Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Managers Expect from teams

Larry Bossidy’s article,“What Your Leader Expects of You,” provides a thoughtful and thorough list of what managers’ expect from the members of their teams.

This is that list with some of my additional thoughts here and there:

  1. Get involved: Bossidy says, “Good managers know when to delegate…but more importantly, they know when to get involved.” I say, “Good managers trust staff to deliver, but they also trust staff to alert management when they’ve hit a brick wall or they’re stuck in quicksand. In other words, stay transparent. From a Scrum perspective, this means update the team, the ScrumMaster  and the SOS Master every step of the way.
  2. Generate ideas: Team players should provide ideas rather than playing it safe. Don’t offer random ideas that you haven’t thought about, but ones you’ve considered and have merit.
  3. Be willing to collaborate: Team players sometimes work in cross-functional team where collaboration is required.
  4. Be willing to lead initiatives: Team players should take initiative rather than avoiding the risky projects for the sake of having a good track record. How else will direct report learn to take initiative on their own if they don’t think it’s of value?
  5. Develop leaders as you develop: Good Team players are leaders and teachers, constantly helping others develop. For the good of the company or for the good of the team, leaders and managers coach, mentor, and help team players to be leaders and grow into future managers.
  6. Stay current: There’s nothing more embarrassing than seeing anyone not know what’s going on in their own industry, the market, or with their customers. All managers should scanning and watching the environment for opportunities or competitive threats.
  7. Anticipate: Team players and their management should anticipate what the industry, market, competitor, or customer changes mean for the company and department.
  8. Drive your own growth: Team players should want to learn more and take initiative without waiting for the manager to hand out growth opportunities. Find the white spaces in your job function that allow you to learn something new or expand on existing skills. Take control of your career path within the company.
  9. Be a player for all seasons: Business is good. Business is down. Team players need different flavors of the same skills sets for good times and bad times. Action plans against competition when you’re the market leader can be vastly differently when you are not. Be a well-rounded player for any business circumstances.

Next, we’ll look at the other side of the coin: What Teams expect from Managers.

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