Leadership Advice

‘Watching people succeed’: What brings managers joy

Jill Geisler

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

One of the first things newly promoted managers realize is how little control they have of their time. They’re managing up, down and sideways, and all of those connections (bosses, staff and management colleagues) demand attention — some in planned meetings, most on the fly. The next thing they realize is that they no longer have the satisfaction of creating something single-handedly, like the great interviews, stories, images, designs or programs they personally produced on the front line. But in time, good managers discover another source of fulfillment, one that’s well worth their time: the development of others.

Bob Zaltsberg

“I’m really pleased when a reporter I’m working with finds that great source, asks great questions, and explains a tough topic with the ease of a friend when I know she has developed those skills at least partly from my mentoring.” — Bob Zaltsberg, retired editor, Bloomington Herald-Tribune

Amy Pyle

“The ability to have more impact, more change, result from our collective work.” — Amy Pyle, National Investigations Editor at USA Today

“What makes me happy as a manager? The essential joy of working with a group of talented people and enjoying the practice of being a coach to help them reach their potential in the practice of the craft. I’ve always thought this Steve Jobs quote captured it well: ‘What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.’ ” — Kirk Varner, News Director, KSTP-TV, Minneapolis

“I enjoy giving my colleagues room for growth and watching their success.” — Damian Balinowski, Manager, Internal Communications at Hawaiian Airlines

“What makes me happy is watching people grow. Create the conditions to empower your team and you cannot go wrong. Assign tasks based on motivations (you taught me that, Jill) and people will thrive! Delegation, which many managers dislike, is a breeze when you align tasks to interests and talents.” — Colleen Comeau, Human Resources Director, New Brunswick Community Colleges, Canada

Richelle Hoenes

“…it’s about helping the people I lead achieve success. What I want is to help them earn promotions, find balance, explore new opportunities, and take on more challenging projects, whatever it is they’re striving for in their own career. I find complete joy in seeing others reach their goals and knowing I helped get them there.” — Richelle Hoenes, Director, Corporate Communications at AdventHealth West Florida Division

Ed Tobias

“Simply, watching people succeed.” —Ed Tobias, retired news coverage and crisis planning manager at the Associated Press

Read more manager insights: ‘It’s about them winning, not you’ / ‘Run through walls’ / ‘Provoke ideas and let them run’ / ‘I love seeing employees grow’


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