Today’s advice comes from Symantec CEO Enrique Salem’s interview in the New York Times:“If you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to be able to deliver the tough message. And I find that a lot of managers will not deliver those messages and then people are surprised. If you get asked to be a manager, you have to manage.”
Salem says he’s a big believer in keeping expectations high — but within reason — and fostering an environment in which people understand they need to perform. Part of that, as a manager, is cultivating an ability to tell it like it is, while still maintaining a respectful and productive air.
At first, that directness was challenging for Salem. But as he picked up more management experience and broadened his view, he learned that a certain honesty and frankness save time and energy while preventing intra-office misunderstandings, he says. Plus, if you have a reputation for being forthright, your staff isn’t ever unfairly broadsided by what you have to say.
“Managing means sometimes you’ve got to deliver a tough message,” he says. “But you’ve got to give the feedback in a way that has a constructive tone.”
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