Managing People

Hey, I wanted to make a post about the best way to manage people. Who here manages people/staff, what the best tip or trick you know? What are some early management mistakes you made that you learned from?

One question I have for managers, how much do you go about correcting staff, are you hard on them for every little detail until they learn, or do you let the A players be A players, the Bs be Bs and so on? Do you correct people on their dress (probably get sued for that one) or their speech (I get a lot of yessirs which I think is inappropriate but I let it slide, we're probably getting rid of the guy who does that).

Lastly, my advice. I think when it comes you managing/coaching, you have two kinds of people; those who need a hug and those who need a kick in the pants. The real key is figuring out whose whose and also how to adjust your management style to those individuals. 

 

Managed a team of about 15 people pre-MBA. I hate being that 'manager' but I honestly just did enough to keep them functional. Many of them had jobs that any high school graduate could do so I wasn't concerned too much about replacing them if I had to. I sucked up to senior management and spent most of my time working on impressing them. 

This was in a business unit operational role. After I got into my MBA program, I spent most of my time trying to get into meetings that were focusing on high level strategic intiatives in the department. I really didn't focus on any mentorship with my team members because I really didn't see the need to. Only one of them did show management potential and I did recommend her to be possibly promoted to my role after I left but my manager went with another person.

 
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I love managing people, one of my favorite parts of the job. I take a lot of pride in watching the young'uns thrive and grow. I have a bit of a very loose playbook learning from some absolutely phenomenal managers, including an associate when I first broke into banking and its worked quite well for me across multiple employers.

There needs to be high bars set for performance and accountability, but maintaining these standards needs to be a group effort from all levels. This is why culture and fit are REALLY important. This means everybody on the team needs to buy in and hold each other accountable and that only happens with mutual respect. To answer your question, I don't need to correct people regularly because everyone holds each other accountable for the standards we set as a team. Very rarely its top down (me to analyst, me to associate etc.), most times it's the juniors pulling each other aside to have those conversations.

Title gives you power, but real authority comes from having the respect of your team. Having their respect means you have their buy in, which allows you to set and maintain high standards. There are many ways to go about earning respect, mine is not to roll up my sleeves and dig into the work with the juniors. It's to enable, support, speak up, push back on unreasonable asks and deadlines, guide, teach and hold myself to the same standards I hold them.

I'm not their friend, I'm their manager. Stern but fair is my approach because sometimes difficult conversations need to be had, sometimes you just have to eat shit and get on, it's the way of the world. But the team always knows I'll be fair and that I hold myself to the same standards we set.

I treat everyone like adults. Everyone on my team (including me) will teach and guide, but we expect to see effort to learn and self motivate. I find it more effective to play the role of an enabler than a babysitter.

Once the tone and culture are set, I gatekeep the shit out of it. Very VERY selective on hiring with a HUGE fit component during interviews. We succeed and fail as a team. My guys always do a check in with each other to see who's working late or over the weekend, to the point where people step in to help on files they're not even staffed on. This is a culture I will do everything to protect, including dumping the most technically astute candidates for ones who are a better fit. 

 

rabbit

I love managing people, one of my favorite parts of the job. I take a lot of pride in watching the young'uns thrive and grow. I have a bit of a very loose playbook learning from some absolutely phenomenal managers, including an associate when I first broke into banking and its worked quite well for me across multiple employers.

There needs to be high bars set for performance and accountability, but maintaining these standards needs to be a group effort from all levels. This is why culture and fit are REALLY important. This means everybody on the team needs to buy in and hold each other accountable and that only happens with mutual respect. To answer your question, I don't need to correct people regularly because everyone holds each other accountable for the standards we set as a team. Very rarely its top down (me to analyst, me to associate etc.), most times it's the juniors pulling each other aside to have those conversations.

Title gives you power, but real authority comes from having the respect of your team. Having their respect means you have their buy in, which allows you to set and maintain high standards. There are many ways to go about earning respect, mine is not to roll up my sleeves and dig into the work with the juniors. It's to enable, support, speak up, push back on unreasonable asks and deadlines, guide, teach and hold myself to the same standards I hold them.

I'm not their friend, I'm their manager. Stern but fair is my approach because sometimes difficult conversations need to be had, sometimes you just have to eat shit and get on, it's the way of the world. But the team always knows I'll be fair and that I hold myself to the same standards we set.

I treat everyone like adults. Everyone on my team (including me) will teach and guide, but we expect to see effort to learn and self motivate. I find it more effective to play the role of an enabler than a babysitter.

Once the tone and culture are set, I gatekeep the shit out of it. Very VERY selective on hiring with a HUGE fit component during interviews. We succeed and fail as a team. My guys always do a check in with each other to see who's working late or over the weekend, to the point where people step in to help on files they're not even staffed on. This is a culture I will do everything to protect, including dumping the most technically astute candidates for ones who are a better fit. 

Damn, can I come work for you lol +SB

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
 

Have managed teams, groups of teams and run my own company for many yrs (so real financial impact). All I would add to this is when the culture goes, you've lost so much and have to rebuild. So... to avoid that from happening, get rid of those who won't buy in quickly. You can tell almost immediately who they are and letting them hang for a bit will kill you.

 

So many gems in this. Also really emphasizes the most difficult part of being a manager imo - hiring.
Its usually such a flawed process at most companies, and getting a good read on someone in a few conversations on these deeper culture fits is hard. Then you add in the “hiring by committee” approach I’ve been involved in, it brings the hit rate down to like 50%.
Curious if you’ve found any tactics that work to address the limited interactions in interviews and having other managers/team members involved in the process?

 

Man, I really hate the hiring by committee approach. I really don't think everyone should get a say on hiring, for example, those who are a very detached from the juniors (MDs who aren't really involved) and especially those who bring toxicity to the culture.

I'm at a small firm now so have a lot more control and outsized say on hiring. It's still rough because quite a few times I've had to fight against a better on paper candidate (target school, great GPA, BB backgrounds). Thankfully my head of banking is HUGE on culture and fit, he's seen it works. 

 

In my experience I get the best engagement and work product out of employees when they feel they have ownership of their work. Now you can’t just take a fresh grad and turn them loose to figure it out right away, but my goal is to guide them over time to that point.

This doesn’t mean holding back on feedback, that’s not doing anyone any favors. But instead of being “hard” on employees and grilling them for mistakes I find it more productive to discuss why I think something needs changed (and of course allow them the opportunity to voice legitimate disagreements or differences of opinion).

 
SocalSun

Praise publicly and criticize privately

Pretty good MO

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
 

This may not necessarily help, as it's not "management" per se, but it's how I've been managed before. Also how I've heard of others being managed.

Best management I've had, personally, has been where I've been set up with enough agency to figure out what I need to on my own, but with others I can ask for help with things I'm unfamiliar with or not confident in doing correctly. I've had a few terrible experiences where I was micro-managed or just left alone without any way to inquire after advice or ways to improve my work, but any time I've been treated like a competent with enough available to me that I might ask for help when I need it, I've loved the situation. Seemed to boost my performance as well, or so I was told.

 

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