The 3 Things Great Managers AND Employees Do ~ Consistently

When it all comes down to it, great managers get results.  How do you get results?  It’s not planning, it’s not charisma, it’s not even passion.  All of those things are great but useless without these 3 things.

If you are not doing these 3 things, and doing them well, you are probably going nowhere fast.  That’s a strong statement, let’s see if you disagree… comments welcome!

1. Prioritize

If you just do whatever you think of, you are going to get behind.  You MUST prioritize those things you KNOW will get results above those things you THINK will get results.  And even those things you just think will get results, prioritize those too, to the ones you think will be most likely to get the results.

PRO TIP – Every morning, get on an exercise bike and open or  (2 good online tools). Prioritize tasks to ones you think are most important to get results.

2. Draft Quickly

 If you aren’t getting things done quickly, you’ll never even get through all the important things, let alone to those things you think will get results.  The best managers and employees create drafts of stuff (whatever it is) very quickly.  Then, they refine the draft later up until the point where the quality meets expectations, then stop.  They don’t over-engineer, over-design, or over-think their work: it’s done it’s done.  Ship it.  This is a key to shipping, get to a draft and see if it’s good enough.  Ship when it is.

PRO TIP – Writer’s block?  Just write it in super simple plain English.  That usually reads better anyways.  Remember, emails should be 2 or 3 sentences MAX!  I like to send emails of 4 or 5 WORDS when I can.

3. Delegate / Get Help Fast

Overloaded managers need to learn this trick: find someone you trust and ask them to “own” part of your project.   This is not asking for group-work, this is asking them to “own it” and get it done.  I’ve blogged a lot about ownership, and for good reason… it’s been a key to my personal success for years.  Not having it, but giving it out!

Not a manager?  This applies to you too.  Delegate ownership of your work if you are overloaded.  Even better, ASK FOR HELP FAST!  If you are blocked, even 1% blocked, asking for help to get unblocked will keep you moving, make your boss happy, and more importantly, teach you something that will probably prevent you from getting blocked again in the future.

PRO TIP – Develop skills that help you get unblocked.  For example, learn how to Draft Quickly!  Also, learn how to “make a simple website“.

Harlan T. Beverly, PhD on a Business Trip to Mexico

5 Things You Should Say Every Day at Work

Want to love your job more?  Want to work in a very positive work environment?  Want a raise, more responsibility, or a promotion?  Then these are the 5 things you should be saying every day at work.  Five simple phrases that can lead you to a more rewarding and rewarded career.

1. “I’ll take Ownership of this, and see that it gets done.”

Everyone is busy.  Managers and Co-workers both love it when someone else takes responsibility.  Making it explicit with this phrase will win you friends, especially when you build a reputation for actually delivering what you own.  Fail to deliver though, and people will stop letting you own, a very bad thing.

2. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Similar to taking ownership, people appreciate help when they are swamped.  In this case though, your not saying you’ll take charge, just that you’ll help in a task or two.

3. “I’m sorry, I messed up and here’s how I plan to fix it.”

Nobody likes to mess up, but it happens.  And when sh*t happens, it’s always best to own up to it, with an action plan to fix it.  Even if fix it means minimizing the damage, a plan is always better than not having one.

4. “Do I understand correctly that you are saying …?”

Fill in the blank with exactly what you think they said.  If you can demonstrate that you have completely heard them, even without agreeing, it goes a long way towards letting the other person open up about your feedback.  Dr. Stephen Covey said “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”.  This simple phrase can change your life.  Suddenly, people will prefer to speak to you because “you listen”.   Even if you don’t agree, you at least listen!

5. “Great job!”

We all have a little puppy deep inside our hearts.  We don’t want to be yelled at when we poo on the floor… we know we did wrong.   But we DO love praise when we do something right!  Say it often, but of course, only say it when you mean it.   Don’t praise poor work, no comments are needed.

photo via cc