I’ve been curious about leadership for a while. I was working in high-tech back in the day. When I went through the acquisition and integration process, I realized I didn’t know a lot about them. And while my company ultimately did a lot of acquisitions and integrations, it was working as a startup for a long time before we were acquired.
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That made me wonder what it was that really made or saved good management from becoming bad or worse. We learned a lot through acquisition and integration, but while we had an idea what good management was, we didn’t actually know it.
I also thought there might be a lot of other companies out there who know the importance of good management much better than I did. I couldn’t find them, but during the acquisition process, I was able to work with a company and consultants I had worked with in the past, who actually know a great deal about the subject.
Here are the things they teach me to expect in good management.
1. They explain their company and their values.
How you talk to other people in your company and how that interaction is portrayed in public reflect on the company’s brand. You cannot be too worried about your brand and brand if you don’t first address the bigger issues: How do we build our brand? What is our value proposition? How do we show others what we stand for and why we will help them succeed?
2. They understand the role of the boards and founders.
This is the subtle but important conversation that all businesses, particularly start-ups, are going to have and have had to have: How long do you want to be this company? As a company grows, what percentage do you want to have? If you have 50 people, will that number have to be 50 percent?
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3. They make sure to care about their employees.
Does their team have what they need to be successful? Does every person get the recognition and training they need to be successful? Does the team feel supported and engaged in their work and culture? Does every employee love working there? Do your employees get what they need to achieve their potential?
4. They have a culture.
This is the most important and less talked about part of being good management. Their culture isn’t just about them or the people within the organization. It’s also about the thousands of people who have reached out to the company because they have heard so much good about it. The culture has to fit the needs of all of your employees and their co-workers. If it doesn’t, it will quickly fracture if people begin to leave, which is exactly what happens when a great company gets taken down by bad management.
Now you know why good management matters so much. You can’t go wrong with any of these four: a good company culture, a great team, good company values and an understanding of how to successfully do things. None of these things are rocket science, but all of them require thoughtful leadership. No wonder CEOs are getting re-elected!
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