There are a number of things that I’ve learned in school, AKPsi (business fraternity), and even in my first couple of years working. Things are always in flux, on the move (hopefully up and to the right) and we have to adapt or perish. On a day to day basis, we deal with competitors, especially in online marketing. We see people copying ads, landing pages and other tactics. One thing that affects me the most is when an employee of mine leaves.
Recently, one of my team members departed and while it was on good terms, it’s always difficult letting go of someone who’s been very important to my team. I’ve had the honor and pleasure of hiring and training more than a handful of people and mentoring/managing almost a dozen people in my career. As a manager looking to grow my skills and team, it is important to take feedback and continuously improve. One of the most important things to keep in mind as a manager is leverage. Leveraging your own skills and talents with a team with the skills and trajectory to be many multiples better than myself.
I look back and like to think that almost everyone that I’ve had on my team has been capable of being an A+ player and highly successful in the future. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from my time as a manager:
- Be a Teacher – spend time focusing on developing your employees. Take the time to train them right, even if it means taking longer for them to come up to speed.
- Be a Student – you want to hire those who have more potential than you. Learn from them, take their feedback, embrace their good qualities and don’t shun their imperfections.
- Be Ready for Change – part of managing a highly talented team is that there’s a higher likelihood of turnover. It’s not uncommon in the valley to see great talent be poached (even internally). So don’t be shocked if someone leaves within 1-2 years.
- Hire Smart – take into account what you want in the position you’re hiring for. Be sure to have room for the potential employee to grow and move up. And most importantly, hire someone with the potential to be better than you. Often times, people can be afraid to hire someone who can be better than themselves in the fear of their own job. However, as a manager, what got you here isn’t just the skills to do the individual job, but your competency to hire/manage/grow your team. Not that I’m saying that you should bask in the glory of your teammates, but by hiring talent, you’re strengthening your entire team and your own chance at success.