Being an Ethical & Successful Manager

“If you are guided by a spirit of transparency, it forces you to operate with a spirit of ethics. Success comes from simplifying complex issues, addressing problems head-on, be truthful and transparent. If you open yourself up to scrutiny, it forces you to a higher standard. I believe you should deliver on your promise. Promise responsibly.” – Rodney Davis

So often managers are recruited and promoted into positions because of their skills, qualifications, and experience to get a job done. Often, the responsibility of leading and being responsible for and accountable to their team are neglected. As a result, people management, engagement, and development as a core responsibility for managers are not assessed or developed. This tends to result in massive problems related to productivity, motivation, and wellbeing. So what are some of the things that managers should focus on in terms of people management, engagement, and development in order to be an ethical and successful manager?

There are many different management/leadership styles. Some with more advantages than others. I personally feel a combination of transformational and servant leadership styles contributes most positively toward productivity, motivation and overall employee wellbeing.

Encourage Autonomy: Employees want to feel that they are not always given instructions on what to do and how to do it. They want to feel they are able to make independent decisions in certain aspects of their role and responsibilities because of their skills and experiences. It goes without saying that this autonomy must be cultivated within the realms of ability, processes, policies, and regulations.

Provide Opportunity: Create a culture of innovation in your team where ideas flow freely. Where those reporting to you feel like their ideas are worth sharing and are seriously considered. And that the manager is not the only creative being able to come up with ideas. Create a culture of self-development and continuous learning. Mentor and train employees to realise their full potential. Allow for flexibly to show ability in other areas so that employees don’t feel limited by a job description. It is also critical to provide opportunity fairly and equally to your employees.

Encourage Responsibility: Hold employees accountable and assist in developing their ability to take complete ownership. This is so much easier when you as the manager model demonstrating ownership of your role and responsibilities and being accountable for your actions and behaviours.

Belonging: Create the kind of team culture that says to an employee, that they matter. Do so by investing time with them. Never underestimate the enormous value of teambuilding, collaboration and consultation in decision-making and problem-solving.

Selflessness: A good manager is selfless. Everything is about we and us – not I. Especially in times of success. Credit the team, not self.

Trust: Always ensure you act with integrity. Always ensure you provide honest feedback. Always ensure you keep your promises and you keep your word. If something changes along the way, explain why, and when you need to, apologise. Don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses and be vulnerable – it will resonate with your team. Having trust goes both ways. It can be achieved in assessing and developing competency, being sincere and loyal, and getting involved. Overall it increases productivity, motivation, and wellbeing.

I invite you to actively work on developing your leadership style and transform the manager you already are. Whether you have up to now been a committed people manager who cares deeply about the experiences, development, and wellbeing of your employees or not. Learning and growing are continuous. We can all do more to become better, ethical and successful managers to our employees.

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decision, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” – Douglas MacArthur

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Until next time…

Yours in Adapting & Being


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