Let us face it - managing people can be tough work. However, when one manages well, irrespective of the level from which one does so, it can be very rewarding.
Many aspire to manage - to establish direction, initiate, organize, set structure, motivate, manage conflicts and help to determine policies. Many have degrees in management; however, not all managers are ‘classy.’
Bestselling author, Jim McCormick, in his book - The First Time Manager - summarizes his take on what ‘class’ means in a manager. A former Chief Operating Officer of a large and successful firm, McCormick gives us some points to seriously consider concerning the importance of what some might mistakenly refer to as ‘the small things.’
Throughout this article, I quote him verbatim. He says that class is not dependent on one’s social status but on one’s behavior. The classy manager treats people with the ‘dignity their humanity deserves’, does not use foul language even when irritated as the classy manager’s wide vocabulary makes ‘ four letter words’ unnecessary.
The classy manager is comfortable with not being the centre of attention, and does not tell ‘off-color’ or racially insensitive and demeaning jokes. This manager separates any sexual desires from the workplace, and would never make a remark to a person of the opposite sex that would not be said in front of his or her mom.
The classy manager, he continues, keeps calm in challenging situations, does not ‘burn’ bridges, learns from her mistakes and moves on and resists the temptation of making ‘derogatory’ comments about the organization - ‘no matter how justified you may feel it is at the moment of disappointment.’
This person stresses ‘we’ and downplays ‘I’ and makes a habit of displaying good manners, and does not become obsessed with receiving credit, but in giving it.
Other key virtues of the ‘classy’ manager are that he respects himself and never makes demeaning remarks about his spouse. She is loyal to her staff, does not believe that she is superior to her staff, and does not take action when angry but waits for the return of reason.
Truly important is the fact that this special breed of manager knows that ‘the best way to build oneself is to first build others.’ He recognizes that class is ‘authentic and works hard at making actions consistent with words’.
Managers can all learn from the final qualities of the classy manager - he does not build himself up by tearing others down, he leads by example and knows ‘ the importance and value of a warm smile.’
McCormick is so right - class in a manager ‘consists of what is done, often of greater importance, what is not done.’
The ‘little things’ are in fact the ‘big things.’