Here is a really easy way to improve your performance as a leader or a manager.
Your Best Manager
Remember the best manager you ever worked for?
Do you remember how that manager made you feel about yourself? Do you remember how they helped you understand what you were capable of and the value that you could create?
Your best manager made you feel good—or great—about yourself and your work. They made you feel that you could accomplish your goals, and they helped you grow. They had a positive impact on your life beyond the results you produced at work.
You knew that your best manager (or boss) cared about you as a person, not as some cog in a wheel. When they challenged you to grow, it came from a good place.
Your Worst Manager
Remember the worst manager you ever worked for? Do you remember how they made you feel about yourself? They made you feel that you were incompetent or stupid. They didn’t help you to see that you could be or do more, did they?
Your worst manager made you feel bad about yourself. They did nothing to help you grow, mostly because they were threatened by your growth. Who knows, if you grew bigger, someone might recognize how small they were and reveal them as an impostor.
Your worst manager treated you like a transaction, like a means to an end, and not an end in of itself. They didn’t value you, and they made sure you knew it.
They Manager They Need
There is a difference between a manager and a leader. A great manager is also a great leader. And great leaders serve their people.
If you think back to the person who had the most positive impact on your life as a manager or leader, you know that they cared about you, they saw something in you that you didn’t yet recognize, and they pushed you to grow.
If you think back to your worst manager or leader, you will remember that they didn’t care about you as a person, they weren’t at all concerned by your growth (and were most likely threatened by it), and they allowed you to be less than you were capable of. They may have even neglected you.
What did you learn from your best manager or leader that you should immediately adopt into the way you lead and serve your team?
What did your worst manager teach you that you want to avoid repeating?
What does each individual member of your team need from you now?