We have all seen those silly quizzes that folks post on Facebook; “What kind of Car Should You Drive”, “What Decade Should You Have Been Born In”, etc. I broke down and took one that sounded interesting enough with the headline “What Jung Archetype Are You?” The test came back that I was a “hero”. Sure enough, as a business manager, eight to ten hours a day, five or six days a week, for the last thirty years, I have been solving problems and helping clients and employees. It is not surprising that I keep my cape nearby at all times.
Having competence in your profession, both as a manager and, in my case, telecommunications, is a given necessity. Anyone with the requisite “10,000 hours” of experience should be able to run a staff meeting or design a wide area network. Why then do some companies seem to win the business, retain the top employees, and succeed and grow, while others struggle, experience high turnover, and eventually even close their doors?
Bruce Bochy, the manager of the San Francisco Giants, is finally getting accolades from the national press. Longtime Giants fans have always recognized his ability to get the most from his players and put wins on the scoreboard. Certainly he knows baseball. He makes the moves necessary with his lineup and during the games to provide the best chance of scoring more runs than the opponent. But more importantly, he has other attributes that make him a great manger. He appears calm and thoughtful. He never takes credit when the Giants win, he gives it to the players, but he always takes the blame when they lose.
The main difference I see is that Bochy seems to have achieved one of the rarest abilities of good managers, to truly care about the needs and goals of his players. This, I believe, is why his team has been in the World Series three out of the last five years. We have all had coaches who put their winning record foremost, and they may or may not have winning programs. This sports analogy applies to business as do so many others.
This is the chapter in management and customer service books that we know is true and necessary, but so difficult to maintain; to truly listen, understand and care about the needs and goals of both your clients and your employees, and to put those wants needs and goals ahead of your own. It is a challenge that I and, I am sure, many managers work on each and every day; to actually live up to our archetype. That is why Bruce Bochy is my hero!