Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How new managers gain respect

I came across this blog post on another website recently and felt it worthwhile copying both the original question and my response here for everyone to read.

Im 27 years old and got a job as a PM in a highly prestigious organization. Unfortunately, I look a bit young even for my age and every body else I am working with is at least 20 years my senior. the look on their faces when i step in the room says it all " would you like a barbie to play with,little girl?" How do i not let this get to me?

This was my response:

Your age is not the issue, nor is the lack of respect from others your issue it is their issue. Can I suggest you focus on the things you can control. You have control over your demeanour, how you behave, how you present information and how much knowledge you have. These are the things that will gain you respect - in particular how you relate to, interact with and build relationships with people.

I would like to suggest you try to identify at least one, influential old timer you can build a relationship with, develop a way to work together where you share your combined knowledge and he/she becomes a mentor. Others will see this and understand you are not coming across as a 'know all'. That you are open to learning from the experiences of others.

Let The Journey Continue
John Coxon

Taking You From Frontline Manager to CEO

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Action Centred Leadership

John Adair, British-born expert on leadership is renowned for his work on leadership and on how to motivate people.

Adair developed the action-centred leadership model, essentially three overlapping circles representing the individual, the team and the task. Effective leaders focus on all three elements. The task needs work groups or organisations to come together in a collaborative manner as often one person alone cannot acheive the outcome. The team needs constant attention to who is in the team, differing skills and experiences, personalities. Adair believed in the 'united we stand, divided we fall' principle. The individual needs must be attended to, in addition to remuneration is physical comfort and safety, recognition, being engaged in the process and a social need to share with others. Adair's model suggests that for organisations to be effective leaders need to focus on all three circles without neglecting any single one of them. Key reading - Action Centred Leadership. 1984. McGraw Hill.

Do not be fooled by the simplistic nature of Adair's model. Leadership and management is not rocket science. Leadership becomes complex for some due to an inability to understand what is expected or required of them. There is no mystery about leadership. As a leader you need to have some knowledge and understanding of the people you work with, and other stakeholders. You need to be able to motivate them in a manner that will see them work together and helping each other. This is not 'command and control'. You need to have a clear vision of the task and the desired outcome and be able to involve others in that vision. Adair's model is applicable today as it was 25 years ago. Sure the contemporary organisation, in some instances, has moved towards a flatter structure however this doesnt reduce the need for leadership. The elements of success remain the same, develop the potential of your people, create a collective vision, manage time, tasks and processes and encourage people to work together collaboratively.

If you would like help to develop the leadership capacity in your organisation please call John Coxon on +61 03 55612228 or email john@johncoxon.com.au

Let The Journey Continue
John Coxon
Taking You From Frontline Manager To CEO

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