Quotes For All You Managers

deborah lattimore
(photo courtesy deborah lattimore on flickr)

The following quotes come directly from the Growing Great ChangeThis manifesto by Erika Anderson, who wrote the book “Growing Great Employees“:

I believe that listening is the management analog of soil preparation, the foundation for all future success. this flies in the face of common wisdom: most of us assume that once we become managers, we’re supposed to stop listening. We think manager = answer-person. I suggest that the single most useful thing you can learn to do as a manager is stop talking and start listening.

It’s always better for a company to have more people who are capable of solving problems

Second, it lets your employees know that you think they have good brains; that they’re capable of solving problems; that you expect and require that they will contribute to the success of the department or the business. Doing this (and then incorporating their ideas into the final solution) communicates trust and respect more powerfully than a hundred wall posters about trust and respect!

I feel very strongly that if you’re a manager, and you have an employee about whom you cannot say “I believe in your potential and I want to help you succeed,” then that person shouldn’t be working for you. really, think about it: if you have people working for you, and you don’t believe they’re capable, and don’t feel motivated to help them…how likely is it they’re going to succeed?

Research has shown that one of the things employees most need, in order to feel positive and be productive, is to know what’s expected of them.

If you want people to feel good about their jobs and get great results, it’s completely worth the investment of time to get clear with them about “what success looks like”

One important tip for delegating well is: give autonomy according to experience.

This one’s the bonus, from webworkersdaily comments:

What people want from work today, I think, is personal growth. So if managers are going to add value, I think it can’t just be about productivity. A manager is there to give the worker what the worker needs to succeed. And what workers need in order to stay at a job is personal growth, so a manager should foster that.

A manager can be a coach, a mentor, a sounding board. All the things we would love to get from a friend but don’t usually have friends who are up to the task. In this regard, a manager would need to be very hands on in a way that helps us to be better people — not just better workers.

I know: Big challenge. But at least it’s something to aim for.

Penelope Trunk

[tags]management, working, managers, quotes[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

5 Comments on "Quotes For All You Managers"

  1. Erika says:

    Nate –

    I just found this – I’m glad you liked my manifesto – thanks so much for quoting from it!

    Great blog – I really enjoy your combination of topics.


  2. nate says:


    I’m glad you found my post, and I’m so glad you wrote that manifesto. It’s outstanding! What made you write it?

  3. Erika says:

    The wonderful folks at 8CR asked me to write a manifesto, and explained the ChangeThis approach to me. When they said it was my chance to talk about something that I wanted to change – and then offer ideas about how to change it, this topic seemed like a natural. One of the main reasons I wrote Growing Great Employees was to support managers in being sucessful… because managers get so little real support, generally, from their companies! And that seems (as I say in the manifesto ) crazy to me.

    So I wrote the manaifesto both to acknowledge that goofy fact of corporate life, and then to offer a kind of crash course (from the book) in some of the important ways to manage people well.

  4. nate says:

    8CR is a fabulous company from what I can tell. And ChangeThis is an outstanding site as well. Good for them for turning you on to it.

    I’ve been wanting to produce a ChangeThis manifesto at some point in the future as well. I think they are great, and I’d love to participate in the conversation.

    You did an outstanding job with your manifesto. Well done. I’d love to see another one by you, if you plan to continue writing the manifestos. I think they are super helpful.

  5. Erika says:

    Thanks a lot! I’ll keep you posted….

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