This summer I’m transitioning into the site director role at BUILD after three years of proudly serving as the incubator manager. Yes, I’ve known for a while, and we have been making announcements here and there in the BUILD community (during our after-school incubator sessions and a big announcement during the Business Plan Competition back in May), and I suppose now is as good of a time as any to make a general announcement about it. Indeed it is a promotion, and one that I am extremely excited about because not only will it be a huge opportunity of personal growth and professional development, but I get to do it in an organization I love, with a team a really care about, and with a mission that I value.
After speaking with our management consultant, Linda, I realize that one of my biggest hurdles will be shifting from the role of individual contributor to that of a manager / leader. Coincidentally, tomorrow is my final year-end performance review in my role as the incubator manager, and it is so neat to reflect back on my value-add as an individual contributor. I will never forget the trials and tribulations of creating and implementing my first Business Boot Camp (and only now am I truly seeing it objectively… yes, after two years, thanks to Karla‘s Results-Process-Relationships triangle), the collaboration with Randy and Adriana on “The Bridge” (one of my proudest accomplishments), and the painstaking task of creating an expansion manual for my programs (don’t get me wrong, I love creating processes, but somehow I really just love to keep them in my head, so this was a good project). Through it all, I’ve been stretched, stripped, and developed, but now it’s time to move on. Just like our students move from one phase of our programs to another, so too will I move, and entrust our excellent site program assistant, Amber, to innovate and improve the program in my place as the new incubator manager.
Oh, and I also wanted to add a book to my booklist, and it is somewhat related to my transition into my new management role: 12: The Elements of Great Managing.
by Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter, Ph.D.
The book shows the importance of employee engagement through several real-life business accounts (a la any other business-y book out there), and argues that you can manage people successfully if you implement these twelve essential elements:
- Knowing what’s expected
- Materials and equipment
- The opportunity to do what I do best
- Recognition and praise
- Someone at work cares about me as a person
- Someone at work encourages my development
- My opinion seems to count
- A connection with the mission of the company
- Coworkers committed to doing quality work
- A best friend at work
- Talking about progress
- Opportunities to learn and grow
Some of them are kind of, duh, obvious, like “materials and equipment” (who doesn’t need a computer, desk and chair these days?), but I thought some of the more interesting chapters were regarding the “best friend at work.”
Something about a deep sense of affiliation with the people in an employee’s team drives him to do positive things for the business he otherwise would not do. Early research that identified the 12 Elements revealed a very different social bond among employees in top performing teams. Sebsequent large-scale, multi-company analyses confirmed the 10th Element is a scientifically salient ingredient in obtaining a number of business-relevant outcomes, including profitability, safety, inventory, and — most notably — the emotional connection and loyalty of customers to the organization serving them. (page 140)
In short, friends watch each others’ backs. And having that culture is invaluable because not only is it good for individual and team morale, but your constituents (or customers) can feel and see it as well… And with the staff modeling it, they will then start to mimic it — e.g. If you are friends with your coworkers and show it at your youth-serving organization, your students will probably be more friendly with each other. Sounds easy enough, huh?
Maybe my first order of business as the site director with my team will be some forced bonding time. 😉
Read on for more quotes from the book:
Continue reading 12: The Elements of Great Managing