This is an excellent collection of 10 beliefs that managers “should” have — or, good ones anyway. I find the list to be quite accurate, and I liked this one in particular:
“Managers believe that people are innately good. Without this core belief and faith in people, great management is not possible.”
It’s funny because this is exactly how I feel — not just that managers should think this, but that everyone should. Actually, many of the ideas in the list are beliefs I’ve held for as long as I can remember. Over time they’ve (mistakenly) been associated with my being naiive. I disagree.
An example would be how I treat weakness in a person. I don’t focus on it or worry about it too much (unless I’m trying to help them fix it). What I see above and beyond everything else is the person’s strengths. This is why I have so many friends; the stuff that other people can’t stand in people I can, for the most part, completely ignore. When I look at people I see what they can offer the world — what makes them great.
The trick about the management thing is that it requires that you believe in your team to begin with. If you don’t, there’s not much reason to begin in the first place. But once you do — once you say, “I can work with this.” — all negativity is put aside and the team should be looked at as if it’s nothing but a collection of strengths.
If a manager comes at it from the standpoint of, “These are a bunch of retards that I have to babysit.”, there is little good that will come of the entire excercise. The manager’s contempt will be palpable, and the team will be perpetually at odds with itself.
So I guess the goal of a manager should be to first start with good people. “Good” meaning having many strengths and talents, and a good heart. From there it doesn’t really matter what problems they have. Given a good environment they’ll kill those issues off in time. And while this transformation takes place the team will get stronger and stronger.