A Twist on Guy Kawasaki’s Advice: How to be an Enchanting Employee

Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur extraordinaire and author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, wrote a post on HBR’s blog called Enchant Your Employees. In it, he lists 10 tips for managers to develop stronger relationships with employees and increase their level of engagement.

I thought it was great advice and started thinking about the responsibilities of an employee in the manager-employee relationship. Here are my 10 thoughts on how to be an enchanting employee:

1. Know what you want your MAP to be - Kawasaki writes that providing a MAP (opportunity to Master new skills while working Autonomously towards a high Purpose) to employees will enchant them. Well, it’s impossible for a manager to provide you with something when they don’t understand your goals.

2. Take initiative and do what’s right – While being empowered to do what’s right is an amazing feeling as an employee, the responsibility then falls on your shoulder to follow through and take initiative when necessary.

3. Demonstrate results – Just as you would be enchanted by a manager who is a tougher judge of his results than yours, be a tougher judge of your results than your manager.

4. Compromise and meet your manager halfway – Since we all have shortcomings and quirks, understanding the roles they play in your relationship with your manager and how to manage them is important.

5. You both should suck it up – While everyone loves a manager who will do some of the dirty work too, you should also just suck it up when most of it falls on your shoulder because it’s ultimately your responsibility.

6. Expect to be treated equally – Word on the street around the internet is that Gen Y is big on this. Makes complete sense to me! Bureaucracy and hierarchy are so obsolete, therefore don’t operate as though it isn’t. Your manager should either get with the program or you should *nod and smile* while adding that to your list of reasons why you need a new manager.

7. Share success – Managers don’t always have the opportunity to see exactly who did what to contribute to a particular success. The best teammates are those who communicate the valuable contributions of others around them.

8. Be critical – If your manager agrees with everything coming out of your mouth then you probably aren’t adding value to her thought process and decision making. Think critically, offer a different perspective and provide insight.

9. Be humble – While a great manager will make you feel valued, it’s important to remain grounded. Leave your ego at the door when you walk into the office.

10. Look past the money. – Compensation is important but be sure to reflect on the other factors that are important to both your happiness and success in your career. Even those who are motivated by money reach a point where other factors become more of an influence.

The insight provided here is based on a combination of lessons learned, observations of other people’s experiences and advice mentors keep trying to get through to my head. What advice can you add for becoming an enchanting employee?

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  • Manning Katy

    This really goes along with taking initiative, but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to say, “Here’s what I can do for you,” than to constantly ask “Is there anything I can do?” Plus, making the former statement gives you the opportunity to use skills that interest you and allows you to take control rather than just doing whatever falls on your plate.

    Thank you for another interesting post!

    Katy Manning
    Regional Public Affairs Coordinator
    Muscular Dystrophy Association – Houston, TX

  • http://www.nikitatmitchell.com Nikita T. Mitchell

    That’s really good advice, one that I definitely need to start incorporating. I tend to ask the latter question then try to work toward my goals afterward. It’s so much more effective to just set the tone from the beginning. Afterall, if you don’t make the ask then you won’t get what you’re looking for!

    Thanks for your comment!

  • Barry

    Sounds like the Suite cast mantra.

  • http://www.nikitatmitchell.com Nikita T. Mitchell

    Barry, what’s the Suite cast mantra?

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