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Great Managers – the key to growing your company

by on April 8, 2015

dilbert-managementPeople join companies.

They leave managers.

Therefore to keep your team happy and engaged, you need one thing above all else: great managers.

Not free lunches.

It takes great managers to keep your team members happy and engaged.  Failing to develop these managers throughout the organization can become a major growth barrier.

Great managers are not just born; they are continually advancing their skills and those of their employees.

As a business scales to more than 100 employees, reaching a critical point at which everyone doesn’t know everyone else’s name, it becomes crucial for the leadership team to build a capable team of middle managers.

What every CEO wants are employees that are engaged and motivated.  To do that great managers must focus on 5 main topics:

  1. Help people play to their strengths. Make your employees’ jobs focused on activities that give them strength and energy and less on activities that make them weak, less energetic.  Rather than hire more people, focus on making your current team happier and more energized.
  2. Don’t demotivate; “dehassle.”  Don’t worry so much about motivating your people and focus more on preventing hassles that block a team’s performance, typically associated with people and processes.
  3. Set clear expectations, and give employees a clear line of sight. That means, can your employees explain how what they’re doing helps deliver on your company’s purpose and strategy?
  4. Give recognition, and show appreciation.  It is impossible to be motivated and do great work if you don’t feel that somebody cares and appreciates what you do.
  5. Hire fewer people, but pay them more.  Compensation is less important than other items when it comes to motivation.

Ask a good manager about his team and he will speak in generalities, saying that they are hardworking, responsible, fun, etc.  Ask a great manager the same question and she will describe each of her team members with specific details about their personality, strengths, and achievements.

If you struggle with appreciating the differences in your team, you might be more of a leader than a manager.  Managing is about differences.  Leading is about sameness.

Great managers discover what is different about people and capitalize on it.  Great leaders discover what is universal, build a common vision for a better future around it, and then rally people behind it.

Companies can cope with a charismatic leader (who struggles with managing) until they get to about 50 employees.  But as soon as you approach 100 or more people, you have to put in place a team of managers capable of adopting the five topics listed above.

Scaling up a business requires both visionary leadership and great managers.


If you’re wondering how you build a company that you can sell for a premium in a few years, contact me to discuss the Valuation Amplification Process.

I also invite you to download the white paper and learn the 5 step process on How to Quickly Increase Your Valuation: a Proven 5 Step Process.


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One Comment
  1. Great leaders are the key to company success. We must focus on the PEOPLE not the end result. Thanks for the great read!

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