people what to do, instead of being told what to do
-Make more money
-Solve all of those nagging problems and show everyone else the right way to do things
-Move to a nice office or more prestigious surroundings
-Become noticed
-Prepare themselves to become the next CEO
Some of these things may happen, and some are just plain myths about management. For example, new managers often find out that:
-They now have more people telling them what to do than ever before
-They may make less money
-Problems that looked like no-brainers are really way more complicated than they thought
-Increased exposure can be a double-edged sword
-People don’t always do what you tell them to do
 “Few Myths about Management.”
The decision to become a manager is an important one and should not be taken lightly. It’s important to do some self-reflection, and examine your values and true motivations.
It’s also important to make this decision based on facts, not misperceptions. Here's a list of some of the common “myths” about management, along with the reality.

Myth number one: The best performer on the team is the most qualified to be the manager.

Reality: The skills that lead to success as an individual contributor are very different from those needed to manage. It’s true that top performers usually are the first ones to be considered for promotion – and they should be. High performance should be a pre-requisite for promotion to a manager, but it shouldn’t be the only consideration. The ability to enable others to improve their performance becomes even more important. High performers often have never struggled in a job, and have no idea why anyone wouldn’t have the same work ethic and want to succeed like they have.

Many new managers are frustrated to discover that the same skills that made them the best individual contributor don’t work when it comes to managing others.

Myth number two: Managers get to order people around.

Reality: Managers do have more power, authority, status, and access, but these privileges do not guarantee that a manager has influence. High achievers usually do what their managers ask them to do. Then, when they get promoted, they find out that’s not always the case with their former peers or new team.

Influencing the actions of direct reports is just one type of influence. A manager also has to rely on their power of persuasion and collaborative skills to influence peers and others as well.

Myth number three: Managers are mean, and care about nothing but the bottom line.

Reality: Leaders care about the success of others and the success of the business. While it may be true that managers can’t be friends with their employees, they can be and often are respectful, caring, and fair. They realize that’s the only way to ensure long-term, sustainable high performance.

Myth number four: Managers have a lot of freedom.

Many new managers believe they'll have far more freedom to make decisions and take action than they had as individual contributors. Some may also assume that they'll have more free time than before, because they'll have direct reports to handle a lot of the work that needs doing.

Reality: Managers often have far less freedom to act alone than they might have anticipated. There’s a lot more people to look out after, influence, and add to their network.

There’s a whole new set of duties, obligations, and relationships. I’m sure there a lot of CEOs and business owners that sometimes long for the days when they were starting out and had more freedom.

Myth number five: Managers make more money than individual contributors, and

Myth number six: Managers make less money than individual contributors.

Reality: It really depends. Commission salespeople, artists, athletes, and scientists often make more than their managers. Management doesn’t always mean more money – it’s just a different type of work that requires different skills. As a general rule of thumb, more money usually comes with greater responsibility.

Myth number seven: You can prepare to be a good manager by taking a training course or reading books.

Reality: While you can learn a lot through training or reading, it’s also important to:
-Get as much practical experience as you can. Look for off the job leadership opportunities, get practice leading meetings and interviewing, practice your influence and relationship building skills, and be seen as a leader well before you’re promoted
-Observe and learn from other managers. Watch what the good ones do and ask them how they do it and why. And of course, learn what not to do from the bad ones.
-Courses are books will help, but it won’t truly sink in until you have a chance to apply what you’re learned.

Myth number eight: A manager needs to be the smartest person on the team.

Reality: I actually heard a senior manager say this in a training program. I wanted to set my hair on fire! First of all, it’s incredibly arrogant to think any one person could know more about every job on a team than the people hired to do those do jobs. That is, unless the manager has hired a team of village idiots!

Also, although a reasonable amount of intelligence (IQ) is essential to be a successful manager, an extremely high IQ is not a predictor of leadership success. In fact, it could even be a detriment. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a much more accurate predictor of leadership success.


Becoming an effective manager often does provide a chance to:
-Have a larger impact on the organization because of the larger size of your role
-Help your employees develop new skills
-Help your employees achieve their own career goals dreams

It’s important to be honest with yourself about what your real motivations for being a manager and have a realistic understanding of what the role is and is not. Don’t go into management for all the wrong reasons. After all, some of the best employees make lousy managers.

2. "Do I have what it takes to be successful?"

Once you’re clear on your motivations, the next question is an even harder one to answer – do you have what it takes to be a successful manager? That’s a hard question to answer if you’ve never been in the role, so to some extent, there’s some guess-work involved.
Read “How to Get Management Experience When You Aren’t a Manager,” and get as much experience as possible to see if you have what it takes.
We know there are certain skills and attributes that can be demonstrated in a non-managerial role, that if done well, are predictors of managerial success.
Review the list of attributes in the article “What is a “High Potential”?” and try assessing yourself against this list of criteria.
Better yet, ask your manager and others to assess you. If you’re lacking in any key areas, that’s OK – most of these things can be improved with awareness, practice, and feedback.
Other management skills are learned and mastered once in the role and with experience.

3. "What do I want to become?"

New managers often find that due to the nature of their role, they end up changing how they see themselves and how others see them. People around them may start seeing them as more:
-Aggressive
-Demanding
-Dictatorial
-Harsh
-Indecisive
-Arrogant
-Overly serious
-Guarded
Sometimes the changes are so subtle and gradual we don’t even realize we’ve changed, or we tell ourselves, “That’s just how I have to be at work – it’s not the real me.” The reality is, if you’re not careful, you can end up becoming a person you don’t want to be.

Instead, start with a vision of who you want to be as a manager – and even more important, as a leader. What’s the legacy you want to leave on your organization and others? What kind of a leader do you want to be remembered as? Who are the leaders you admire the most? This list of characteristics become your own personal leadership vision statement that you’ll use as a north star to make sure you’re not straying from who you want to be.

Do a little soul searching before you’re offered that promotion. Taking the time to ask and answer these three questions will help ensure your success as a manager and leader.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Traditions for English Learners…

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Christmas is one of the most important holidays in the English speaking world. There are many Christmas traditions in these countries. The traditions are both religious and secular in nature. Here is a short guide to the most common Christmas traditions. What does the word 'Christmas' mean? The word Christmas is taken from 'Christ's Mass' or, in the original Latin, Cristes maesse. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on this day. Is Christmas only a religious holiday? Certainly, for practicing Christians around the world, Christmas is one the most important holiday of the year. However, in modern times, traditional Christmas festivities have become much less related to the Christ story. Examples of these other traditions include: Santa Claus, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and others. Why is Christmas so important? There are two reasons: 1. There are approximately 1.8 billion Christians in a total world population of 5.5 billion, making it the largest religion worldwide. 2. And, some think more importantly, Christmas is the most important shopping event of the year. It is claimed that up to 70 percent of many merchants' annual revenue is made during the Christmas season. It is interesting to note that this emphasis on spending is relatively modern. Christmas was a relatively quiet holiday in the USA until the 1860s.

Why do people give gifts on Christmas day? This tradition most probably is based on the story of the three wise men (the Magi) giving gifts of gold, incense and myrrh following the birth of Jesus. However, it is important to note that gift giving has only become popular in the last 100 years as figures such as Santa Claus have come to be more important, and emphasis has been shifted to giving gifts to children.
Why is there a Christmas tree? This tradition was begun in Germany. German immigrants moving to England and the USA brought this popular tradition with them and it has since become a much loved tradition for all. It has other stories even.. Where does the Nativity Scene come from? The Nativity Scene is accredited to Saint Francis of Assissi in order to teach people about the Christmas story. Nativity Scenes are popular around the world, especially in Naples, Italy that is famous for its beautiful Nativity Scenes. Is Santa Claus really St. Nicholas? Modern day Santa Claus has very little to do with St. Nicholas, though there are certainly similarities in the style of dressing. Today, Santa Claus is all about the presents, whereas St. Nicholas was a Catholic saint. Apparently, the story 'Twas the Night before Christmas' has a lot to do with changing "St. Nick" into modern day Santa Claus.

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