My current manager at the company I work for is the most outstanding leader I have ever worked with, for several reasons.
Firstly, she creates a comfortable working environment in which her subordinates feel secure enough to bring their true selves to the job. She manages to foster true teamwork, creating a situation in which unhealthy competition and non-collegial behaviors are not welcome. This brings the team to the highest rates of collaboration and a united strength I have never before experienced, in which we all see the marketing objectives as a whole and are willing to help each other in any way possible.
Another important factor I see in her management is that she encourages innovation. This attitude provides her subordinates with the liberty to be as creative as possible. I have found myself taking my role of CCSD to places that I believe are the most beneficial for the company – even to the point of taking on responsibilities not included in my job description. It is her quest for innovation that has put the marketing department in a leading position in company, and made it a fundamental part of the company’s DNA.
My manager is also an expert at aligning others to her goals, understanding what will best motivate each person. In every project, she invests considerable time and effort to strategize how to get others on board, and she always succeeds.
As a manager, I have tried to incorporate some of these traits into my own behavior.
Having seen in action how she unites all of us with the overall mission, I try to emulate this in the weekly meeting I conduct with my team. After summarizing the work done so far, I instruct each team member on their different tasks in a way that emphasizes both the individual’s responsibility and the common goal. I enjoy seeing my team work independently but mindful of the bigger picture.
I also encourage my team to seek innovation in any aspect of our job. Whenever we start a new project, I suggest looking at it from all perspectives, seeking possible changes, improvements or even inventions that could enhance the result. In addition, I’ve been following her advice to try and bring stakeholders on board, whenever I have an idea that needs support.
There are also ways in which my management style differs from hers.
For one thing, as my team is less experienced then hers, I set definite timelines for important tasks and try to control the deadlines as much as I can, without dampening creativity. Furthermore, as opposed to my manager, who provides feedback after the planning is finished; I try to accompany the process from its early stages, to help focus my team in the right direction. This saves time, prevents frustration, and hopefully is preparing them for the time when they will have to strategize or lead a strategy process on their own.
One final way in which we differ is in how we view the lines that divide company functions. She prefers to stay within the boundaries of our department, whereas I see the value of finding ways in which the marketing force, with its special capabilities and ways of thinking, can add value to overall company missions. Thus I have found myself leading my team to work closely with the sales analysts in order to improve the information that their produce. I have also found that our knowledge in both sales and marketing can help the financial and logistic planning, and thus I make sure that one of us always participates in every supply meeting.