Butch Ward, senior faculty and former managing director at The Poynter Institute, recently wrote an article for Poynter about management. Ward, who teaches leadership for the institute, noticed a trend in the surveys he received from the staffs of those in the leadership programs: Staffs are not holding their bosses accountable; they’re being too forgiving.
While staffs said they wanted more feedback and more communication overall – a trend that hasn’t changed – they also said they understood why their bosses weren’t able to be better managers.
“Think about it. Think about the role that useful feedback plays in helping all of us improve our work. So if you’ve stopped giving your staff feedback, how are you carrying out your responsibility for performance management?” Ward writes.
He identified three questions to help managers be better leaders.
- What work can I do alone?
- Is the work I’m doing having any impact on our future?
- Who else could be doing this?
Through these questions, he highlights the struggle many leaders face: how to most effectively manage their limited time and resources. As more bosses are called on to do more, it’s more important than ever for them to be cognizant of the choices they make with their time.
While Ward’s article focused on newsroom managers, I think the message is universally applicable. A core job duty of those who have subordinates is to be a leader and a manager, to help their team excel through individual growth.
Overworked bosses need to remember this, and not be afraid to set aside time to mentor and guide their employees.
Check out Ward's complete article, "Managers, you work really hard. But are you doing your job?"