I was running a course this week with a group of managers about creating a coaching culture in their workplace, and we were talking about role model behaviour. One of the examples used was Bill Shankly and how his values not only inspired a group of players but a whole city.
At the end of the day one of the managers came over and shared a story with me about her husband who had been in hospital in the early 70’s recovering from a cartilage operation. Also in the ward with him was a Manchester United player who was visited by Matt Busby. While he was there Matt said hello to the manager’s husband Jim and asked why he was in hospital and wished him well before leaving.
The following year Jim was queuing up at Old Trafford for match tickets when Matt Busby walked past. On spotting Jim, Matt stopped to say hello and to ask him how he was getting on with his knee.Obviously Jim was really touched that Matt Busby not only remembered him but also remembered what he had been in the hospital.I think this is a small example of what makes a manager great, the ability to make people feel valued.
Contrast this with another manager I know of who gets to the office in the morning and immediately sits down to deal with their e-mails and post. How much value could they have by taking a few minutes to talk to the people they manage, not only talk but also listen to?