Supervisors and Managers - My Thoughts
Supervisors and Managers Role
As we work everyday we find that we have those that are leaders, followers, helpers, and position holders. I have over 15 years of managerial experience, however in the last 10 years I have worked as a employee or agent instead of a supervisor or manager. There is nothing wrong with being an agent, matter of fact it is a wonderful place to start from. I am learning to humble myself, be meek and mild when learning new exciting things on the job. My goal however is to be a supervisor or manager again. It's not a role of power as some believe it is, it is actual a role of servitude. Now, mind you this is my thoughts on this role.
I have worked with micro managers, managers that were place holders, and leaders. The difference between and micro manager, place holder and actual leader are as follows:
1. Micro Managers are insecure, not trusting, always looking for an issue, always jumping in when they have no clue, not willing to listen to both sides of the story, always making excuses for the people in the wrong and always looking at everything you do waiting for you to mess up.
2. Place Holders are overly confident in their skills, feel they don't have to tell you anything because you are on your own, it's your job learn to do it. They don't have your back when you need them and they don't really care if you show up for work at all. Their focus is their paycheck and how many friends they have in the office.
3. A leader is an awesome example of caring, but has the balance of being firm when needed. A leader is someone who guides you rather than pushes you or does not get involved. They want to know both sides of the story before making a decision. They encourage creativity and not afraid of making a mistake but helps you to learn from them how to handle mistakes. A leader invests in their people and allows their people to grow. They don't become subordinates or beneath me or under me people but fellow workers. A leader is someone who marches to a tune of communication and uniformity but not to the extent that it becomes communistic or irrational. A leader has your back when their times when you are right and the other side is wrong. A leader is like a guiding light that helps you through your career and guides you to the next level.
I found myself looking deeper into this when I decided to make my goal to be a Supervisor or Manager within the next 6 months to a year whether it's managing processes or people this role is a person who guides the processes or people. As I looked back on my previous experience as a Supervisor and Manager I realized my strengths and my improvements. My strengths are that I am a positive person, a communicator, a knowledge seeker, a confidant, and someone who is cheering others on and helping them in any way I can to move to the next level. I love being able to assist others to reach their goals. My needs improvement area is being a good listener stop interjecting my thoughts when not asked and start taking time to digest the information given. I feel like I am getting better with this and I have cultivated some tools in order to do so. As I am reading books to better my leadership skills, taking classes, and also now I have a mentor, this will guide me into my next phase in my life.
I believe that supervisors and managers are guides, not tour guides more so like train tracks or maps you can rely on to get to your destination. They are supposed to provide you the information, tools or the instruction to help make you better. Of course its upon you to listen, take notes, take action and want to be guided, if you don't want to be guided then you would probably be happier working for a place holder. If you love the motherly type and want to work for someone that is always aware that you are at your desk and tells you every 5 minutes that your queue is empty or full then you would be happier with a micro manager. If you want someone that takes the time to meet with you, to listen to you and not get intimidated if you want to move up to a different position but encourages you to do so, then you want someone that is a leader.
I asked myself recently what are the qualities of a great leader, manager, supervisor, or Senior Representative that I would like for me to work with. The reason I asked myself such a question because you would not want to work with someone that doesn't have the qualities you want and need to move to the next level. You wouldn't want someone that was not motivated, complained everyday, always late, and never willing to help would you? I would love to work with someone that treated me as an person, challenged me helped me build up my skills, gave me confidence, sent me motivational emails from leadership conferences they attended, willing to share their negative and positive experiences with certain job actions or processes. I would love to work with someone who was mindful of confidential talk, not trying so much to be my friend but my leader. A leader is honest but discerning on how that honesty will come across, not sugar coating words but also understands the emotions of the person they are speaking with but not getting too close to the extent that your leadership is no longer a guide but a friend that can be taken for granted.
This is the leader that I know I am, after I have taken communication classes, personality assessments, and also examined myself in a leadership role I found out that I am the leader I want and need for myself and others. I take the lead when no one wants to, I remember when I was a little girl in high school, at that time 8th grate was high school, there was a bad tornado and we were told to go to the basement of the gym. Everyone was screaming the teachers could not get everyone to be still or go to their designated area for safety because the teachers were hiding from the storm, I stood up on a chair and yelled QUIET!!! then everyone about 20 students looked at me, I said everything will be fine please go into the locker rooms and stay there until you hear the intercom state we are safe to leave, please do so now, thank you. Everyone looked at me and said why didn't someone say that in the first place, it felt great. I got off the chair and went into the locker room and everything was fine. I loved that. Sometimes through chaos a calm voice helps others to make the right decision.
I know I am an excellent leader because I encourage people to follow their dreams. I had an awesome leader her name is Wendy, she would challenge me by giving me projects to do and a time frame to do it, trust me with confidential information, guide me when I was getting off course and listened to me when I was frustrated. She also knew how to use my skills and give me more to do. She knew that if I sat there idle that I would lose my mind but she also knew that I knew how to keep myself busy. She knew I had the skills in developing processes or reorganizing process flow, create flow charts, train others etc... She would find ways to help me build my skills, fine tune them and make me better. I love that, I miss working for her/with her. I see her everyday and able to talk with her but I know she has never told me I couldn't do something, or that's not for me when I told her what I wanted to do, she would encourage me to find out more, to work with other departments, find someone in that field and see if that's what I really wanted to do and when I was done I was able to see what I really wanted and try harder to get there. I miss her but she has been promoted to a higher level but is still a humble and honest person I can go to when I need her. That's how I want to be.