Manager Basics 101 by Jim Johnson


Whether you are a new manager or a seasoned one, there are some basics we all need to do on a consistent basis:


You’ve got team members you are responsible for. Invest serious time with them. Review their performance on a regular basis. If they are struggling to meet some goals, work out a plan with them that will get them back on the right track. Ask them questions:

“If you ran this company, what would you change?”
“What you are doing today that seems to be a waste of time? (maybe they don’t know the reason for that task…maybe it IS a waste of time…maybe it’s time to change it…
“What do you want to be doing in 5 years? How can I help you get there?”

Spend time talking and spend intentional time observing them doing their job. No one wants to be talked to about their performance when the coach is never seen. Your feedback will pack a better punch when you observe what your team is actually doing.


When you have a coaching session, document it. When you have to council a team member, document it. If you or your team has a negative experience with a customer that might pop up again in the future (in court?), document it. Not on a post-it note. Not on a scrap piece of paper. If you use a performance tracking system, log your interactions there. If you don’t have one, use a app like Evernote to keep your records.


Keep abreast of your industry. Read industry periodicals. Read books that will challenge your thinking and give you ideas you can use. Read blogs from industry leaders. Read articles that will give you insight into your business today and into the future. I am hooked on the app Flipboard. You can set up what you want to see and you will see snippets of articles (think Klipplinger Letter). If you want to read more, tap on the article and read the entire article.


Every coach wants their team to win. Work to achieve that goal. Make sure your team is aligned with your company’s goals and vision. That won’t happen by accident. You have to talk about the goals. Email updates to your team. Make sure they are reading corporate communications about the goals. Celebrate your victories. Shine the spotlight on your star performers.


Keep your team in the know. They will appreciate you for it. Keep your boss in the know. You’ll build a better relationship with him/her. Communicate with your colleagues. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

There’s more to managing than this. Feel free to share your ideas here!

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