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How to Manage Your People…without Having to Be a Push Over


This is a guest post by Christopher Yonker of Executive Strategy Group, a management consulting firm that works with growth-directed companies seeking to increase corporate revenue. He blogs about performance improvement and sales and marketing training. You can reach Chris on LinkedIn and Twitter.

How to Manage Your People…without Having to Be a Push Over
From my experience, one of the top self-proclaimed weaknesses of entrepreneurs and business leaders today is that of being a “push over.”

They find it difficult to confront their employees and hold them accountable. Oftentimes, issues build and stockpile until finally, the last straw is broken.

Frequently, the challenge is that your top performing employees are negatively affected by a lack of accountability. From interviews, I have found that since most business leaders want to be liked by their employees, they focus on trying not to be too “pushy” or “bossy.” Herein lies the issue. You cannot be one thing while focusing on trying not to be something else. The solution is to clearly define the type of leader you would like to be, and then to develop yourself to become that person.

Here are 3 things to consider to raise your game as a business leader.

  1. Manage By Metrics: First and foremost, you must build an environment that uses proven analytics and measures performance based on driving these numbers. You are not doing your company’s bottom-line any favors by trying to be your employee’s best friend. Whether you are buddies or not, your employee just needs to respect you, they do not need to be your wing man at the bar on Thursday nights.
  2. Build a High Trust Environment: Secondly, build a high trust environment by being a person that does what they say. Having integrity is the number one attribute of powerful leaders. When you make a commitment to your people on an action, you need to follow-through and do it. If you are making commitments and not following through 100 percent of the time, you send mixed signals to your people. In addition, if you ask someone else to own an action and they fall short, you need to call them on it. Find out why they missed the deadline and be firm on your recommendations, while exercising compassion.
  3. Understand What Motivates Your Employees: You need to understand what motivates and drives each of your people. Poor leaders try to motivate the same way they are motivated. Unfortunately, this works only a fraction of the time. Determine the personality type and motivation ‘style’ of each person in your organization. Half of the general population is “Carrot Motivated.” These types of people are looking to move forward towards a goal. When communicating with these people talk about things they want to obtain. The other half of the population is “Stick Motivated.” These people will do something to avoid a consequence. Example “I don’t want to go broke”. When talking with these people, explain how an action you want them to take will help them avoid a consequence. Understand that this is not an excuse to start to threaten your staff.

Many entrepreneurs and business leaders think that leadership and influencing others is an art. The reason for this, is that they have not found ways to replicate success in managing behavior from employees to drive specific results.

Here at the Executive Strategy Group, we have modeled leaders that are able to create impactful results. We have taken the formulation of those successful environments and we have built a system to share these strategies with others so they too can achieve the same, or better, results.

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