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career advice bookTo continue giving you an inside look at my new career book, RINGMASTER, I want to share another excerpt.

Each chapter in the book concludes with a section titled “Manager’s Spotlight” in which I speak directly to organization/company management, giving them advice on how to put what I’ve just talked about in that chapter into action as a leader.

If you’re not a manager, this section is still helpful for you because it shines a light on what you should expect from your manager, and prep you on how to prove you’re management potential.

The Manager’s Spotlight I’m sharing today is one of the first in the book.

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Per a recent article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, when organizations were surveyed and asked, “To what extent does your company know your strengths and put your strengths into play every day?” only 20% of people agree that their organizations do this to a great extent. That means 80% of employees feel that their managers and teams don’t recognize or utilize their strengths well!

This is a two-way street. Both the employee and the manager need to make an effort in identifying the employee’s brand.

But before you the manager can start talking about how your team members can or should identify their brands within your department, you need to lead by example. If you don’t walk the walk, don’t talk the talk. It won’t work and you’ll lose respect. Remember that these tools and approaches not only strengthen your individual team members’ abilities, but can help them cope with the changes in your organization.

If you can define your personal brand, then you can help others who report to you do the same thing. Start observing where each of your employees shines and finds enjoyment. It would help to have regular meetings with them and talk about what parts of their jobs they like most and least – you might be surprised at what you discover. For example, you might find that some of their issues stem from not feeling adequately trained or prepared. But you won’t know until you ask.

Focus on building around their strengths because you will get more out of them as workers if they are using the innate skills that define their brands. Your job is not to develop employees who are perfect at everything. That’s the old-school manager’s way of thinking. Your job is to help them deepen the knowledge and expertise that will focus them on their natural strengths. If you want superstar performers, this is how you get them! Patience is required, but the end result is a team that is able to activate their abilities more easily and cope with change more readily.