Enabling happiness and productivity

Among the latest batch of new manifestos available yesterday from ChangeThis is this great one – How To Manage Smart People by Scott Berkun.

A manager for nine years at Microsoft, Berkun draws on some of his experiences there in this 18-page PDF to provide a wide range of practical tips and tricks on managing people, especially talented ones.

For me, these words in the early content say the most important things:

Managers have more to do with enabling the happiness and productivity of the people that work for them than anyone else in the organization. A manager, at any level of hierarchy, from line project manager to CEO, has an emotional responsibility to their reports, or to the people who are dependent on them. Like a parent in a family, or a coach of a sports team, a manager sets the tone for dialogue (open and thoughtful, or defensive and confrontational?), enables or prevents a fun work environment, and interprets or ignores the corporate rules and structure, for a daily practice of shared work.

And these:

While managers are hired to get stuff done for their employer, they also make a personal commitment to each of their reports by being their boss. The manager automatically takes on more responsibility for the career of their employee than anyone else in the organization or company. They might ignore this responsibility, or do a crappy job of it, but the responsibility is still theirs.

If you’ve not yet encountered ChangeThis, read the manifesto about ChangeThis (PDF) to understand what ChangeThis and manifestos are.