The Twenty-First-Century Manager
Managing people has perhaps never been a more daunting task. This is true whether you are a CEO, the leader of a small department, or a parent. Even managing ourselves has become increasingly complex and difficult in the midst of a modern schema filled with endless possibilities and opportunities. From where will clarity emerge? The answer is from a deep and resounding understanding of our purpose, both as people and as organizations.
The modern manager is responsible for helping an organization become the-best-version-of-itself. The major objective of this role has never changed. Only now, the modern manager understands that achieving this objective is largely dependent on a team of employees dedicated to becoming better-versions-of-themselves.
The most effective leaders and managers will be those who find ways to advance a company, while at the same time helping employees to advance personally and professionally. If a manager attempts to advance the company’s purpose to the detriment of the employees’ purpose, it will hurt both employee and company. On the other hand, advance the employees’ purpose at the detriment of the company, and it will hurt both company and employee. The two must find a way to coexist in support of one another. The two must find ways to add value in equal measure. For decades, we have invested billions of corporate dollars in programs that pretend to focus on employee enrichment, but in truth were designed to get exactly what the corporation wanted. Why are we surprised that these programs are met with cynicism and that the results are mediocre?
Corporate leaders often display the very same cynicism when programs are proposed that actually focus on employee enrichment, doubting that the payoff will be there for the company. In all of this, we have overlooked the startling reality that if you play a role in teaching your employees how to manage their money, they will manage your money more effectively and be less distracted by personal financial concerns. If you play a role in helping your employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle, your health insurance costs will be reduced and your employees will be more effective because they are healthier. The examples are endless.
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