Everyone Deserves a Great Manager | Scott Jeffrey Miller

Summary of: Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team
By: Scott Jeffrey Miller


Embarking on a managerial journey and striving to be an effective leader? ‘Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team’ by Scott Jeffrey Miller is the perfect guide for you. This book summary will show you valuable insights on how to develop your managerial skills, avoid common mistakes, and enable your team to thrive. Learn practical techniques to redefine your role as a leader and focus on your team’s growth, foster trust through regular 1-on-1 meetings, effectively communicate and implement goals, provide constructive feedback, navigate change, and maintain a healthy work-life balance for both you and your team.

Navigating First-Time Leadership

Scott Jeffrey Miller shares his own experience of being promoted to a managerial position at a young age with a mission to excel. However, despite his ambitious rules and targets, Miller lacked managerial experience and soon faced demotion due to his poor leadership. This reflects a common scenario where first-time managers find themselves promoted based on prior performance, but without proper training or experience. The business world often fails to provide adequate leadership training early on, leaving employees under the guidance of untrained managers. To ensure the growth and well-being of both managers and their teams, first-time leaders must invest in developing their leadership skills and practices.

When Scott Jeffrey Miller became a young manager at the age of 27, he was eager to prove himself as an exemplary leader. He set strict rules, closely monitored start and finish times, and prioritized impressive outcomes. However, his lack of managerial experience and training quickly revealed themselves, resulting in his demotion just three weeks later.

This situation is not unique to Miller. Many high-performing employees are promoted to managerial positions without receiving proper leadership training. The expectation that stellar workers will automatically make great managers is fundamentally flawed; managerial roles come with their own set of skills and responsibilities that require nurturing and development.

Shockingly, the average age of a first-time leader is 30, yet it takes over a decade before they receive any formal leadership training. This gap puts the career growth, emotional well-being, and mental health of their team members at risk, as well as the health of the managers themselves.

To effectively lead a team and manage personal stress, first-time managers must invest time in building their leadership skills. Whether newly promoted or an experienced manager seeking improvement, a strong foundation of leadership principles can transform a team’s performance and protect the well-being of everyone involved.

Evolve into Effective Leadership

Carolyn was a high-performing salesperson who struggled to adapt when promoted to a leadership role. She continued to focus on making sales directly, rather than supporting her team and fostering their growth. As a leader, it is crucial to shift your priorities and focus primarily on helping your team develop and thrive, as your success is now tied to their achievements.

Carolyn, a sales marvel, had consistently surpassed her targets, making her an excellent candidate for a vacant leadership position. Management anticipated her team would follow suit and achieve similar success. However, much to their chagrin, the team stagnated and failed to trust their new leader. What went wrong?

Despite her promotion, Carolyn clung to her sales roots – she’d swoop in and close deals during client meetings, believing she was doing the right thing by focusing on sales targets. Losing sight of her new role, she failed to provide the support her team needed.

First-time leaders often fall into the trap of trying to fix every problem encountered. However, assuming control in precarious situations deprives the team the chance to learn and grow. If Carolyn had allowed her team to make mistakes, they could have assessed these experiences, improving their sales skills and performance over time. Moreover, loosening the reins would have demonstrated her trust, boosting their confidence.

Transitioning into a leadership role requires redefining one’s notion of results. Success is no longer based solely on individual accomplishments but now hinges on the team’s performance. This means prioritizing support and nurturing the team’s growth while personal deliverables take a backseat. Closing every deal as a manager doesn’t guarantee long-term sustainable success nor does it boost the overall sales volume – the ultimate goal.

To become an effective leader, ask yourself what kind of manager your team needs to reach their full potential. Assess your strengths and weaknesses – identify areas where you may need to learn new skills or even unlearn old habits to ensure you don’t end up like Carolyn.

Meaningful 1-on-1s Boost Performance

Joanna, a high-performing remote employee, resigned because she felt unappreciated and unseen by her boss. Leaders can successfully keep and engage employees by holding regular and meaningful 1-on-1 meetings focused on individual growth and coaching. Listen, empathize, and work together during these meetings to help team members achieve their goals, while gaining valuable insight into the wellbeing of your workforce.

Joanna was a star employee: dependable, achieving targets efficiently, and the driving force behind a productive team. Operating remotely only made her contributions more impressive. The company’s shock when she decided to leave urgently called for a meeting with Todd, the Chief People Officer. Desperate to retain her, he was willing to offer a raise, bonuses, or anything she desired.

During their conversation, Joanna revealed the real issue: she didn’t feel like her boss recognized her as a person. Their check-ins were cursory and brief. As a remote worker, she needed more genuine connection and care from her boss. Employees don’t want to be faceless cogs in the machine; they need acknowledgment of their unique professional desires, personal lives, and aspirations. Engaging employees on a personal level fosters increased job commitment and stellar performance.

Effective leaders should hold meaningful 1-on-1 meetings with staff members regularly. Avoid focusing on project status updates – they can turn these sincere interactions into mere evaluations. Instead, use 1-on-1s as opportunities for individual coaching and growth.

By establishing trust, leaders will find employees more willing to discuss various concerns during these meetings. These conversations can range from skill development to addressing conflicts with co-workers. Not only does this offer support and understanding, but it also reveals hidden factors that may hinder the team’s overall success.

The crucial element of these 1-on-1s is to listen without attempting to fix every problem immediately or inject personal experiences. Leaders should remain patient while their employees articulate their thoughts. Once they’ve finished, work together to devise a plan. Prioritizing these sincere connections will boost employee satisfaction, growth, and performance, ultimately leading to a more flourishing company.

Unleashing Team Potential

To unlock your team’s true potential, it’s vital to help them understand why their work is important and how it contributes to the company’s overall goals. Start by checking in with your boss to determine the organization’s priorities, then share these with your team, brainstorming together on how to achieve them. This co-creation process will foster a sense of ownership and motivation among team members, improving the quality of their work. Once your team has clear short-term goals and defined accountabilities, hold regular meetings to maintain focus and momentum, and to consistently connect individual contributions back to the bigger picture.

Boosting motivation among employees requires leaders to provide transparency about the relevance and importance of their tasks. When employees clearly comprehend the connection between their efforts and the company’s goals, they feel a stronger sense of purpose, making them more invested in their work.

To begin, become well-versed on your organization’s objectives by discussing with your supervisor what the priorities are. Once you have a solid understanding, hold a meeting with your team to communicate these goals, and collaboratively brainstorm action steps to reach them. Involving team members in the process not only encourages buy-in but also enhances dedication, with individuals feeling empowered to put forward their best efforts.

After collaboratively outlining three primary objectives, assign specific responsibilities to each team member and ensure everyone has clarity regarding their roles and performance expectations. This newfound sense of purpose will drive your team to transition from merely fulfilling tasks to taking ownership and delivering high-quality results.

Keep the momentum going by conducting regular, focused meetings to track progress and address action items. These meetings not only maintain accountability but also create opportunities to continuously reiterate the link between individual contributions and the company’s vision. This ongoing reminder will inspire your team to stay committed and work towards a shared goal, ultimately unleashing their full potential.

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