Give people what they need, not what they want

Oh, the guilt…

“People leave managers, not companies.“

As a passive aggressive parting shot from an unhappy employee, or a cautionary tale to scare people off being “that manager”, it’s common enough that everyone’s heard it (and probably nodded along, too).

Thing is, if we take it too much to heart and do our best to avoid anyone ever picturing us when someone mentions that phrase, we might be doing our teams a disservice. I’ve talked to a few people now that have experienced life at different companies and the funny thing is, they talk about the managers who had high expectations – that they felt at the time was a bit unfair – as the ones who had the biggest impact on their development overall.

So if I could give some advice to a new manager it’s probably that if you’re doing everything on the basis of avoiding having that finger pointed at you, you’re probably self aware enough that you’d never actually be “that manager”. 

Don’t be scared to find a healthy balance between supporting your team and setting expectations.

Reps should know you’ll jump in to help if they really need you – but when they arrive for a pipeline review, they better have their house in order 😉

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