Let’s imagine that we had the luxury to work where we wanted to, to choose the company we worked for, and to even choose the boss/supervisor we reported to. What would we want?
In one sense, we would want someone to hire us, and then leave us alone to do our job. But that is not really what we want.
What we really want is someone to hire us, and then do everything possible to help us get better at doing our job – this current job, and what ever job is next.
And we definitely do not want to work for someone who is hurting our ability to do our best work.
These thoughts come from two insightful excerpts from The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton:
If you have a great job — one with unlimited growth opportunity, a manager who is interested in your development, and that gives you a sense of mission and purpose — you have about the best life you can have at this time in human history.
If a leader chooses good managers, everything works. If a leader assigns the wrong person as manager, everything fails. Nothing fixes bad managers, not coaching, competency training, incentives, or warnings — nothing works. A bad manager never gets better.
So, here are the traits:
A great job has:
- Unlimited growth opportunity
- A manager who is interested in you (as a person) and in your development
- The ability to instill within you a sense of mission and purpose
A bad job/bad work situation is:
- One with a bad manager.
I find his conclusion, that “nothing fixes bad managers… a bad manager never gets better” pretty disturbing. And sadly, I agree. I’m convinced it is possible to take an average manager and make him/her better. It is possible to take a person who has the “potential”’ (what a loaded word) to be a good manager and help that person develop that potential. But nothing fixes a “bad” manager.
Now, what do we all do with this?
How about: if you are a manager, work really hard at being a good and always-getting-better manager. If you are a bad manager, fess up… and do something else. Because if you are a bad manager, you are hurting the people you manage.
And for all of us, we need to aim at growing, developing, and focusing clearly on fulfilling the mission and purpose of our organization.
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis