by Ralph van Roosmalen
In most companies the management is starting to prepare itself for the yearly performance review rituals. They are looking back at the last eight weeks of the year to decide how the managers can rank their employees from one to five. No worries, this isn’t a rant about the lost value of those kinds of reviews. However, if you are interested in experimenting with reviews, read this article to get inspired.
This blog is about the manager and his own development. I did a lot of recruitment in the last five years, looking for smart and creative professionals who get things done. In most interviews I just asked three questions and the last question always was: “Tell me what did you do to become a better tester/professional/developer/etc.”
In most cases there was silence and then: “Errr… I wanted to read some books, and I errr.. I follow some blogs on LinkedIn and errr errr… Maybe I could have done more.” Yep, should have done more. In the current economy being creative and knowledgeable is essential, you need to keep developing yourself.
I believe in leading by example. As a manager, you should set an example in everything. Cleaning up the office kitchen in the evening, get the clean cups out of the dishwasher in the morning, live up to the values of the team, be on time for meetings. Nobody said it was easy to be a manager.
Most of the time, managers realize they should lead by example and the good managers even do. However, there is one area where most managers completely do NOT lead by example — actively becoming a better manager. I had some talks with Management 3.0 facilitators and they all came up with the same stories. Most of the managers say that they are too busy to attend a training. No time. They need to create this, create that, take care of this, take care of that, preview the end-year reviews, etc. So many excuses… and in most cases a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you take care of a lot of things because you don’t think your employees will, your employees won’t do those things… and you’ll be right. (See also: The Pygmalion Effect explained)