Seed World

Management Mavericks Nomination Deadline Looming

Managers can make or break an employee’s success, morale and growth.

We are celebrating Management Mavericks:  managers who extend far beyond assigning tasks and overseeing projects. Management Mavericks shape the workplace culture, influence employee satisfaction and ultimately drive the success of the team and the organization. They are the linchpin that can turn a mundane job into a meaningful career. Nominate those folks right now, before the thought even leaves your mind. We’ve made it easy for you with this link: Nominations close June 14.

I have often pondered the difference between merely having a job and truly thriving in a career. I’ve realized the answer lies significantly in the hands of a good manager or leader. Their influence can transform a routine job into a fulfilling journey, marked by growth, motivation and a sense of belonging.

I recall my early days in the workforce, fresh out of college and eager to prove myself. My first manager, we’ll call her Bonnie, was a real czar with little regard for how others felt in their roles. As a testament to her leadership, 11 employees left that year, two left for lunch and never returned. Her leadership style was cruel and unquestionable. She was unapproachable. I stayed one year to the date and then immediately returned to school to pursue a master’s degree. I had longed for a mentor but didn’t get one. I wanted someone with a blend of empathy, clear communication and unwavering support to learn the ropes of the professional world. I needed someone who believed in me even when I doubted myself. I needed someone with an open-door policy that wasn’t just a phrase; but rather a promise. I wanted to be able to approach her with ideas, concerns or simply for advice. This accessibility may have made all the difference.

A manager’s ability to recognize and nurture potential can be transformative. A Management Maverick can see strengths in employees that they haven’t yet identified. Rather than focusing solely on immediate tasks, they encourage others to pursue projects that align with their passions and career aspirations. This not only increases an employee’s engagement but also their productivity. They feel valued and they naturally want to invest in the company’s success because their personal growth is a priority.

I’ve had a array of leaders who managed in very different ways. None made me feel as insignificant as my first job out of college, but a few came pretty close. Others invested in me personally and professionally, they pushed me to do my best and worked in the trenches with me. Those are the ones who shared in the work and the celebration of success.

Great managers understand that leadership is not about micromanaging or maintaining a hierarchical distance. It’s about building trust, fostering a collaborative spirit and empowering team members. They provide constructive feedback and celebrate successes, no matter how small. Such leaders create an atmosphere where employees are not afraid to take risks, knowing they have a safety net of support and guidance.