Your objective as a manager is to do nothing

Your objective as a manager is to do nothing

So your startup is growing and you’ve hired a small team. Now how do you begin to lead this group to success?

Charles Plant, founder and chairman of Material Minds, spoke on the topic of entrepreneurial leadership and what it means to lead and manage a team at last week’s Entrepreneurship 101 lecture. Charles believes that to be a good leader, you must be able to inspire people (or at least not turn them off), to set strategy and, most importantly, to execute on that strategy. His lecture focused on the keys to successfully executing your business strategy.

In the industrial economy, employees could easily track their progress each day. However, in today’s knowledge economy, it’s easy for employees to lose sight of what they need to do, how well they are doing it and how they can improve. As a result, managing people in this type of work can be very difficult. There must be something to combat this ambiguity—and that’s where strategy comes in.

How do you connect your strategy with the action of your employees?

  1. Define success.
  2. Know your strategy.
  3. Separate the strategy into components.
  4. Assign work that connects to the strategy.

Once your team knows what they need to do in order to succeed, a system should be implemented to track the progress of these objectives and their results. This is done using metrics.

While metrics enable the employee to keep track of his or her progress at work, as a manager it’s important to help guide this process by exhibiting proper management and leadership skills. These skills include setting expectations, delegating (remember to delegate results, not process, as this allows employees to have more autonomy and to ultimately be happier in their work), managing performance, communicating, coaching and motivating.

If you exercise these skills when leading and managing your employees, you will be able to delegate tasks and have confidence that they will get done well and on time, leaving you with nothing to do.

To learn more about this topic, watch Charles’ full lecture below.

Produced by MaRS.

Next lecture: Bootstrapping and Alternative Sources of Funding on April 9, 2014


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