Managers play a very crucial role in the health and future of a company. Becoming a great manager takes practice. To grow as a manager and a leader I recommend reading The Way of the Shepherd, 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People by Kevin Leman and William Pentak. These 7 steps will help reach your potential as a manager and create/maintain a team that runs like a well-oiled machine.
The 7 Secrets to Managing Productive People:
1. Know the Condition of Your Flock
Care about the people, be present and available, and engage with the team on a regular basis.
2. Discover the SHAPE (Strengths, Heart, Attitude, Personality, Experiences) of Your Sheep
A manager needs to know the SHAPE of each individual, as well as the team as a whole. The SHAPE includes: what he/she can bring to the table, his/her motivators, how they learn best, their goals, etc.
3. Help Your Sheep Identify with You
People perform best when they can trust and identify with their leaders. Full transparency of values is necessary to build that trust.
4. Make Your Pasture a Safe Place
Setting the expectations of each position as soon as possible eliminates any uncertainty. Always remember one bad link can cause the chain to break. Identifying problems and negativity early on will ensure success in the long run.
5. The Staff of Direction
Establishing boundaries without micromanaging may be a difficult balance to find, however, boundaries are necessary to maintain the well-oiled machine. The book explains the balance perfectly, “Give your people freedom of movement, but make sure they know where the fence line is.”
6. The Rod of Correction
Communicate and regulate performance in a productive manner and ultimately lead by example.
7. The Heart of the Shepherd
Becoming a great manager is extremely rewarding, however, the process takes time, commitment, and a lot of patience.
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Source: Leman, Kevin, and William Pentak. The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People. Zondervan, 2004.