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‘Are there any resources you’d particularly recommend for new managers?’
We get asked this question a lot, and whilst we’ve got this newsletter and our blog, there is plenty of other fantastic stuff out there. So we thought we’d collect some of our favourites.
If you’re looking for more ways to learn how to manage (or resources for others), then we’d wholeheartedly recommend anything on this list. We’ve split it into sections on books, newsletters, blogs, communities and social media to give you various options for whichever ways you learn best.
If you think we’ve missed anything, let us know. We’ll be constantly updating it with the latest and best stuff.
There’s a lot we can learn from this.
Yes, that is the Domino’s pizza tracker.
For those who don’t use Domino’s, it updates you on the progress of your pizza once you’ve ordered it, from the order being placed to it reaching your door.
What has that got to do with being a manager?
(And no, it’s absolutely not that you should track your team more closely.)
According to Phil Strazulla, the introduction of the pizza tracker at Domino’s led to higher customer satisfaction, more word of mouth, and the ability to increase prices. When customers had greater insight into the work that went into the pizza, they showed more appreciation.
The same is true of your team and how you’re viewed by other stakeholders in your business. Both as a collective, but also in terms of building the individual reputations of your team members.
So, do key decision-makers have enough visibility on your team’s work to fully appreciate it? When was the last time you checked?
If you think they might not, consider creating whatever the equivalent would be of a ‘pizza tracker’ for your team. It could be as simple as a weekly or fortnightly email update. Talk to your boss and anyone else you’re accountable to about what updates would be useful and what format they’d like to see it.
You might be surprised at the impact it has, and how when it comes to promotions for your team how much more open senior decision-makers are to paying some higher prices.
If you’ve progressed far enough as a manager to start hiring people, you’ll know it’s one of the hardest parts of the job.
The task is difficult and the stakes are high. Almost none of your decisions will have as much impact as the one you take to bring someone new onto your team.
So when you finally find the right person, you want to make a good impression and ensure they join your team rather than the competition.
He was providing advice on ‘How can you evaluate the calibre of people at a company before joining it.’ But we can flip his guidance around to highlight some of the things potential employees will look for when interviewing with you.
Optimising your approach to these areas will help you create a great first impression and encourage applicants to join your team.
You can read the full thread and learn more from Shreyas here.
At some point in your career you may have told someone some variant of this.
‘Starting bringing solutions, not just problems’
You might even have been told it yourself.
It sounds like the kind of thing a manager should say, and appears on inspiring management training slides like this that should have died in the 90s.
Only issue is, as Lara Hogan recently wrote in a perceptive blog post, the phrase is often really unhelpful.
It's a deflection mechanism rather than something constructive for your team members. More often than not it won’t result in the ‘solutions’ that you’re after.
When we say ‘bring me solutions not problems’ what we often mean is:
Now, if it’s number one, you need to be honest with your team member about that, rather than deflecting it. If you’re the wrong person to speak to, suggest an alternative. Or if you’re just too busy at that point, then tell them to come back later.
Number two is more interesting. Rather than shutting the conversation down by asking for a ‘solution’, you can be doing more to help them get there (presumably if they had a solution and knew how to present it, they’d have done it already).
Hogan has a list of open-ended questions you can ask at this point to try and get the individual to dig more into the core of their problem in a way which will make it more constructive for both of you.
As she says:
‘Any of these open questions will put the responsibility back on this person’s shoulders to do more work to address the issue. They also make it clear that you’re not shutting the conversation down; you’re open to listening, you just need them to actively participate in the work.’