Musthafa Ebadi
As People Manager You Need To Earn Your Clout!
by Musthafa Ebadi on June 9th, 2014

There are two type of managers in any organization. Those to who manage a stream or expertise, and those who manage people. 

The latter types usually have far greater responsibility simply because instead of being responsible for one specific stream or their individual performance they are responsible for the performance of each person on their team as well as the collective performance of their department.

What makes being a people manager highly demanding also makes it highly serene – earning your clout with your people.

Every now and then I notice people managers who demand trust, respect, loyalty, accountability, & commitment from their people. They believe that because they are the manager of the team or department they are entitled to the above key elements of successful people management.  

Having been a people manager for over 12 years  I have learnt (some of it the hard way) that in order for your people to respect you for who you are, trust you with your vision and plan, commit their loyalty to you, and make themselves accountable to you its simply not enough that you are the boss (a term I hate the most)! You will have to earn each of those characteristics and you will have to earn it from each one of them. 

How? I could honestly write a book on how to earn them – maybe someday I will;  however for now know that its not easy.

As a first step initially you will have to prove that you have their best interest in heart and they are the most important part of your job;  you will have to prove it again and again. Keep in mind that you cannot fake it – you truly have to believe in your heart what you are trying to prove!

Next they need a leader that is consistent with what he/she says and does. As you are evaluating them they are also evaluating you and there can be nothing more damaging to your credibility than inconsistency in your words and acts.

Once you have achieved the above two objective next comes your ability to engage them. Keep in mind that different people engage differently, and it’s incumbent upon you to figure out who prefers how to be engaged. One thing is certain that every person wants to be engaged and its upto you to figure out how best engage them. You will have to involve them in your decision making process.

And speaking of decision making process be crystal clear that your people are closely watching your ability (or inability) to decide. People like decisive leaders who stand up for beliefs and what the right thing. Whether you are in a white boarding session or in a one on one meeting you will need to demonstrate a fair, consistent, and balanced decision making ability.

Like I said earlier its not easy to earn your clout with your people (its much easier and more tempting to demand it) however once you earn it you can have one of the easiest and most rewarding jobs on earth. 

Feel free to agree, disagree, or share your perspective using the comment section of this post.

Thanks for reading!

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