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Opportunities & Insights from Across Our Community
Hi everyone, here’s what we have for you this week:
Do you feel genuine pride in the products and services your company provides? In this week’s episode of The Everyday Leader, we hear from Evans Onyango, who shares about supporting clients at Ona. Listen here.
An essential factor for being an effective manager is having self-awareness of your management style. We share several strategies on growing your own self-awareness. Read more here.
How does coaching fit into the full toolkit of leadership development programs? We describe 5 options for middle managers and senior leaders. Read more here.
Read on for more details…
Diving into manager roles early in your career, being proactive and selective when seeking out a mentor, and feeling ownership and pride in the products your company provides
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Evans:
Don’t be afraid to dive into manager roles early on: Evans began his career managing a call center with around 40 to 60 agents reporting to him on 24-hour shifts. His role was to manage the team day-to-day, set goals, track their performance, and continuously coach them. Despite the challenge of being young and having people reporting to him who were older, this experience shaped his work ethic and helped him appreciate the responsibility and privilege of managing a team.
Be proactive and selective when seeking out a mentor: Evans learned the importance of choosing a mentor based on where he saw himself heading. He sought out mentors in his field who had been in positions of leadership and could provide insight into how to handle things.
Feel ownership and pride in the products your company provides: Throughout his career, Evans worked in different roles within technology companies, from managing client success teams to training and development. He is currently a Client Success Manager at a software engineering company called Ona. Ona develops tools for people doing essential work on the front lines of health and humanitarian relief efforts. One of Ona's latest innovations is a no-code product, which uses data storytelling approaches to address societal challenges, such as health access. It provides a platform for anyone to develop rich interactive maps, charts, and tables without needing much technical knowledge. What Evans loves about his role is the satisfaction of serving clients and contributing to society. He has also built his network and interacted with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, which has helped him grow as a leader.
Overall, Evans' leadership journey has taught him the importance of prioritization, seeking mentorship, continuously learning, and being proactive about career development.
How to Build Self-Awareness as a Manager
As a middle manager, you play a critical role in the success of your team and the organization as a whole. One essential factor for being an effective manager is having self-awareness of your management style. Self-awareness allows you to understand your strengths and weaknesses, identify blind spots, and adjust your approach to better meet the needs of your team. In this article, we will provide guidance on how a middle manager can become more self-aware of their management style.
The first step to becoming more self-aware is to seek feedback from your team members, peers, and supervisors. This feedback can come in the form of performance reviews, one-on-one meetings, or even anonymous surveys. It is crucial to create a safe space for honest feedback, where team members feel comfortable sharing their opinions without fear of retaliation. The key is to listen actively and avoid becoming defensive. Acknowledge the feedback you receive and use it to improve your management style.
Reflect on Your Actions
Another way to become more self-aware is to reflect on your actions and the impact they have on your team. Take some time to consider your interactions with your team members, your decision-making process, and how you handle conflict. Reflecting on your actions can help you identify patterns in your behavior and give you insights into how you can improve. A professional or peer coach can be a great sounding board and facilitator for your reflection exercise.
Take Personality Assessments
Personality assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the DISC assessment, can help you understand your management style better. These assessments provide insight into your personality traits, communication style, and how you interact with others. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help you identify areas for improvement and adjust your management style accordingly.
Having a mentor who has experience in management can be incredibly helpful in developing self-awareness. A mentor can provide guidance and feedback on your management style, offer advice on how to improve, and share their own experiences. It is essential to find a mentor who shares your values and management philosophy and has a leadership style that you respect.
Attend Management Trainings
Attending management training courses can also help you become more self-aware of your management style. These courses provide opportunities to learn from experts in the field, exchange ideas with peers, and practice new management techniques. Management training can help you identify areas where you need to improve, provide you with new tools and strategies, and help you become a more effective manager.
In conclusion, becoming more self-aware of your management style is an ongoing process that requires effort and commitment. Seeking feedback, reflecting on your actions, taking personality assessments, seeking mentors, and attending management training are all ways to improve your self-awareness. By becoming more self-aware, you can develop a management style that meets the needs of your team and helps your organization achieve its goals.
5 Development Initiatives for Middle Managers and Senior Leaders
Leadership development initiatives are programs designed to improve the skills, knowledge, and behaviors of leaders at all levels of an organization. These programs can help middle managers and senior leaders improve their leadership abilities and prepare them for higher-level roles. Here are five types of leadership development initiatives suitable for middle managers and senior leaders:
Executive Coaching: Executive coaching is a one-on-one development initiative that helps leaders identify and address their strengths and weaknesses. Through regular coaching sessions, leaders can gain insights into their own leadership style, develop their skills, and create strategies to overcome challenges. Executive coaching can be particularly beneficial for middle managers and senior leaders who are transitioning into new roles or experiencing a career plateau.
Leadership Training Programs: Leadership training programs are designed to help leaders develop the skills and knowledge they need to lead effectively. These programs may cover topics such as communication, conflict resolution, team building, decision-making, and strategic planning. Middle managers and senior leaders can benefit from these programs, which can help them build the skills they need to excel in their roles.
Mentorship Programs: Mentoring programs pair experienced leaders with emerging leaders to provide guidance, support, and advice. This type of program can be particularly useful for middle managers and senior leaders who are looking for guidance as they navigate their roles and responsibilities. Mentors can provide insights into the organization and help emerging leaders develop the skills they need to succeed.
Industry Conferences: Attending industry conferences can help middle managers and senior leaders stay up-to-date on industry trends, network with peers, and gain new insights into their role. These conferences may include keynote speeches, workshops, and panel discussions that cover a range of topics relevant to leadership. Attending these conferences can provide valuable learning opportunities and help leaders build their professional network.
Executive Retreats: Executive retreats are immersive development programs designed to help leaders develop their strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. These retreats may include activities such as team-building exercises, case studies, and simulations. Middle managers and senior leaders can benefit from these programs, which provide a focused, intensive learning experience.
In conclusion, leadership development initiatives are essential for middle managers and senior leaders who want to develop their skills, knowledge, and behaviors to excel in their roles. Executive coaching, leadership training programs, mentoring programs, industry conferences, and executive retreats are all valuable development initiatives that can help leaders enhance their skills, build their network, and prepare for new challenges. By investing in these initiatives, organizations can build a strong pipeline of talented leaders who can drive success and innovation.