Being a Better Manager and Leader – ‘Why’ and ‘what your people want’

Why should you look to become a better manager and leader? 

It’s a really important topic for me, both personally and as a Business Mentor. Over the years I’ve been fascinated with what makes successful teams successful. Invariably it comes down to the leader – how they set the tone and identify of the team and engaging individuals with a common purpose. The direction provided, how the leader is part coach, cheerleader, teacher, manager and mentor. All the time keeping their sights on the goals and the bigger picture. All the time ‘on stage’, their every action, mood and message having a positive or negative effect…

…all the time taking more of the heat than necessary when things don’t go to plan to allow their teams to perform…all the time giving the team credit and taking very little for themselves.

So why is this important? As you grow a business your biggest resource (and expense) will usually be your people. They will also be:

  • The face and voice of your business
  • The future leaders of your business
  • The people that, through you making them as good (or better) than you, will provide you with the the work/life balance and life style you desire
  • Usually, the differentiator between you and the competition

So, looking after them is key to the success of your business (unless you decide to do everything yourself – and if you decide to take this course of action we need to talk!).

‘But I’m the Manager/boss/business owner (cross out the ones that don’t refer to you), so people will do what I say.’ 

As anyone that has managed and led a team will testify, the role can be extremely rewarding but is not easy. Most people are either promoted to a leadership role because they are good technically or set up a business so are the boss by default.

In each case, learning the skills to bring out the best in your people is essential for you and the business’s’ success, and one of the key areas that I support business owners with during my business mentoring.

So where should you start?

Start with ‘What do your people want?’ 

A good manager/leader will be clear about what they want from their team, but what do they want from you? It’s easy to say, ‘they want loads!’ but in essence your people want:

  1. Competent job instructions including what their roles and responsibilities are – “Show me how to do my job and be clear about what ‘good’ looks like”
  2. “Give me something to believe in, and a work environment where I can do my best and feel I am respected and treated fairly”
  3. A degree of independence in doing the job – “Show me how to do it but let me be me”
  4. They want to be kept informed about the things that are relevant to them (including how they are performing)
  5. They need recognition, reward and praise for a job well done (and we generally suck at this!) – and this includes pay, additional responsibility and opportunities to progress
  6. People want is to work for a leader, not a boss, not a mate……and please be genuine and authentic

Over the next few weeks, as your local Business Mentor I’ll be discussing each point, explaining the ‘why’, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ in the meantime, if you’d like to discuss any of these points, or your particular challenges or issues please contact me.


Jim Gorrie

Director & Business Mentor

Kent & Surrounding Areas


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