The people doing the work, and the people leading or managing them.
I was thinking recently about some of the things good leaders do, and the things poor leaders do. And this put me in mind of some bank managers I used to know.
So herewith, stories of two managers. Both doing something very hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves stuff. Opinions welcome. In the next post, I'll share my views on these situations.
Manager # 1
This branch was in a busy shopping mall, and I worked there as a trainee for a while. We were busy enough that I got in trouble for booking too many appointments for the loans officer I was training with. He reminded me that we needed to take a break for lunch, or we wouldn't get to eat. An important lesson.
The manager there, like all branch managers, was under constant pressure about managing discretionary expenses. From time to time I would see this guy in the stationery room using something called "padding compound" to make up scratch pads from paper recycling to avoid the need to buy them. I'd never seen this stuff before, and I thought it was pretty interesting.
This branch was in a busy plaza, right beside a major grocery store in a commuter community. It had long opening hours, both evenings and weekends, so they ran three schedules. The manager used to make tea every morning for the tellers about 15 minutes before the doors would open.
I found this out because I was there once in the morning before the doors opened, and the manager said we needed to stop our meeting for a few minutes to go make tea. I found out that this was a regular part of the manager's daily routine.
So... what do you think? Both stories are about how a leader chose to spend a few minutes of time on a regular basis. And everything a manager does is observed by staff, whether you know it or not.