After deciding to write a blog my first thought was…I’m not a blogger I’m a mudder, referring to race horses who do better in the mud than on the soft smooth surface of a dirt track. I’ve heard about blogs, seen speakers on talk shows who write blogs, but have never written one. So, knowing what I knew about blogs, I reached out for help. Thankfully I have contacts that were more than happy to offer guidance.
As a manager, I rely on others to complete many tasks and projects. I think about who can complete the project, who has the time, and sometimes who will need the least oversight. Now I know that sounds bad, but we all do it whether you want to admit to it or not. We are all stretched thin and we can’t complete all project ourselves. We must depend upon our staff to make us successful. Projects that are lengthy are the perfect opportunity to trust and develop our employees. Give them the opportunity to not only grow but to shine. The questions of capability and oversight should not be major factors. We should choose employees who are trying different things or taking on more without being asked. Even someone always looking to make operations better would be a good choice. These folks like challenges and need to be challenged. They will take the project and run with it. But more importantly we can’t forget about those who are less inclined to jump in when the opportunity arises. These are not “bad” employees, they simply like to stay within their comfort zone. These folks are capable too and often have ideas on how to improve. They need to be encouraged and offered the same motivation then given the same opportunity to grow. They will require help, they will ask questions, and they will require some of our time. And yes, they will also make mistakes. Mistakes are how they learn. We all have had someone at some point in our careers that gave us an opportunity to step up and do more. These mentors guided us when needed, they gave us room to work and they were there when we needed them. Mr. Green is the person who did this for me. Even to this day when I feel I have accomplished something special within my job I say a big thank you to him. We as managers owe our success not only to our hard work but to our employees and to those who helped us along the way.
Is this the perfect blog? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Is it a bad blog? Debatable. What it is though is an opportunity. An opportunity for me to move outside my comfort zone to learn and grow. This is something we all need to do regardless of where we are within our organizations. As managers and leaders, it is our responsibility to promote and encourage those learning opportunities for our employees too.