The Ways of the Samurai Supervisor
Posted by Kim Georgeff / January 23
In the early stages of your career, as you advance and become a young manager, the role of supervising others can seem daunting. You haven’t developed your set of managing guidelines, or the code you use to develop others.
Here are a few of the guiding principles I’ve adopted along my journey. They have become convention for me, to both lead by and to follow. I impart them upon my team on a regular basis to help them learn the ways of the Samurai Supervisor:
Follow the 3 R’s: Responsive, Responsible, Respectful
Responsiveness is critical in our business and can set you apart from the competition. Do not let your response to an email or voicemail linger. Let someone know immediately that you have received their communication and set expectations as to when they can anticipate receiving a response. This goes for clients, bosses, vendors and employees.
Be responsible for your deliverables. Setting the expectations are only half of the battle: be sure to follow through in a proactive manner. Do not make your supervisor hunt you down and ask if something has been completed. That is so un-Samurai. Be sure to stay on top of your responsibilities and communicate when projects have been completed.
You do not have to be best friends with everyone at work. In fact, that might be a little awkward. To uphold a healthy team dynamic, you simply need to treat others with respect. You may not always agree with their ideas and opinions, or see eye-to-eye on personal preferences. Sometimes, the best thing to do is, as Ron Burgundy says, “agree to disagree.”
Don’t Miss Deadlines … Let Others Help
Use the power of teamwork. A team of Samurai is mightier than the individual Samurai. This leads to the next rule.
Learn How to Effectively Delegate
The art of delegation is something that takes almost everyone a while to master. It is natural to feel two things at the same time. First, many say it will take you just as long to do something yourself as it will to show someone else how to do it. This is a shortsighted notion. The idea behind delegation is for everyone to learn and grow. Second, some people feel uncomfortable delegating to others, particularly the more administrative the workload. Get over it. Once you are too busy to care about that, it will become easier. Delegation helps to restore the workload balance: it allows you to not only teach someone how to do something new, but also frees up your time to take on more senior responsibilities as you advance.
If you have a problem, go to your supervisor … but bring solutions!
There will always be challenges, in every type of business, particularly when dealing with consumers live and in real time. So it is imperative that you take a problem-solving stance: embrace the idea that challenges provide you with the opportunity to succeed. That is why we have jobs. If things were easy and trouble-free, we would not be hired. Problem solving lets you be the hero and can be a positive experience. No one wants to work with someone who is always negative and only poses problems. Do not possess the doom and gloom of Eeyore and think, “we’ll never make it”. You WILL make it if you are a problem solver.