Why some managers are so effective. And what are the best managers? The ones reaching the best results? And what is the best strategy to reach that results?
These were some of the questions that were running in my mind when I decided to accept the new job as an engineering manager. To my eyes, and by the examples that I had so far, the only important thing was the final result! And to achieve that “the others” are just an instrument to reach that goal and sometimes also a threat to that. Basically what the people around me was doing was only to squeeze people like lemons creating a lot of expectations but basically not caring at all about me and my colleagues. ‘If I believe you are useful for me then I show (just show…) some interest on you, if not then I’ll try to get rid of you!’
Do I want to be like this? Of course not! It’s not me, I can’t be like that! But the new job position was very challenging and also was something that I was looking for…
I accepted the job, but still I didn’t felt well, I was plenty of doubts…
So I started to read “If Harry Potter ran General Electric”. This book has opened for me a new world. It showed me trough a simple model (Harry Potter books) that the best leaders, the best people, the most successful people in the world have solid values, strong believes and an absolutely and incredible respect for the others.
I remember that I was in Paris airport and I read the following sentence (a quotation of Sirius Black): “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
Is it so simple? YES IT IS. It opened my mind. I started thinking about how many people I know that acts like this. I realized immediately what was really making the difference between what I consider the outstanding people and the others. And it is just that simple. If you care about the others before than yourself, if you believe that everybody is important, that there is so much in everybody around yourself that you must respect every single human being.
So I decided to start my new adventure with this thing clearly painted in my mind!
Sometimes it is not easy, sometimes you have to be tough and sometimes people don’t understands you. But if you really care about others, then you will understand which is the best approach.
One thing that I do that really helps me in practice is the following: “never ask someone to do something that I don’t want to do”. Then there are roles and responsibilities. “If I was you and someone is going to ask me to do that, then I will do it, and so you have to do it too!”
A colleague of mine told me: “it is easier to run an entire plant by yourself than managing a single person.” And it is absolutely true. But when I go back home and I look in to my son’s eyes I feel in peace with myself. And this is what really matters!