Futurism logo

Self-cultivation as a good manager

Leading by example at all times

By Black QiPublished 2 years ago 10 min read
Self-cultivation as a good manager
Photo by Chris Greenhow on Unsplash

Knowing how to balance and make trade-offs is a lifelong necessity for managers.

-1 -

Always lead by example

The first management problem in life: employees who are not as competent as you are, is a challenge that is often encountered.

When you give something to an employee to do, you always feel that you have handled it badly, how can you get it this way?

Leave it, I'll do it.

Once you say those 4 words, you still haven't leaped qualified manager by thinking outside of the individual contributor mindset.

When I first went from employee to manager and started managing people, I was particularly struck by my leader at the time.

He did this 1 thing.

Once we were involved in a very important event, and after the event, we had to write a report and send it to the United States.

It was the first time I had ever been exposed to such an important event report and I was particularly nervous.

I carefully wrote the report in English and sent it to my boss in a long email.

Then, my boss did only 1 thing.

He marked up my report over and over. Constantly dismissing it.

Where I thought this place was wrong, where that place was wrong.

These bosses change it straight away, quickly, right?

Office Building

But he just gives me comments and just won't do anything about it.

I have no choice but to change it. Over and over again, endlessly.

After that, I put a V2 in the title of the email to say that it was the second version, Version 2.

Then I sent it back, saying that I had finished the changes and that you should... I said, "I've finished it, you can read it.

Then he sat in his little room and I was in my seat.

After reading it, he shook his head and continued tapping away at the keyboard.

He sent it back to me quickly after the changes were made.

Then I was given many more comments, and many annotations, but just not a word of change.

I was particularly irritated.

Then he continued to change it with his markings, and then he changed it again.

And so on, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

I can't remember exactly how much I changed, but it was a very, very large number of pages.

We started at the end of the day and worked on it until 7:00 am the next morning...

And finally, at seven o'clock in the morning, he said.

Well, it's done.

At that moment, I thought those were the most beautiful four words in the world.

When I think about it again today, I am grateful to the leader at that time.

Why? Because he took the same amount of time as I did.

From the point of view of efficiency, it would have been the least time-consuming for him to change it for me, but he just didn't do it.

What was his purpose in not changing it? It was to help me grow.

Only when I have understood the matter myself can I help him in this area and he can become a manager.

I think that's what makes a really good manager.

A lot of managers can't help but "watch their subordinates screw up".

They can't leap from being an executive to being a manager.

Tell us another story.

The founder of Startup Yeast, Ms. Zhang Lijun, was a teacher who was not well versed in the ways of management before she took on a team of 15 small employees for the first time in her life at Alibaba.

The result was miserable, the team she managed hadn't produced a single order for a month and a half.

These 15 subordinates then wrote an A4 sheet of paper and jointly wrote a petition saying that they wanted to fire her as a manager.

The manager was simply spiteful .....

The "joint letter" was delivered to the senior management.

But when her boss spoke to her, he said

Lijun (Cherry), there has been some feedback that you are not doing well, but I think it is my responsibility because I have not coached you.

Firstly, from tomorrow onwards, every morning you will bring your notebook and write down clearly what you are going to do today, why you are going to do it, and how you are going to do it, and I will coach you; secondly, every evening you will have a good working habit, tick off what you have done and finish today; thirdly, in any public occasion, I will support you.

Then, on every major occasion, this leader would say.

Today Lijun (Cherry) is your management, if any of you are against her, please leave, I will not let (Cherry) leave.

Many years later, Cherry, who had worked her way up from supervisor to regional manager, area manager, and general manager, would still look back on that distant afternoon 17 years ago when 15 of her subordinates had signed a joint petition, and be grateful for the feeling of wanting to go into a hole in the ground and the way the leader had handled the situation.

In the years to come, she used the same approach to coach her subordinates.

What is the "example" of a good manager?

This is it.

-2 -

Evaluate the process, not the results

Many people coming out of large companies and preparing to start their businesses are particularly fond of saying.

When I start my own business, I will never be able to manage my team in the same way as a large company.

If an employee wants to buy something, he or she has to request it, the department manager has to approve it, and it has to be submitted to the finance manager or even the general manager for approval.

If the company was bigger, there would be a special purchasing department, which would be responsible for finding all kinds of things that the company wants to buy. There are even tendering sessions where we announce to the community that we want to purchase several things and ask the whole community who is interested in supplying them to us.

After the quotations are completed, there is an internal committee that scores the three companies to see how reputable they are, how good their products are, how good their technology is, and so on.

After the scoring is completed, the quotation is submitted to the company's deputy general manager and vice president for approval, and over a certain amount, it may be submitted to the general manager for approval...

The decision-making process is too complicated and the approval process is too long. It is better to have a small team of a few dozen people, which is particularly efficient.

However, there will come a time when you will grow from a few dozen people to a few hundred or a thousand

That's when you realize that the nostalgia for a few dozen people is nothing more than the promise of childhood.

When you go from 18, all the way to 20 and 30, you miss the carefree 10-year-old again and know it's impossible to go back.

The problems that big companies face, the day you grow up, you will still face them.

One thing all managers must do.

"Process the strategy and tool the process. Then divide it into different departments and set up KPIs."

Why? Don't you have to divide it in the early days of a start-up?

A small start-up company may not know how to divide KPIs, how to divide departments and how to go about appraising them.

Once it gets to maturity, it has to go through this process: "From appraising the results to appraising the process."

The appraisal process? Isn't everything result-oriented?

Many people hate the appraisal process and feel that they have to appraise the results.

It is right to appraise results, but there is a problem with appraising results.

Once the dust has settled on the result, there is no possibility of undoing it.

You can only go back to the 'present tense' where the result has not happened, the process before the appraisal result has happened, and you have the opportunity to influence the 'result' that has not yet happened.

For example, to manage the lifecycle of a project, there are daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annual reports throughout the year.

The granularity of the project execution process is cut down to size, and when problems are encountered, timely communication is made to adjust strategies so that the results are not irreversible by the end of the year.

Really good managers, external collaboration granularity can be accurately calculated granularity, decomposition to each action, know how to assess the process, rather than the results.

-3 -

There are only balanced decisions at the time

There is no such thing as a perfect decision

A good manager also has an ability.

It must be understood that there are only relatively good decisions in this world, only balanced decisions at the time, no perfect decisions.

Take an example: Microsoft's technical support department, which has to accept product queries from customers.

How do you assess the work of the team? Microsoft has devised three metrics.

A. Time is taken to resolve each issue. This is recorded by the employees themselves.

B. Number of problems solved.

C. Total time spent working effectively. This number is the product of A and B.

The shorter the A the better, which represents technical ability; the more B the better, which represents workload.

The longer the C, the better, this represents effort. For example, some employees take 2 hours to solve a problem to demonstrate technical competence, which he records as 1 hour.

But because A x B yields C, his total effective work time is halved and he appears to be working very hard.

Some employees work 8 hours to show effort and want to appear to have worked 16 hours.

A x B = C. He must therefore record 4 hours for a problem that took him 2 hours to solve.

But this makes it appear that he is not technically competent and takes much longer to solve the problem than his colleagues.

The balance of these three indicators virtually eliminates the possibility of technical support staff focusing on one point and neglecting the others.

A really good manager knows how to balance and make trade-offs.

Final words

The culture and systems in a company correspond to the ethics and laws in society.

Managing 10 people, 100 people, and 1000 people is not the same.

To manage 10 people, you need to be the first to lead your brothers to fight, to eat and live with them, to use your perrisma to shout: "Come on, brothers, follow me!

You can't manage 100 people. You don't see every single person, so you need systems.

What should be done in what situation, if you do it, what do you get and how do you punish for not doing it?

"Do a g? od job and get a reward!", so the company is well oorganized

Maorganized00 people is different again, the loopholes in the system come to the fore, and the personality and es cannot be reached.

So it's up to the culture: "I'm happy, I'm willing", and everyone works together.

A common culture is a driving force from the inside out, a good system is a binding force from the outside in, and personal charisma is the infectious force from me to you.

Managers are not magicians and cannot work miracles out of thin air

All decisions come with tendencies, personal judgments, values, and various practical constraints.

You need to balance each element, know the trade-offs, know the compromises and then find the best choice for the situation at hand.

That's why management is an art, an art of balance.

Knowing how to balance and make trade-offs is a lifelong necessity for managers.


About the Creator

Black Qi

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

If you don't know what you want, you end up with a lot you don't.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.