Why is it important to fight for the men and women under your supervision, and how should you do it? How should you try and sell your ideas of management? In answering these questions we can draw on a wealth of practical experience, for a great many successful executives have won their promotions because they succeeded in both these aspects.
Develop Top-Down Loyalty
If you are going to take time in a busy day to fight for an assistance or subordinate, you need a sense of conviction that this is important. Here are some points to consider.
When you become a manager, you become responsible for the people who work for you. There is no higher responsibility than this in your business career. An employee who does a good job should feel that you will go to bat for him, if necessary, to get him a fair deal. He should feel that you are a good man to go to in any kind of trouble.
This responsibility is not so easy to assume as it may sound in writing because most of us get into the habit early in life of feeling responsible mainly to our parents, teachers and bosses. But when we become bosses we have to look both ways-towards higher-ups we are responsible to and also to employees we are responsible for.
All members of the organization must be convinced that he has his heart set on building the department or company through their personal development and, in that way, building their futures as well. If he finds personal satisfaction in creating a stronger, more successful organization and in helping as many as possible progress in their work lives, he must show it in his decisions, in plain conversation, and in the way he allocates his time.
The Right Actions At The Right Time
First when one of your subordinates gets in trouble with people in another work group or department as a result of trying to do a better job, you want to back him up. This is an especially important action if your management believes, as ours do, that employees should be encouraged to break out of narrow routines and, wherever possible, think of problems as company problems, not just problems of this particular function or that.
Lastly, fighting for your people sometimes means attacking in their behalf, not just defending them from attack. When you actively back a person, don’t be afraid to tell him of suspected faults in the opposition or of conversations that might be helpful to him. Remember that there will be others who, not so inclined to help him, will handicap his adjustment and shrink his confidence.