It's tough enough to manage others, but ourselves? Yes, I jest, we need to be master self-managers before we can gain any kind of street cred for managing others. With that in mind, I love this post from Rosa called, Twelve Rules for Self-Management. Here are a couple:
6. Be more productive by creating good habits and rejecting bad ones. Good habits corral your energies into a momentum-building rhythm for you; bad habits sap your energies and drain you.
8. Be interesting. Read voraciously, and listen to learn, then teach and share everything you know. No one owes you their attention; you have to earn it and keep attracting it.
That's right BE INTERESTING. I love that one because it is a quality that is universally recognized but often not mentioned in relation to qualities of a great manager. But let's face it, all things being equal, we'd pick the interesting boss over the dull-as-the-Seattle-sky-in-January boss. Am I right?
Yes, lets hold ourselves to the standard of being interesting - not a pompous show-off, genuinely interesting. What does that mean?
Well, I don't know.... We know interesting when we see it, hear it, and get to know it. Interesting is:
- being engaged
- showing your personality - quirks and all, especially the quirks
- having something to say about stuff - are you noticing what's going on in the world? Do you have an opinion or observation?
- being vulnerable in front of your boss - yes, that makes you interesting
- being able to taste a food and know all its ingredients - well, I think that's interesting because I cannot do it
- wearing your style - your style, not the magazine's style
- reading cutting edge blogs - how about that one?
And on and on. Be more interesting today. Tell your boss you need to take the afternoon to work on your management skills and go to the art museum. Invent a new sandwich.
And here's the ultimate: Show interest in others - the less you say (and the more you listen) the more interesting you become. That's kind of strange really, isn't it? But it's true. Blowhards are rarely interesting.