First Level Supervisor

Gallup said it and so does everyone else….if you don’t like your first level supervisor – your boss,  you won’t stay.  I hear it from my kids, I hear it from your kids, from your midlevel managers and many times from you as well. Managing up, managing down, working with peers, we all want to work with people who treat us with respect, lay out clear expectations and do what they say they are going to do.

This seems to be particularly difficult for entrepreneurs to execute. If you became successful by being nimble and taking advantage of markets that change quickly, you may hate process and procedures. You want all of your employees to be unicorns, like you are. You tolerate toxic people who know how to get results. A lot of bridges get burned and your growth stalls because you aren’t making it safe for your teams to do their best work.

Start with setting some boundaries around team behavior. Train your supervisors and managers around core practices. Yes, this is hard. Some companies use templates that worked for other companies to create consistent practices through every division. Some enroll in continuing leadership training, or hire outside consultants to help implement best practices. There are more and more companies using consultants to keep them state of the art in Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Logistics, Leadership Development, etc.

There will probably need to be some hard conversations. If you are the leader, those conversation start between you and the face in the mirror. What will you tolerate? Have you stopped growing? Are you the one who can lead your baby into the next stage of growth? If you think you can do it, get the help you need, ’cause none of us are good at everything. If it is not you, lay out what is missing and get a smart team around you to make the changes necessary.

Leaders must have followers. If you have managers, or leaders who no one wants to follow, start there. This week, take a look at yourself and your team. Take the first step towards assessing and creating a better culture.