Leadership Advice

What makes managers happy: ‘I love seeing employees grow’

Advice from Jill Geisler,Bill Plante Chair in Leadership & Media Integrity, Loyola University ChicagoFreedom Forum Fellow in Women’s Leadership

Over the Labor Day weekend, I asked my friends on social media a simple question: Managers, what brings you happiness at work? Their responses weren’t about power, pay or prestige. The message they surfaced repeatedly was about service to their teams and to society. If you’re a manager — or thinking of becoming one — how would your answers compare with these?

Isabel Lara

“I love when someone from my team comes up with a way to successfully fulfill a task I’ve assigned them that’s completely different from what I would have done. It’s satisfying to see people I’ve trained develop their own methods & style in doing the job.” — Isabel Lara, Executive Director, Media Relations, NPR

“I always count it a good day if I’ve found some way to make the job of a reporter (or another editor) easier and more rewarding, instead of harder and more frustrating. That can come through a conversation, an edit that helps them see the story better or, often, going through their priority list with them and giving them permission to set something aside. A reporter’s job is hard enough, especially these days. It’s my job to push them, sure, but it shouldn’t be to make what they have to do harder still.” — Greg Borowski, Deputy editor for news, projects and investigations, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Yvette Babs Walker

“I’ve always defined myself as a ‘coach’ in management. I don’t ‘manage’ people, I ‘coach’ them to get the best performance out of them by trying to show them best practices, how to correct mistakes, and how to make the best choices. I love seeing employees grow from this method, and taking the next step in their careers, either with me or moving on to another opportunity. The best reward is when they are ready to step into my job with confidence.” — Yvette Babs Walker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Comm, Oklahoma U


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