Question: I was recently promoted to a managerial position that I’d had my sights on for a long time, but now I’m not sure I’m cut out for this job. It seems that everything I say or do results in a misunderstanding between my fellow managers and me. Any advice?
No, I’m not talking about coffee break romances, but rather about whether it’s possible to run a successful business with love. An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that it is.1 It uses the analogy of the computer. Love should be the operating system (OS), and the other business strategies—sales, marketing, distribution, etc.—the apps. The apps are the most visible working part of the computer, but they’re only stable if there’s a strong OS.
I have a neighbor who is a very good handyman. A while ago, he did some work for us in the house but seemed to be very grouchy and out of sorts. When I tried to help or give a suggestion, he got frustrated and snapped back.
A good executive is not a boss—he is a servant! Jesus wasn’t just trying to teach His disciples humility when He said, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”1 A good executive simply is not a dictator. He listens to his employees. When the top people don’t communicate with those under them, then of course they don’t understand them or their problems. When that happens, they’re headed for trouble!
We build our work with our attitudes and actions day by day. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind if we want to excel in our jobs.
On a recent day off, I spent the better part of the day at the zoo. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a zoo. Animals are fascinating and a lot of fun to observe, and I learned some interesting information. What I noticed, too, which I don’t recall feeling as much when I was younger, was sadness because of the animals’ lack of freedom. I’m confident they are being well cared for at this particular zoo; but can any cage, however spacious, ever measure up to the wide-open spaces of their native habitats?
Appreciation is a human need. It’s not just something that’s nice to have when possible, but something that each person needs in order to be happy and to thrive. That’s true in every setting, but it’s perhaps nowhere more evident than in the workplace. When people feel genuinely appreciated by those they work for and with, they’re much more likely to be excellent contributors and “team players.”
Often when people think of leadership, the image of the strong, self-assured, authoritative leader comes to mind—the man who uses his charismatic style to drive his team or company to success.
In today’s world, though, good managers realize that they can’t bring success to their business entirely through their own ideas, drive, and talents. Adopting and maintaining a sense of community is an essential factor in the progress of organizations, and a wise leader multiplies his efforts by relying on the capabilities and talents of his entire team.