This is the first part of the series on thoughts written by our inspirational CEO, See Wai Hun. Wai Hun is one of the biggest advocates of our core values, especially Growing Heroes. She believes in building the leaders of tomorrow. She is also a strong believer that leaders are made, not born. Occasionally, Wai Hun will share her experience and journey as a leader and she will give her two cents to Jurisians in order to empower and grow them to be better leaders. Her aspiration to train young leaders who will one day impact, influence, and shape the society, is something very admirable.
We have compiled some inspirational thoughts from our CEO on the roles of a manager and dealing with difficult people.
Chapter 1: What’s a manager’s job?
Everyone dreams of managing and leading their own team in the future. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Being a manager is no easy task. Having the right mentality and the right perspective can go a long way.
You see, as we climb up the ladder of responsibility, we need to realise that we need to change three major dispositions:
- How we think
- What we do
- Results we get
When we started, we were an individual contributor and were valued for doing the right things and to consistently deliver on time with quality. As we become emerging leaders, we have to think of making contributions through leadership. That means we need to instill trust in others and effectively influence others, hence demonstrating our ability to lead. As a team lead or manager of people, our goals are different. It is no longer about how much we can personally do, but how much our team can do which means our goal is to get results through others.
Once we realise that a manager’s output equals the output of his/her organisation plus the output of the neighbouring organisations under his/her influence, everything changes. A manager’s skills and knowledge are only valuable if we use them to get more leverage from our people.
When someone we are leading is not doing his/her job, there can only be two reasons for it. The person either can’t do it or won’t do it; he is either not capable or not motivated. So, to improve the output of the employee, the manager’s job is only two things:
So, if your role is only delegating tasks and you are not motivating or inspiring your people, you are not doing half of your job. On the other hand, if you are not investing time in training them, you are not doing the other half.
Training does not mean classroom training. For a manager, it can mean review, feedback, and one-on-one meetings to guide, to nudge, as well as to grow the person. The oldest business principle, according to Andy Grove (founder of Intel), is to invest in an often-neglected but critically important management tool which is conducting one-on-one sessions with the people you are leading. Some of the time that we are spending on one-on-ones is to see how we can impact the effectiveness and output of our work.
So, I will leave you with this thought. If you are a leader, are you investing time in increasing the output of your employees, or are you investing all your time in becoming the best individual contributor?
Chapter 2: How to deal with difficult people
Everyone will one day experience a situation where they have to face and deal with a difficult person. It may be at work, home, or even social settings. Is there a secret to deal with difficult people? How can we win friends along the way?
“Any fool can criticise, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.” – Dale Carnegie.
When it comes to dealing with difficult people, we tend to be reactive and be prone to criticise, condemn, and complain, hoping that by doing this the other person will change.
In his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie talked about the most dangerous criminals in the history of New York. This story includes a criminal nicknamed “Two Gun Crowley”, as well as America’s most notorious criminal, Al Capone, who, when questioned about their motives, regarded themselves as unappreciated and misunderstood victims, and they believed it. Everyone sees their intentions and sometimes when we condemn them, the result is that they would become defensive and justify themselves even more instead of reflecting on their mistakes.
B.F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behaviour will learn and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behaviour. We cannot expect change in a person by condemning them. Hans Selye, another great psychologist, said, “As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.” Wrongdoers will tend to blame everyone else instead of themselves.
So, what can we do then? Do you know someone you would really want to change and improve? Good, but why not begin with ourselves? That is a lot easier to do. If all of us start thinking that way, we will all self-reflect and hopefully, the world will be a better place because of that.
When dealing with people, we are not dealing with logic but a range of emotions, prejudices, pride, and ego. It takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. A great person shows their greatness by the way they treat others. So, be the bigger person and try to understand other people.
The big secret of dealing with other people? Make people feel important. Everyone likes a sincere compliment. Talk about what they want.
What about the secret to winning friends and influencing people? Dale Carnegie said this, “First, arouse in the other person an eager want, he who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”
Great leaders are made, not born. It is a lifetime activity. Learning, enhancing, and elevating your leadership skills can be done through training, perception, practice, and experience, over time. As a leader, you should never settle for less. Your inner drive for excellence can greatly inspire people and your team to pursue the best in everything they do.
JurisTech (Juris Technologies) is a leading Malaysian-based fintech company, specialising in enterprise-class software solutions for banks, financial institutions, and telecommunications companies in Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and beyond.