As a business owner of approximately zero people, I have a lot of time to ponder how to be a good manager. . . . you know in case White Rabbit Advertising ever got big enough to have an employee or two. I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned lately is the importance of giving credit (kudos, recognition, etc) where credit is due. And giving credit where credit is maybe not as due, but using is an encouragement tool.
One of my clients, Jeff Davis with Volkswagen SouthTowne, is one of the best managers I’ve ever met. One of the things I notice about him is that he gives his employees credit for their ideas. The other night he sent me a text thanking me for the marketing ideas I’ve brought to the table and giving me credit for their success that weekend.
The thing is, anyone who knows anything about marketing knows, sure, if it’s good, it will bring people through the door. But good management is responsible for closing the deal. I’ve seen him manage his employees. He is the reason that store was so successful last weekend. And yet, he gave me credit for it. And I’m sure, he was going around giving credit to every employee for their part in making them successful.
I’ve seen a lot of business owners struggle with this issue. They want to take credit for everything that works well in their business. And then blame everyone else for anything that doesn’t work well. This kind of externalized egocentricity is not only unappetizing to employees (and thus, can lead to dissension) but can cause such an inflated sense of self that these business owners start making poor decisions thinking they can do no wrong.
So how do you stay humble? How do you stay realistic despite success? I’ve never had that problem because I’m not ridiculously successful! . . . yet. It’s an interesting issue to think about. But certainly, putting good people around you and then continually thanking them and giving them credit for what they bring to the table is paramount.