Managing in the Public Sector: Seven Steps for Stellar Success
Do you associate managing with more-is-less, I’m doomed, and it’s-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it? Does thinking about all your managing duties make you queasy?
Take heart! And a Pepto-Bismol while you’re at it. All is not lost. With my modern approach to management, you can shine, even thrive, while delivering performance appraisals, running quarterly meetings, and charming coveted vendors.
My new and improved version of managing others means being true to yourself, capitalizing on your strengths, and tossing aside ‘rules’ that don’t match your natural personality style. My latest book, the internationally released Managing for People Who Hate Managing: Be a Success by Being Yourself is already available in 6 languages and as an audio and ebook. Because I have a special fondness and admiration for federal workers, I offer to you seven unique, effective techniques for successful management in the public sector.
Here are a few tidbits to whet your palate.
1. Be true to you. You are better qualified to be you than anyone else. Harness your natural strengths. Don’t fight your own (mostly) loveable disposition. Transform your presumed liabilities into assets. Stamp out advice that demands you behave in ways that drain you. Inauthentic behavior backfires always, causing you to blow out faster than a sixteen-wheeler on hot summer asphalt.
2. Make a solid first impression. Cognitive scientists say it can take up to 200 times the amount of information to undo a first impression as it takes to make one. Who has that kind of spare time? Not you! Show up with the best version of you, every time.
3. Be selective. Prioritize your energy; manage your time. Just say no. I hereby release you from the obligation of straggling to every business opportunity crossing your path. Let go of what you should do; free yourself up to what appeals. You will shine in the process.
4. Listen. Ever sense your remarks shoot off a cliff and crash to the ground? Who needs that kind of pressure? Rather than yakking about your own opinions and accomplishments, focus on those around you. Ask thoughtful questions. Impress via a sincere interest in others rather than promoting your fine self.
5. Single task. Multitasking is so 90s. In reality, we only do one thing at a time. Direct your attention on a single task. Even more importantly, decide the person in front of you is the right person for you to focus on at that moment. You’ll thank me later. So will your direct reports.
6. Prove yourself. Show, don’t tell. Rather than boring others with a canned advert of how marvelous you are, demonstrate live-time your fabulous self. Be positive, helpful, gracious and upbeat. Learn names. Maintain eye contact. Greet others with a warm smile and leap at every chance to be helpful. You are not ‘too important’ for anything you ask of others.
7. Disentangle. As Goethe wisely reminded us, ‘Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’ Disentangle yourself from gossip, petty concerns, and negative energy. Remember what matters most and pick your battles. Let go.
Be a manager on your own terms. You can succeed beyond your wildest expectations…while having a bang-up time along the way.