Best advice for leaders

There is a lot being written about leadership in social care at the moment. This is the best advice I have ever seen. It was written for me by my dad (a former management trainer) when I became a manager of other managers.

“You will be expected to be on top of your job and to have ideas. Your job is to meet your expectations and constantly seek out and argue for better ways of doing things, and even different things to be doing.

The old truths still apply:

1. Task–team- individual: balance achieving the task, building the team and developing the individual.

2. Your people will do what they enjoy doing, what they’re good at and what you check up on.

3. Let the good ones run. Don’t interfere too much. If they have good ideas and they’re successful let them have the credit.

Meet everyone in your immediate team separately each week, maybe 15 minutes, best on Monday before they finalise their week.

Meet them more formally for a review, say monthly for 30-60 minutes. There should be no surprises at annual performance reviews.

You should be known to everyone who works for you so they know what you expect, and so they can see how you good you are. You earn a lot more than they do and they’re entitled to know why.

Make sure you know what’s going on. Get out and talk to people – it’s called walking the job. No one, least of all your boss, should hear anything on your patch before you do.

Give praise and credit for good work.

Deal with bad work quickly but always ask for their side of things before criticising: there may be something you didn’t know.

Above all, make it satisfying for you and everyone else. The work is its own reward.”

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