O Captain! My Captain!

We all see it in the movies, the big boss sitting behind a huge table in his / her Victorian styled designer chair, whilst the employee sits quivering in their boots in what can only be considered some form of garden chair. The employer and the employee, the manager and his subordinate, Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada.” The understanding of the word “manager” can erupt fear, degradation, and those multiple sick days.

As a recruiter, my immediate question to a candidate who is in a position of power is “so what is your managing style?” Why do I ask this? Why do I need to know how you manage people and what is actually the correct answer? To be honest, there is no correct answer, but there is an increasing understanding that the so called “manager” type is needing to be downgraded and eventually discarded.

In 2017 the world is moving so fast that if you aren’t moving with it, you will be left behind. The understanding of a generic “manager” is definitely heading towards this path and that is why those in power need to look towards a leadership mentality and not that of barking orders to others. As an agency we visit many clients, allowing us to see a company from an outside perspective. Further, we attend numerous seminars by professional speakers, making sure we able to see different perspectives and gain knowledge on upcoming trends in the business sector.

From a recent seminar, I was motivated to feedback to clients and candidates alike for them to assess themselves. It is important for all of us to self-reflect and grow from information that crosses out paths.

A leader can be described in the following ways:

  • Hands-on: A leader is somebody who is willing to stay those late nights to make sure a project gets done, who will drive around delivering orders if the company is short staffed one day, and who will answer the phone if the receptionist is busy. They don’t off-load their work onto others because of their hierarchy. A leader will work just as hard as his subordinates.
  • DOING not SAYING: Have you ever heard the saying “Do what I say, not what I do?” Well that is not a leader. An employer who follows the rules of the company and doesn’t take advantage because of their title, is a leader. They stick to working hours, they take their own advice.
  • Self-Development: Constantly upskilling allows new perspective on varying aspects and therefore the ability to teach others. Coming across new aspects such as computer programs that increase productivity, new courses that employees can attend, and new motivational trends that can be transposed. There are many websites that deal with the upskilling of individuals, as well as seminars that speak directly to this point. Leaders are able to take new advice and take it as a learning curve and not as a negative criticism.
  • Motivate: All of the above can lead to the employer being seen as a motivational figure. Employees will take a cue from their employer and have found respect for someone they can relate to. Further, the new skills learnt by the employer allow him or her to put these forth in their own business.

So here’s the question, are you a leader or a manager?