past two articles have described how not to manage employees that
work for you. This article will provide a management style that I
believe is in harmony with the teachings of the gospel. My
recommendations will be based on D&C 121 and my experience in the
smart manager will be very selective when choosing new employees.
The manager will want to select someone that is a good match with his
assignment — someone he can see progressing with the company
and still with the company ten to twenty years later.
the correct employee has been hired, then managing has just become
much easier. Smart, motivated employees that like to work are a joy
to a manager.
manager will train the new employee in his duties, provide the
necessary resources, and then get out of the way and allow the person
to flourish in his new role.
course there will be times when an employee will make a mistake. How
the manager responds will determine how much that manager really
knows what is going on in his area of responsibility. The monster
manager from my first management article would yell and scream and
threaten the employee. The monster manager will only hear about
problems when they can no longer be concealed and when the problem
likely has grown to be a major issue.
correct response is to calmly (no matter how stupid the error) help
the employee correct the mistake and determine why the mistake was
made. The manager then helps the employee develop new actions or
procedures so that the mistake does not happen again.
a few mistakes, the employee will know how to correct his own
mistakes and also be able to apply what he has learned to other areas
of his responsibility in order to prevent future mistakes from
happening. This is great for a manager. There are fewer and fewer
surprises that you have to deal with, and you end up with a thinking,
caring employee that likes you as a manager and wants to do a good
wise manager will hear about problems when they are first noticed and
can correct them immediately.
employees may have personality traits that make them difficult to
work with or that cause repetitive errors. Most managers will focus
on the errors and never address the personality traits or root causes
of the problem. This does not help the employee.
where a manager discusses personality problems with an employee are
not comfortable but are the only ones that will help the employee in
the long run. The manager can point out problems to the employee and
then together they can begin to change the behavior of the employee.
employees should be working on one or two personal attributes every
year. For some employees, this could be a major change (paying
attention to detail) or just fine tuning. Everyone can improve.
an employee has a major issue and after a period of time no progress
is made, then the employee may have to be let go from his job. If a
manager has honestly tried to help an employee but the employee is
not willing to do his part, then the separation can be made with no
that I have described above is consistent with D&C 121.
working to obtain an MBA degree, you study many companies that have
been successful over many years. One of the common characteristics
of these companies is that the companies function much like a family.
These companies care about and nurture their employees. As I
learned about these companies, I understood that they are actually
putting into practice D&C 121. D&C 121 is a roadmap to
become a successful manager and company.
No power or influence can or ought
to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood (or responsibility),
only by persuasion, by long-suffering,
by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; D&C 121:41
verse does not only apply to our homes and church, but also to every
aspect of our lives. Those maniac or omniscient bosses I described
will eventually leave a company. And for most of them, there will be
a party wishing them well when they leave. What they do not know is
there will be an even bigger party when they finally walk out the
door. They will be forgotten as soon as people can erase their
memory. Within a couple of years, they will not be mentioned.
that with someone that left my place of work over a year ago. He is
constantly mentioned, and many people still call him for advice or
just to talk. His legacy will go on for many years.
is a saying that goes as follows: It is better to be respected than
loved. In my opinion, this is a saying for people who want to
justify treating people poorly. It is possible for us to be
respected and loved, and D&C 121 gives us the blueprint to get
Adam Smith is obviously not the actual name of the author of this column. The real author has
worked for two Fortune 500 companies, one privately held company, and a public accounting
firm. His undergraduate degree was in accounting, and he earned an MBA for his graduate
degree. He also has completed coursework for a PhD. in finance. He continues to be employed
by one of the Fortune 500 companies.
The author grew up in the Washington D.C. area but also lived for several years in Arizona. He
currently resides with his family on the East Coast.
The author has held various callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.