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DBweekly HOW DO YOU BRING VALUE? As a manager, your job is to help make everyone on your team become better. By Tom Wall Today is going to be another busy day, right? What’s the most important thing on your To-Do List today? Let me rephrase that. Of all of the things you’re going to do today, what will bring the most value to your team? Yes, there is a difference. Now, I’m not saying everything you do isn’t important. If there’s work that needs to be done, then yes, it’s important. The real question is, “Are you the person who should be doing it?” You can’t fill your entire day with all high-level management jobs. But at some point you must ask yourself: “As a manager, am I doing highly valuable work that only a manager can do? Or, am I doing jobs someone else should be doing?” Which of these two jobs will have a bigger impact on your herd’s performance and your team’s productivity? After discovering calves are getting sick because people aren’t washing colostrum buckets and bottles, some managers are too busy hauling animals to market to make sure everyone adheres to the new colostrum management protocols. While the manager is busy driving yesterday’s animals down the road, who’s making sure everyone is taking care of the animals of tomorrow? Let’s be honest. Most of us, given the opportunity, choose to fill our days with the jobs we like to do and delegate the tasks we don’t. Unfortunately, many dairy managers prefer to Are you delegating the most valuable get on a piece of equipment and do “manual work? For example, instead of training new labor jobs” while they disregard or delegate milkers and making sure they follow the milking the “manager jobs” involving employee-related routine, some managers delegate that task to one responsibilities. Sure, the manual labor tasks must of their other milkers, while they spend the rest be done. But every time a “manager” chooses to of the week cutting down trees along fence lines. do these jobs, the team loses its leader. 11 Dairy CoachTM Tom Wall Managers are not just higher paid “task masters” who complete their own To-Do List. How do managers create value? Managers get paid “manager wages” because they leverage one person’s time across the entire team and get better performance from everyone. When managers choose to do an “individual” job, they’re only as valuable as the work they’re able to accomplish as an individual. So, how valuable is a “people manager” who doesn’t actually manage people? Think of it this way: If your feeder doesn’t feed or a milker doesn’t milk, how long could you allow that to go on? Not very long, right? But at some dairies, it seems managers have higher expectations for their entry- level employees than they do for themselves. They expect their milkers to follow protocols consistently and communicate what they see. At the same time, these managers don’t follow up consistently and don’t give feedback when they see people working correctly or incorrectly. Ultimately, managing people isn’t something you do after you get all your “real work” done, or when you finally have time. Managing is your job. As a manager, your job is to help make everyone on your team become better. Managers are not just higher paid “task masters” who complete their own To-Do List. You bring value when you make things easier and better for your team. You bring value by helping people improve results. You bring value when you influence others to do what you need them to do. You bring value every time your efforts grow revenue or reduce expenses. In the end, you bring the most value when you help other people reach their true potential. How do you plan to bring value today?
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