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When are they Leaving?

When are they Leaving?

Ezequiel Tovar

We have been paired with that manager. You know the one I’m talking about. The one who mismanages and is not a good leader. The supervisor who’s a bottleneck for every decision, and makes other people in the firm go through them. These supervisors often give us the sense that they don’t have our best interests in mind, making the working relationship simply transactional. Many people are in the same boat, but in the ocean, the tides change. Sometimes it can become overbearing, and you may ask yourself, “When are
they going to leave?” 

As you develop your own leadership and soft skills, thinking about our shared experiences with subpar supervisors can provide insight into how we can do better for ourselves and those around us. Think about it: Bad leadership skills and poor management create an environment where it is hard for employees to grow and develop. In contrast, great leaders create environments where everyone has the space and support to grow and develop. Poor leadership creates deprivation, and the gap between great and poor leadership illustrates some tremendous lessons that help us overcome the barriers created by bad management. Sooner or later, we all move on to better opportunities and new situations.

Reflecting on situations that prohibit us from enacting our full potential forces us to ask questions that will shape our careers in the future: Are you ready to inspire and positively influence others in the best way possible? Once we get into the nitty gritty of things, we realize that being in a leadership position and managing people is an art and is easier said than done. Being an intentional leader each and every day will make you and others perform to the highest level. Here are two fundamental points that will help anyone as they transition into
a leadership position:

1. Create a system. 

An organized system of how you will be managing people will create a consistent and healthy interaction with the ones you lead. This is a curriculum that you have for yourself. Clear expectations and goals will cement the learning experience. Because they will understand what is important to do. Planning this system ahead of time gives you time to put thought into this program and really create an employee experience that stimulates development, but also allows freedom for them to innovate in your company. This may be weekly meetings to check up on a personal level, going out to lunch, setting specified times to review projects, or creating one-on-one sessions that promote certain target learning points. This set curriculum will act as a framework and contribute to their success as an employee, but also your success as a manager. It’s crucial to think about these things before we are propelled into them. What type of leader do you want to be? How will you make decisions? Overall, if you do it with genuine care, there will be greater opportunities for you because everyone wants to work under a manager that elevates everyone’s work while bringing the
best out of people.

2. Look back and learn. 

Write down what you would want to look like as a supervisor, even if you are not currently in that same position. Jot down the ideas, principles, and wisdom you would like to impart. Look back at all your previous managers and focus on what they did right and wrong. Even when setting the procedures and systems in place as discussed above, no one gets it 100 percent right. There will always be tweaks and adjustments to be made. Experiences that you have never been through may cause you to course correct. Adaptability is a leadership skill that must be refined through time. The most important thing is that you must never be complacent. That’s where leaders falter. Thinking you have the perfect program is wrong because there is always more to be lived and learned. There will always be more lessons to learn and more wisdom to be obtained. 

There is always a balance between being rigid and super structured and having too much flexibility to the point where the people you manage are not getting the most out of learning from you. Your future leadership experience will inevitably differ from your own experience in some way—whether the amount of your time, the scope of your work, or the tools needed to get it done. Keeping this in mind, know that this work is strenuous, but it is essential for creating more effective leaders that can Elevate the Industry. This is a journey, so enjoy the people you meet because you can have a great impact on their lives. Diligence and thought toward these leadership skills will be invaluable as you continue to grow and learn, and will help to ensure that your future coworkers will never ask: “When are they leaving?”

Ezequiel Tovar is an analyst within Zweig Group’s Ownership Transition team. He works directly with AEC firms to develop and implement successful ownership transition efforts with financial modeling, valuations, and comprehensive strategic planning.