“I apologize for the length of this letter; I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” – Mark Twain
Mark Twain was right. It takes effort to make a good point in just a few words. That’s part of the beauty of Twitter; the character limit forces those sharing thoughts to be concise.
Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite quotes for managers like you to reflect on we found on Twitter. Despite the small character limits, they all give you a lot to think about.
9 Great Quotes for Managers to Learn from & Reflect on
Twitter allows anyone to connect and learn from anyone else. That’s why we love seeing lessons we learn from managers that follow our Twitter account (@Get_Lighthouse) and from the many great leaders we follow, too.
Here’s some of our recent favorite quotes for managers like you to learn from. If you like one of them, please give them a retweet.
1) Small gifts can have a BIG impact
— Victoria Thompson (@VicThompson) April 3, 2017
You can see the delight in Victoria’s tweet. When was the last time you made one of your team members this happy?
It doesn’t have to cost you much to do this. If you’re looking for inexpensive ideas, you can read our post on how to give thoughtful gifts your team will love for under $10 here.
2) The difference between talking to your team about performance once a year and weekly in 1 on 1s is massive
1-on-1s are to performance reviews what continual delivery is to shipping a CD in a box once a year.
— Adrian Howard (@adrianh) June 12, 2017
Nothing should ever be a surprise in a performance review, yet too often it is. As Adrian Howard captures well, if you rely on a conversation once a year, you’re as dated as CDs.
If you’re new to giving regular, constructive feedback in 1 on 1s, here’s where to start:
- Here’s a battle-tested process to giving constructive feedback.
- New to one on ones entirely? Here’s how to start one on ones with your team.
- Not getting enough out of your 1 on 1s? Here’s a template of what the best leaders do in their one on one meetings.
3) Money can’t buy happiness. Find a job you can be passionate about.
"Don't work for money; you'll never be happy.
Find something you're passionate about
in the service of other people"
— Mark C. Crowley (@MarkCCrowley) June 16, 2017
Tim Cook said the poignant quote above in a commencement speech, and variations on that advice can be found said by many others. Yet, it’s often so tempting to take a higher paying job instead of one you’re more excited about that could have a better impact.
Specifically as a manager, it’s important to take the job of manager for the right reasons. Doing it for the money, is one of 5 reasons we’ve found people become managers for the wrong reason.
4) Humility is a key trait for leaders.
Being uncomfortable, and even afraid, is a prerequisite to the path for personal development and authentic leadership. #leadership
— Doug Lawrence (@dlawrence) July 23, 2017
Becoming a manager is a career change. It’s intimidating for anyone. As you get promoted beyond front line manager, there are constant, new challenges.
To be a strong leader, you must embrace the changes you need to make. The best way to do that is to approach every role as a learning opportunity. Look for ways to develop yourself and seek feedback regularly from your team.
Here’s some good posts to help you start your learning journey:
- Here’s how to get more feedback from your team to help you improve.
- If you’re newly promoted to a senior management role, you need to learn about skip level 1 on 1s to transform your ability to develop others.
- Understand your own Task Relevant Maturity and that of your team to know when to be hands on vs hands off.
5) Tap into the knowledge and experience of your people.
— Mark C. Crowley (@MarkCCrowley) July 16, 2017
Great leaders do not expect to have all the answers themselves. Over and over again, just like the Arby’s CEO discovered, successful leaders have learned to source ideas from all over.
Whether you have 3 employees or 3,000, they all have a unique perspective on your business because of the work they do.
The more you give them the ability to act on their knowledge and incorporate their best insights into your big decisions, the more success you have. If you want more ideas for tapping into the knowledge in your people, start here:
- Learn about how Toyota’s Total Production System teaches their managers to learn from their staff every day.
- Try asking some of these questions in your 1 on 1s to get key insights from them.
6) Make those around you better.
Leaders amplify their teams.
— rands (@rands) September 3, 2017
It’s a simple lesson from Slack’s VP of Engineering: make those around you better.
How can you amplify your team? At it’s core, that’s your job as a manager.
Some good places to start are to focus on people’s strengths, and keep them engaged and motivated. But how do you do that? Fortunately, many have done excellent research on this subject:
- Gallup found focusing on strengths is critical as revealed in their book, First Break All the Rules.
- Dan Pink shared in his TED talk the keys to engagement in the modern workforce are Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.
- Growing your people is one of the best ways to amplify your team, and this post can help with common questions managers have about growth.
7) Listen, even when it’s hard.
Every leader faces what they feel is unfair criticism when they're doing their best.
The good ones listen and redouble their efforts.
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) September 30, 2017
No one likes hearing negative feedback. It hurts. However, great leaders use that as a jump off point towards improvement.
Patrick Chovanec captures this all to real lesson in his tweet. Sometimes, even with your best efforts, it’s not enough. At this moment, you can either stumble and give up, or redouble your efforts and rise to the challenge.
Your reward for doing this is increased respect from your team, trust from the leaders you report to, and a confidence in yourself that you can do it.
If you want to build the confidence to redouble your efforts:
- Embrace the Growth Mindset created by psychologist Carol Dweck.
- Develop more Grit and learn about Angela Duckworth’s research into it.
- Learn how to see every challenge as opportunity by reading The Obstacle is the Way.
8) Every manager you’ve ever had is a learning opportunity for you.
How we learn to lead is really the outcome of interactions with people who manage well & horribly. Everyone teaches us something!#CSuite
— Mark C. Crowley (@MarkCCrowley) September 2, 2017
We’ve all had bad managers, and if we’re lucky some good ones, too. As Mark Crowley points out, you can learn from all of them.
Our experiences shape us. Whether you let them make you better or worse is largely up to you.
When you have a bad manager, look at it as lessons of what you will never do to your team. When you have a good one, use your self-awareness to recognize what they did you liked, so you can do it for others.
You can start learning from managers with these helpful links:
- Learn the lessons Lighthouse’s CEO learned from some of his past managers here.
- Learn why people leave managers, not companies, and our sequel post here.
- Read some of the many key lessons from Mark Crowley’s book, Lead from the Heart here.
9) Don’t be a source of gossip and politics. Take issues on head on.
Reminder: If you think Person A can and should improve in some way, telling Person B your criticisms about Person A won't make that happen.
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) October 27, 2017
It’s so easy to fall into gossip and politics. You may think you’re just venting, but what you’re really doing is magnifying a problem instead of fixing it. Erica Joy follows this tweet with more sound advice on handling when this happens:
Encouraging your people to tackle issues head on builds a healthy culture of candor. Of course, your example is a powerful way to demonstrate that value, so here’s some further reading that can help you:
- Here’s a simple, 3 step process for giving effective, constructive feedback .
- You can also find 5 ways to give feedback that are all better than the sh*t sandwich here.
- You can reinforce this habit by getting feedback in skip level 1 on 1s and then encouraging people to talk directly to those they have issues or feedback on.
Liked these quotes for managers?
These are just a few of our favorite quotes for managers. We have others you may also like:
- 20 more tweeted quotes from great leaders
- 21 Inspiring quotes from military leaders anyone can learn from
- Quotes from legendary leaders John Wooden, Andy Grove, and Bill Walsh.
What are your favorite quotes?