Whenever I am asked to mentor a manager who is struggling in their job, the first question I ask is:
“Do they understand what the job is?”
In most cases this where their struggles start and stop. A position description rarely provides the level of detail needed to fully grasp what is expected on a day to day basis. But the problem is, the only person who can really clarify the expectations of the job is invariably busier than the incumbent – and that is their boss. Until role clarity is achieved, the manager (or anyone for that matter) cannot be expected to operate at their highest levels – and until that occurs their boss will continually be picking up the pieces.
This is in fact the first step in empowering others to operate at their highest levels – delegation. Make sure they fully understand the dimensions of the their job. But it is a two-way conversation.
If you are not clear on what is expected of you, or not clear about the priorities in your work, then take the initiative.
Set up regular meetings with your boss focused on:
- Developing a shared understanding of what is important and what is not in your job, and
- What you need to do the job well.