I’m writing this after an eye-opening call with a candidate last month. I’d met him already – but 7 years ago. He was a great candidate, he had something which I’d seen immediately in a first meeting.
Great qualities go unnoticed in the wrong organisation
Some people stand out to us because their qualities hit us in the face like a sunshine on a cold day. In many cases, these candidates are completely oblivious about how strong and valuable their qualities are. That almost happens when they are in the wrong organisation.
He was still at the same firm; he’d stayed on, despite some good offers. I asked him, why?
He said life gets in the way, you have kids, suddenly you’re busy beyond belief, and it’s not that you’re happy doing what you do now, but you don’t have the time to look at other things.
He told me that I had idealistic views.
I do. That is if you consider it to be idealistic to believe that your working environment could really be in harmony with what you bring naturally to a role, to a project, or to a team. He told me that a job was for work, and it was idealistic to think you could be happy in it. I told him that wasn’t true.
And this guy, was all about the team.
He presented as such a natural people manager and mentor, the kind that are really hard to find. Great managers are scarce, as it is unusual to know how to do things, but to want to make everyone else better at doing them, while you’re busy in the background.
Excellent managers find satisfaction in making a success of everyone else.
If you don’t recognise it, it might because you haven’t met one yet. Great managers are honestly like unicorns, often referred to, never seen. A lot of people actually might think they are great managers, but the majority are not. But this guy, had all these skills, only in an organisation that didn’t need them, or value them, due to their structure. It was such a shame to me.
Real ‘management’ happens behind the scenes
You don’t see the good ones, because their biggest work happens behind the scenes. I think probably only about 5% of managers really excel at being a manger, it’s a skill that is hard to teach, and even harder to learn. And usually, it’s in place of other things, because great managers can
let go of perfection in order to let people grow.
Without them teams don’t get built, operations don’t become standardised, quality doesn’t remain. Not just making people great, but keeping them good, in a good place. Listening to them. No, not just listening. Asking.
So, back to our chap. That could be any one of us. And it’s not just that you don’t have the time to look around, because I know he did. It’s that somewhere along the way you weren’t listed to. Your voice wasn’t heard. You tried to say when it felt like things were going wrong, but it fell on deaf ears.
You grew frustrated. Business carried on. Over time, you accepted the status quo of the organisation you were in.
You let go of the idea of working in a place where you were valued, only because nobody was valuing you where you were.
But I’m going to tell you, there are organisations out there who not only will listen to you, but will think you have all the answers.
Within those organisations, you will achieve things that would never be possible in the ones that don’t suit you.
Now polish off your CV, and go find one.