Whether you’re a job seeker aspiring to a supervisory role or you currently hold the privilege of leading others, continual self-reflection is good practice. Yes, managers should be able to drive deadlines, manage successful projects, and be great at what they do – but there is more to leadership. Supervisors have the additional responsibility of developing their staff and exercising transformational leadership in their work culture.
Here are a few additional job responsibilities that could make you stand out as an exceptional supervisor or manager:
1. YOU ARE A CULTURAL ARCHITECT. Whether it is explicitly written in your job description or not, you help to model and lead the organizational culture of your team and those who report to you. Culture is more than setting the bar for work ethic, pace, spoken and implied performance measures and expectations. Culture is about how you take an intentional and active role in building healthy working relationship with those you lead. The classic rule of thumb still applies: “no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Human capital is your greatest asset – but no one wants to feel like they are just a unit of production.
2. YOU ARE A TALENT DEVELOPER. Transformational leaders call out the best in those they lead. These exceptional leaders work to equip, promote, and give opportunity to those they lead. Transformational leadership builds a culture that people aspire to be part of. It helps to shape your employee brand. Many managers are more concerned with protecting their territory and then fail to carve out the time to develop those they lead. Succession should always be on the mind of a leader and replacing yourself should be the goal. There will always be more opportunity for the leader who promotes others.
3. LEARN TO LEAD COLLABORATIVELY. SHRM magazine recently had a great article suggesting that a more collaborative style of leading fits better in 21st century organizations. Hierarchical models of leading do not fit the demand for innovation, creativity, and adaptability. Empowering employees at every level of the organization to contribute ideas, experiment, and collaborate with one another across departmental lines can lead to more value creation.
Aspiring to lead and manage in an organizational culture is a noble task indeed. To lead beyond position, requires leading with “heart.” Human capital continues to be an organization’s greatest asset and leading employees well requires leaders who are not in it just for the position rank.
Take a few minutes to self-reflect on your desire to manage and where you think you stand in regards to being a transformational leader.