When I first started this blog, I started with My Management Philosophy. In short,

be a multiplier for your team and reduce friction… Successful managers make other people better at their jobs, “multiplying” their productivity.

When I wrote this, I was focusing on the ideas as a guide. “Should I do X? Does it multiply my team’s effort? Does it simplify their job?” Underlying this is that good leadership requires empathy and trust.

First and foremost, do one-on-ones. People rarely trust people they never talk to and conversely you can never build empathy for people you ignore. If you can not do this, then none of the remaining ideas will work.

Once you are talking to your team, you need to do something good for them. Reducing friction is not just answering questions or simplifying process, take care of your people and they will work hard for you. This is not always easy, so here is a non-definitive list of things a good leader will do:

  • Be honest.
  • Always do what you say.
  • Take risks for your team.
  • Standup for them.
  • Celebrate their wins.
  • Help them with their struggles.
  • Get them what they need.
  • Understand why they are here.
  • Understand where they want to be.
  • Have some fun.
  • Say thank you.

A lot of this requires time. This is the most valuable resource you have and there will be times that you feel like you are wasting it. But, every moment you spend taking care of your team will pay dividends.

In short, be a decent person and care.