“Rarely does someone go into business because they’re passionate about building a team,” says Madeleine MacRae, owner and founder of HomePro Toolbox. MacRae told participants in her Expo 2022 session “Management Excellence” that effective management doesn’t often come naturally to anyone.
She says there’s a difference between management and leadership. “Management is the process of dealing with or controlling things or people,” she says. “While leadership is the action of leading a group of people. If leadership is giving the destination, management is charting the course.”
MacRae says managers need to keep in mind that they are different than their teams. She compared employees to grown-up children who need managers to establish clear and predictable boundaries in order to perform their best. She says the closer the employee is to the front lines, the more instructions they need.
To help employees achieve their highest performance, managers need to give them a purpose and make them part of the solution, she says. This requires managers to provide adequate time, tools and training. “Don’t ask your team to try,” says MacRae. “That implies an uncertain result. Ask them to practice, which implies ongoing improvement.”
One of MacRae’s most important messages is that managers often spend too much of their time on low-value activities, something she calls “$1000-per-hour activities” such as sales consultations, vendor meetings, onboarding and advertising. She says these are important, but effective managers spend 80% of their time on high-value activities, which she calls “$10,000-per-hour activities.” These include hiring decisions, sales training, process improvement, marketing strategy, coaching, mentoring and leadership.