The last time I searched and interviewed for a job I had an interesting experience. In one particular instance the interviews had gone well with the hiring manager hinting to me that it was mine. “When you come aboard Chris, we will need to…“. My inside sources were telling me I had nailed the job as well. At the 11th hour, however, everything went silent. After pushing for information I received the “dear John” letter that I had not received the position. How could this happen?
Getting my inside sources to confide I learned they were having issues with me being nice. They just weren’t sure I would get the numbers done and work well with an “aggressive” direct report. Of course I had shown them my previous positions where my teams had excelled but that wasn’t enough I guess. How did being nice become a weakness and in their eyes a character flaw for management?
I have never been an “in your face” manager. I am intense, methodical, and as one of my newest LinkedIn recommendations put it, “charismatic and motivating”. There’s no belittling, cursing, threatening and contentiousness . I am a calming helpful influence to my staff typically. I manage how I would like to be managed. As a professional.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou American poet and Civil Rights activist.
Yet I have had some organizations and previous direct reports see these character traits as a weakness. It makes them uncomfortable at some level. They will call me out and mentor me on becoming more aggressive. I actually had an upper manager mention in a sarcastic tone that I was always calm during a tough month. In other words, why was I not falling apart, yelling and threatening salespeople, making a total ass of myself.
I just don’t roll that way and I have always received more loyalty and production in the long run. I absolutely believe a manager can be nice and get the job done. I believe this is where you separate the managers from the leaders.
6 key ingredients for leadership. Do you have the right stuff?
1.) Have clearly stated goals that they understand have to be fulfilled.
2.) Be friendly but not necessarily friends.
3.) Motivate through genuine caring about their success. Understand what success is to them.
4.) They need to believe you have their back.
5.) Be available and ready to roll up your sleeves at any time.
6.) Listen and stop mentoring. Start partnering.
Don’t get me wrong. I fully understand what it means to manage. My sales teams have always understood what my clearly stated goals were for them and that there could be repercussions if they did not produce. I have had to let some go of course. There have been times where I believed in someone for them to only let me and themselves down. Sometimes at my embarrassment to my managers.
I just don’t think aggressive behavior is necessary. Intense from time to time but not aggressive. Are you a “stick” manager with constant threats and suspicious trust? How’s that working for you?© 2006-2018 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF | Posted on