“The Rise Fund is committed to achieving social and environmental impact alongside competitive financial returns.”
We all say that “leadership matters.” But only after I began leading a team and a company did I realize how deeply the actions and statements of a leader matter. Organizations echo and amplify the strengths and weaknesses of the people in charge. Leaders set a tone for the company.
The credibility of an organization reflects the credibility of its leader. That’s frightening power. And so everyone who works for an organization or group should demand that leaders put the broader good ahead of what has become known as “privilege.”
We asked 11 people to highlight lessons learned from their favorite managers. No matter what kind of boss you have right now, you can apply these valuable pieces of advice in your own career.
1. Own Your Work
“If she told me how to do it, I would rely on her for every assignment, expecting a 1-2-3 step guide. She was training me to be independent, self-motivated, and take pride in my work,” Chocha says.2. Remember the Goal
Rural school leaders have some of the most complex, multifaceted jobs in education. They also have some of the highest turnover. Half of all new principals quit their jobs within three years, according to a 2014 study. A national survey released in July found that principals in rural school districts are even less likely than their urban and suburban counterparts to stay at their school the following year and more likely to leave the profession altogether. The schools they preside over, meanwhile, often struggle with persistent poverty, low college-going rates and extreme racial disparities in student outcomes.
Navigating politics and learning to let go of past responsibilities were among the most unexpected aspects of their positions
Richard Carranza — Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
I’ve been principal in two different schools in two different states, so my heart’s really in the classroom, in the schools themselves. But it’s important that if anybody’s going to become a superintendent, you realize that you also have a good array of political issues that you’re going to have to deal with, [from] elected officials [and] individuals that are not elected but have considerable political clout and could affect the initiatives or agenda that you have.
Suzanne Lacey — Superintendent, Talladega County Schools
a thing I struggled with the most was just letting go of the jobs that I had done before.
Glenn Robbins — Superintendent, Tabernacle Township School District
“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” An organization is either run by visionaries or operators. Which are you?
Leadership is a privilege. Serve others each day with a positive attitude. How strong are your relationships with not only your board of education and administrative team, but also the teachers association? Relationships and communication are first. Everything else comes second.
Stay true to the district’s goals and values. Remember to embrace the infinite game, and not chase the external finite game. Focus within, not external. Coach, mentor, support and challenge. Be the leader that creates more leaders, not produces more soldiers.
1.Decreased Productivity – When a manager is constantly looking over their employees’ shoulders, it can lead to a lot of second-guessing and paranoia, and ultimately leads to dependent employees. Additionally, such managers spends a lot of time giving input and tweaking employee workflows, which can drastically slow down employee response time.
2. Reduced Innovation – When employees feel like their ideas are invalid or live in constant fear of criticism, it’s eventually going to take a toll on creativity. In cultures where risk-taking is punished, employees will not dare to take the initiative. Why think outside the box when your manager is only going to shoot down your ideas and tell you to do it their way?
3. Lower Morale – Employees want the feeling of autonomy. If employees cannot make decisions at all without their managers input, they will feel suffocated. Employees that are constantly made to feel they can’t do anything right may try harder for a while, but will eventually stop trying at all. The effects of this will be evident in falling employee engagement levels.
4. High Staff Turnover – Most people don’t take well to being micromanaged. When talented employees are micromanaged, they often do one thing; quit. No one likes to come to work every day and feel they are walking into a penitentiary with their every movement being monitored. “Please Micromanage Me” Said No Employee ever. I have never seen a happy staff under micromanagement.
5. Loss of Trust – Micromanagement will eventually lead to a massive breakdown of trust. It demotivates and demoralizes employees. Your staff will no longer see you as a manager, but a oppressor whose only job is to make their working experience miserable.
Micromanaging is the opposite of empowerment and it creates toxic work environments. It chokes the growth of the employee and the organization and fosters mediocrity.
If you want performance at scale: Select the right people, provide them with the proper training, tools and support, and then give them room to get the job done!