Question for the Mindful Manager: Is Success Short-Lived?

Question for the Mindful Manager: Is Success Short-Lived?

Business expectations remain high for success. There are numerous stakeholders to please and in most cases, success is measured in numbers. Yes, stats and lots of them. Most of our work has a quantifiable measure of success. And it should. If it cannot be measured, why manage it?

Yet, can the daily, monthly and yearly number crunching sustain a manager’s feeling of success?

My dad used to say, 100 years from now, no one will remember and no one will care. Not a bleak outlook – just a plain reality. The ancient prophet said, “we are like a mere breath, our days a passing shadow”.

Think deeply about it. What lasting endeavors can you remember that influenced your development as a manager? Was it achieving a sales production goal three years ago (do the numbers matter anymore)? Was it the quality scores of a particular product last year (audit criteria always changes)? Was it the service survey results your team had six months ago (the survey was biased anyway)?

But, I bet you can remember the people who took an interest and encouraged your growth. These people poured themselves into you.

Sustained success is not measured in tangible toys, titles, status, metric pieces but it’s with people. Someone invested in you and now, it’s your personal investment in others – to guide them for peak performance and career success. No matter how advanced with high-tech we become, people will be tasked as teams to design, innovate, coordinate, encourage, and build. We need people. How you treat them is imperative for success.

Your management role is critical right now – for today since tomorrow holds no promise. How do you keep employees motivated to do their best work that has a long lasting impact? How do you keep your people inspired after losing production, quality, and/or service quotas? How do you pick your team members up to move forward?

You are responsible how you spend your time for the present day and hour. Your best work is focused on building and strengthening relationships with employees. I coach clients to review past successes and view their accomplishments with a fresh perspective. Enjoyable success comes from understanding and using the strengths you were born with. Your management success involves investing in your people encouraging, coaching, inspiring and motivating them to use their best talents.

Here are six questions to help you examine your management perspective as you lead your employees:

  1. Check Motives: is your work for personal selfish gain or for the betterment of the employee, the company and the marketplace? Remove the ego… as you stay focused on the needs of your people rather than your own.
  2. Coach Culture: do you take time to dialogue with your team as a coach or do you manage through monologue? You can positively impact your company culture by your readiness to listen, care, and speak with (not to) your team.
  3. Share Talent: is your best work gladly shared – to help your team exceed in their work roles? Are you drawing out their prominent strengths for their best work?
  4. Build Up: do you encourage your employees with your words and actions or do you tear them down? When was the last time your employees heard you cheering them on for success?
  5. Encourage Growth: do you provide opportunities for their development and growth?
  6. Open Door: how often are you available to listen to their work (and personal) concerns and issues? Once a year – during a performance review – is inexcusable. Stay approachable, frequent, and meaningful in your conversations.

Take the initiative to value everyone on the team by recognizing their individual special contribution to the bottom-line. Integrate company mission and purpose with your team’s work. For some managers, this is a natural fit. For some, they should find another role (or company) since employees tend to vacate under their lackluster and negative style.

Numbers come and go. Metrics change. Economic results will wane as each year comes to a close. Let your success be in the quality of the relationships you build, treasure, and sustain. This will be what people remember. You become a manager, or better yet, a coach who makes a positive impact being present and caring for the lives of your employees.

And your success will not be short-lived.