Help, I Need Some Leadership Advice…

Not too long ago, I flipped eggs and cleaned toilets for a
living as the manager at a local Waffle House restaurant. When I came home at
night after the evening shift change, my brain would not stop thinking. There
was so much information to digest and I didn’t have a proper outlet for it.

Sometimes I turned on the computer to google for help. I
wanted to connect with people who faced similar challenges. Challenges like being a new young
manager, dealing with employees, finding time for oneself…

The internet disappointed me. The message I generally received was:

If you have any difficulties at work, it’s probably because
you are not a good leader. If you want to become a great leader (like Jesus,
for example), you have to do a, b, c and d.
Sign up for this training program and we’ll help you become the leader you were born to be.

That is bullshit and it’s a shame that the authors of such
pages are misusing their online influence and SEO tactics to spread such
messages.

Four reasons those messages are not helpful:

1. As a manager, I don’t give a ___ if I am a great leader
or not. I have a job to do.

2. You can tell frontline managers they lack basic
management/ leadership skills and training, but then what? It’s like telling
someone they are overweight. Thanks for the heads-up.

3. The more a manager
feels bound by expectations and limits, the less he/she will manage with
integrity, authenticity and common sense.

4. Hello, it’s 2011. Why should I pay to find information
online?!

I usually feel competent enough to solve my own problems, preferably by talking things over and by exposing myself to new perspectives. Hoping to create a helpful pace for ‘normal’ managers of all industries, I launched this website, WhatDoYouWantFromThem.com.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking with Miki
Saxon
. I told her I didn’t want to end up giving the type of leadership advice that had turned me off in the past. I even felt bad about picking the posts for our
Useful Resources for Managers section (after all, who am I to know what other
managers find useful). Miki told me about MAP:

MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy)™ is the basis for
everything you do—it is the why of life.

Everything you do and say is a mindset, grounded in your
attitude towards others, which, in turn, is based on your personal philosophy.

Miki went on to explain that people will receive the advice that fits
with their personal style and discard information that doesn’t fit with
their MAP.

A timely reminder that people can think and choose for themselves. Thanks, Miki!

When I look for useful management tips and get attacked by
leadership fembots, I sometimes stop by Jim Stroup’s Managing Leadership Blog where he so
eloquently summarized the fallacy of individual leadership.

In the end, management is relative. What keeps you grounded?

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