By Saul Macias, MBA, PHR, Vice President of Professional Services/Principal
Leading others is hard work and it is a vital function in any organization. Oddly enough, though, very few organizations are able to make a large investment in resources and formal training to ensure that their managers are equipped to lead others effectively. We often have to rely on our own reading and experience to help us become better leaders. So I was pleased when a client forwarded an article in the Harvard Business Review summarizing the 3 Things Managers Should Be Doing Every Day.
The authors, Linda Hill and Kent Lineback, argue that building trust, building a team, and building a network are three key elements in a manager’s ability to function effectively as a leader. They offer compelling rationale for why these principles are more important than, say, workflow management, quality control, and resource management.
Managing is the art of getting things done through others. At the root of this concept is the ability to influence others, and in order to that well, there must be trust. Rightly so, they argue that trust is built when the manger demonstrates high levels of competence and character. They write, “if people believe in your competence and character, they will trust you to do the right thing.
Building a team is another key principle espoused by the authors. In this principle, the leader’s role is to define the purpose, values and rules of engagement for the group and then manage through the team. When the team is bound by a collective purpose, shared values and norms, they create the sense that winning as a team is the best way to win.
The concept of the leader’s role in building a network was not as intuitive to me as the other two concepts in the authors’ model. But it makes sense, if you think about it. Everyone and every team depends to some extent on external partners. The team can’t do it alone. So the leader must be able to build and support networks of partners that can support the current and future needs of the team.
To read more about these principles and the authors’ opinions on how to build trust, build team, and build a network, click here.
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