How to whip your team into shape

Q I have recently been made manager of our department. Before I was promoted, it was obvious that a few of the team (including myself) were not taking the job too seriously. Whether it was coming back late from lunch or avoiding cold calling for new business, we were pretty work shy. I always thought that if I was ever promoted, I would run the department very differently.

David Emin is director of advertising at Mirror
David Emin is director of advertising at Mirror

Unfortunately, I am trying to, but my team reckons I have sold out. Obviously, as I am in charge, the same rules don't apply to me. However, every time I ask them to do something, they accuse me of being two-faced. How do I explain to them that, as a manager, it's "do as I say" not "do as I do"? After all, isn't bossing people about the best perk of being in charge?

A When my son was born, my wife used to think it hilarious when he would throw up on me. However, when it was the other way around, her humour would disappear. She'd get all angry and accuse me of being drunk.

Unfortunately, managing people isn't just telling them what to do. In order to be effective, you have to have your team's respect. You do this by leading by example. If you want someone to do something, you have to be able to demonstrate, or give the impression, that you could do it too.

You don't necessarily have to prove that you can do it better - after all, the most effective managers are those who build a team around them of people who have better skill sets than they do.

You just have to be able to demonstrate that you're not asking anything of them that you couldn't do yourself. This also demonstrates that you have respect for them.

If the department has a culture of coming back late from lunch and you want to stop it, tell them what you now expect from them and at the same time explain why the behaviour needs to change.

Once you've told them, don't forget that you also have to be back on time. If you don't, you can't enforce it.
If you want them to get on the phone and cold call for new business, then you have to show them how it's done.

In fact, as a new manager, you have to pretty much show them that you can do everything you ask of them.

However, once you've earned their respect, you will also have won their confidence. Once you have that, you'll have their trust and once they trust you you'll find that managing them will become a hell of a lot easier.

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