Always do what you are afraid to do.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson1
Managing people is tough. And being a good manager is even tougher, particularly because most managers today are pulling double duty—managing direct reports while also carrying projects of their own because staff levels have been so reduced. If you're new to managing employees, after reading this far you may be thinking to yourself “What have I gotten myself into?” Even if you're not a new manager, you may be thinking similar thoughts. In fact, all managers have those doubts and anxieties at some point. (In more than two decades of managing, I've asked myself that question at least once a year!) Being a manager today is more challenging than it's ever been. Every employee requires a personal development plan rivaling an NFL team's playbook in complexity. And long gone are the days where management could ask an employee to do a task, and she or he would do it without question. Now you need to provide the why, how, and where before your employees will start to tackle the project! It's a brave new world out there, and even if you have been incredibly successful at managing employees for many years, it's time to update your style to meet the needs of your Millennials while motivating all generations to come together as a team for continued success.
When I first started managing employees (in the early 1990s), my two main responsibilities were identifying ...