Mailing Systems Technology - September/October 2009 - (Page 8)

Real Life Management Last issue, we touched on the first two components of being a great manager: picking people (selecting for talent) and setting expectations (defining the right outcomes). If you missed that issue, feel free to check out the digital issue online at In this issue, we’ll cover the last two attributes of a great manager. It’s important for managers to motivate people (focusing on their strengths) and developing people (finding the right fit). But that is easier said than done, right? You may be surprised! Motivate People: Focus on Strengths The key is to motivate people in part by focusing on each person’s strengths. Great managers focus and use people’s strengths and manage around their weaknesses. Avoid the tendency to try and “fix” people. Instead, do everything you can to help each person cultivate his or her talents and become more of what he or she already is. Develop People: Find the Right Fit The final key is to develop people by helping find the right fit. Great managers steer employees toward roles where the employee has the greatest chance of success. Jim Collin’s book Good to Great chronicles an intensive research effort that identified and analyzed the nation’s top long-term performing companies. One of the characteristics of these exceptional performing companies is that they “got the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off it. In ” other words, the very top performing companies find the right people for the right roles and then let these people determine strategy and use their talents. One practical tool that may be helpful is the Strengths Interview (from the book First, Break all the Rules by Buckingham and Coffman, which is an excellent source of research results). You can use this interview (see sidebar) with new members on your team, and you can use this annually with existing team members. Once you have determined that you have an employee that is a good fit for your team, there are some practical tools that can With Wes Friesen Best Practices of Great Managers ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS 1. What did you enjoy most about your previous work experience? What brought you here? (If an existing employee): What keeps you here? 2. What do you think your strengths are? 3. What about your weaknesses? 4. What are your goals for your current role? 5. How often do you like to meet with me to discuss your progress? Are you the kind of person who will tell me how you are feeling, or will I have to ask? 6. Do you have any personal goals or commitments you would like to tell me about? 7 What is the best praise you ever received? What made . it so good? 8. Have you had any really productive partnerships or mentors? Why do you think these relationships worked so well for you? 9. What are your future goals, your career goals? Are there any particular skills you want to learn? Are there some specific challenges you want to experience? How can I help? 10. Is there anything else you want to talk about that might help us work well together? help you in the development process. Tools include cross-training, attendance at conferences like the National Postal Forum, reading trade journals like Mailing Systems Technology, involvement in trade organizations like the local PCC, university courses, local seminars — the list goes on. None of us are perfect managers — but we can all get better. Good luck as you continue on your path to being a better manager! a Wes Friesen, CMDSM, EMCM, MQC, ICP CCM, CMA, CM, CFM, , APP PHR, is the Manager of Revenue Collection & Community Of, fices for Portland General Electric, a utility in Portland, Oregon. He can be contacted via email at FOUR KEY BEST PRACTICES OF GREAT MANAGERS According to the research, the four key activities of great managers are: Picking People: Select for Talent Set Expectations: Define the Right Outcomes 08 SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2009 a Motivate People: Focus on Strengths Develop People: Find the Right Fit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - September/October 2009

Mailing Systems Technology - September/October 2009
Editor’s Note
Real-Life Management
Software Byte
Employing Technology
Everything IMB
Ship It
Best Practices
What You Think
From the Source
Mail Managers React to Economic Times
Linking It All Together
Time Is Money
Answering the Hard Questions
A New Take on an Old Idea
Working with Higher Education
Reality Check
Pushing the Envelope

Mailing Systems Technology - September/October 2009