My focus this month is on management, particularly five things managers must give up and why. This topic aligns with something else I’ve discussed in the past: the relationship between management and leadership. To further our discussion, I’ve invited past blog contributor, John Webster, to chime in. I think you’ll find his points in this Q & A to be quite refreshing. I also believe he offers a unique perspective because he’s not a traditional manager. He manages contractors – something which is rising in popularity as more folks establish virtual businesses. Here’s the interview…
You currently manage a team of contractors – how does that differ from employees in your eyes? What challenges are unique to managing contractors?
Working with contractors keeps both sides of the relationship in check because either is free to exit the relationship at almost any time, with little to no repercussions. The largest challenge with a high performing contractor is maintaining the relationship in such a way that the contractor is incentivized to stay in the contract relationship. Many do not believe me when I say that most times it is simply an abundance of praise and appreciation that maintains the relationship.
What do you believe is the biggest myth of management and how do you work to combat it?
The biggest myth is that a manager must be task master. I believe a team functions best when they understand the principles of an organization and the goals that are needed to succeed. Then one simply has to believe they made good hiring choices and allow those who he/she has chosen free to use their unique abilities to fulfill the tasks.
In your opinion, how do leadership skills play a role in management?
Someone with good leadership skills is worthy of following. Managers are simply people in a position of authority, often placed there through seniority or through a high level of skill in a specific task – it is rarely because they have true influence of other people. When an individual possesses the traits of a leader (strong character, ability to cast a vision, giveaway credit and shoulder the blame) he/she should never have to manage the team’s activities. Rather he/she will be able to work at removing obstacles, create opportunities and hold the team accountable.
John loves technology. He’s passionate about harnessing it for business owners who want to use it in their marketing, but who don’t have the expertise and skill set in-house. His areas of expertise include: marketing, tracking and data analysis, website design, blog design, traditional and search engine marketing, and marketing consulting. John sums up his approach to business this way…“I am a simple man, really. I don’t build junk and I don’t believe in taking shortcuts, I value quality over quantity, I believe the best things in life don’t come easy, and I offer superior service that speaks for itself. I’m a straight shooter who is willing to work hard for those who are invested in long-term growth.” Click here to visit John’s website.