We’re all human and none of us is perfect. From time to time, everyone makes mistakes – some are inconsequential and easily fixed. Others are game-changers that result in lost opportunities, lost revenue, and loss of respect and credibility. People in management roles are rightly held to higher standards and more is expected of them. Making mistakes is part of the game and if you learn from those mistakes and endeavor to avoid making the same mistakes again, you are on the right track. Making mistakes is part of the learning experience and can often lead to great discoveries and better insights.
The problem is that many mistakes are often repeated. This happens in all kinds of businesses including credit unions. Here are 4 management mistakes that could be hurting your credit unions if they continue to be made:
Not being available. Managers need to be available for their teams. However, some managers feel as if they are “too busy” to meet with the people who work under them. I have news for you – “I’m too busy” is no longer a valid excuse for anything. Everyone is busy all the time. A big part of a manager’s job is to be available to the team members for which they are responsible. If a manager is constantly “busy” or “in the middle of something,” the team members will not be as motivated to work hard and a decrease in productivity will soon become an unwelcome reality. But that’s OK right? After all, the manager can just blame the team.
Not giving feedback. The best employees want to hear feedback on their job performance. And they would love to hear it more than once a year at their annual performance review. The best employees want to feel as if they are a valuable asset to the organization. They also want to know if they need to improve in certain areas and these employees actually welcome constructive criticism. No one is saying that managers have to give feedback every hour of every day. But too many employees are on the receiving end of the other extreme. Namely, at that annual review, they are told that they had been doing something “all along” that wasn’t quite what the manager expected. And if the employee dares to challenge the manager by asking why he or she didn’t discuss it when it first became an issue, well….bad managers have a way of remembering such affronts to their authority.
Not delegating. A manager is expected to delegate and it is perfectly acceptable for managers to expect that their team members to take direction and act accordingly. But many managers too closely adhere to the old adage, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” Now, in some cases, this credo is spot on! But if managers are constantly doing everything by themselves because they don’t trust that their teams will get the job done, it’s time to take a very close look at the reasons why this lack of trust exists. Perhaps the team needs more training, more defined goals and clearer expectations. Effective delegation is crucial to a successful team culture.
Not learning more. If you want to be a better manager, you have to focus on your own professional development. You should be reading books, articles, and blogs. You should be taking courses and listening to audio CD’s and podcasts. You should get to know great leaders in your business community and marketplace. You should be doing this every day. If you take 1 hour each day to learn more, you will get better. If you’re “too busy” to take that 1 hour a day, make it a point to get up an hour earlier in the morning. Don’t make excuses. Just make it happen.
Finally, I was honored this week to be named a Trailblazer Below 40 by Credit Union Times. I am grateful for this recognition and thanks are owed to so many people, including the readers of this blog. Whether you’re a client of mine or not, your support (in whatever form that support comes) of my mission to help credit unions get better is what keeps me motivated and inspired.