The Care and Feeding of Managers


Managers are the single greatest factor in retaining employees (Gallup Organization, State of the American Workplace, 2012). Nurturing good managers is therefore crucial to building great companies.

CEOs should provide their managers with development opportunities and professional coaching. Having a coach helps managers build stronger skills, capacity and resilience. Companies that offer coaching enjoy marked performance improvements—not only from managers, but from those who report to them, as well.

Executive coaching allows managers the time for introspection, which is necessary for ongoing learning. Job pressures frequently drive managers to take on too much work, encourage interruptions (open door policies), respond quickly to every stimulus, seek the tangible and avoid the abstract, and make decisions in small increments. Effective managers consciously deal with these pressures, taking time to step back, view the broader picture, seek others’ expertise and carefully review analytical information.

On Becoming an Effective Manager

Conquer the challenges associated with managerial demands by developing introspection skills and insights. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Be aware of which roles you naturally prefer. Don’t ignore those that make
    you uncomfortable. Stretch beyond your usual limits, depending on what the situation calls for.
  • Be sure to disseminate information to others so you can delegate more and help your people grow more self-sufficient.
  • Avoid the traps of superficial decision-making because of time pressures. Make use of other experts and analysts. You do not need to have all of the answers.
  • Schedule time in your calendar for the tasks you believe are most
    important. Don’t let daily pressures crowd out time for reflection, innovation or
    other critical values.

If you feel there’s no time for introspection, let alone to stretch yourself any further without snapping, you’re not alone. But that’s why so many successful managers have an executive coach working with them to assist them in creating new habits and practices to build capacity for successful leading.

If you would like a partner in sharpening habits and practices and to be your best as a leader, contact me.


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