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Six Principles for Managerial Success
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Six Principles for Managerial Success

By Dan Tenzer Sr., Vice President, ATC Government & Turbine

In my 20 years as a manager, including the last five years as the leader of ATC’s Government and Turbine division, I have cultivated a set of six principles that I believe are most valuable to assure success as a manager. I am certain that many factors and leadership styles contribute to maximize a team’s productivity, however, these six principles continue to serve me well.

1. Lead by example—only ask someone on your team to do something you would do yourself.

I learned early in my career that it is “all about the team.” The synergy of the team is a major ingredient to achieve the desired results of your business. By dedicating some of my time to working alongside my employees, I am able to communicate the value of their work to our company.

Finally, accountability is key. Being accountable for my actions sends a message that everyone on the team, including me, is responsible for the results.

2. Run meetings regularly and concisely, and set expectations for full participation.

I always remind myself about the total cost of staff participation when conducting a meeting. My goal is to start promptly and limit the time of each meeting to what’s necessary to accomplish the task(s) at hand.

It is critical to hold meetings on a regular basis (weekly); but a 45-minute meeting should suffice to reach the desired goal. When applicable, everyone attending the meeting should prepare something prior to the session to achieve maximum team input.

3. Pick up the phone—and speak face-to-face.

Too often, email takes the place of direct communication. People become complacent or detached, and choose to communicate electronically, rather than in person. Email is only one of many effective communication channels. Picking up the phone and having a dialogue is actually more effective to obtain the desired results. I encourage my employees to step out of their office and, “go down the hall”. When they speak with someone face-to-face, it helps build relationships, relationships that are vital to the results of the business.

Take it further. Call your customers, speak with them often, and meet with them regularly. There is always something to learn when in the customer space.

4. Do it now. Never procrastinate.

I have been called the opposite of a procrastinator, and it has served me well in my career. Addressing issues head on and in a timely manner is important. Any issue can become a bigger problem if not dealt with quickly. One of my key determining factors in evaluating an employee’s success is based on his/her follow up behavior. Credibility is built on doing what you say you are going to do, and doing it without unnecessary delay.

5. Understand other people’s style.

It is important to know what motivates people and to know the best channel/approach for communicating with them. Recognizing how employees work differently than I do, has been helpful in motivating them to reach their potential. I always consider the level of detail necessary to provide my employee with the ability to reach a desired outcome.

6. Get into the details.

When a team member presents me with a recommendation, it is important for me to understand the basis for that recommendation. Although it is essential, avoid getting lost in the analysis (as this can result in digression). I do perform some “hands on” evaluation, as I believe it is very important to achieve the proper outcome.

Engagement is a common thread that runs through these six principles.

Valuing the team and understanding the contributions of each individual member helps to maximize productivity, and create a shared sense of ownership for your team’s success.

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