How to Improve your Management Skills for a More Effective Team

As you grow your personal brand and it evolves into a bona fide business, you will undoubtedly experience a few growing pains.

You’ll need to work with people in order to get more done and move beyond the one-woman show. But if you’re like many creatives and have mainly been a producer, artist or technician, assuming the role of manager may give you pause.

For a long time, I thought that I simply didn’t have that “manager” gene. I knew I produced good work, but management was beyond me. I didn’t have the patience for it. I didn’t have the experience. Navigating conflict, following up on employees who missed deadlines, managing conflict?

No thanks. I’ll just stick to doing my work, please.

But as I began to attract more clients and projects, I realized that I had to work with others. I also realized how much of a necessary piece of this equation management skills are if you want to GROW. Not only did I need to deliver an excellent work product, but I also needed to be able to effectively communicate to my team members, conduct crucial conversations and keep our projects on track.

As I’ve had conversations with business owners and corporate leaders alike, the theme of management has repeatedly emerged. You cannot ascend in business or the workplace until you master your people skills. You can’t rise within the ranks or grow your revenue until you can effectively manage people.

Today’s guest is an expert in just that.

Dr. Keith Stephenson is a leadership expert, consultant and former school principal who turned around a number of poor-performing urban schools. Think of Morgan Freeman’s character “Joe Clark” in the movie Lean on Me, but without the dramatics.


The author of The Principal’s Cycle, and the School Administrators’ Communication Guide: 100+ Letters and Memos You Cannot Lead Without, Dr. Stephenson has identified a number of parallels between schools and organizations, and has an almost magic formula for turning around toxic, unproductive teams. He’s been in the trenches, managed large and small teams, and figured out what it takes to fine-tune a work environment so that it runs most efficiently.

Dr. Stephenson has personally empowered me with a number of leadership nuggets that helped me shed that “I’m not a manager” mindset. And the strategies he shared began to work for me immediately, once I put them into place.

I have been so empowered by his insights that I have shared them in many of my own entrepreneurial circles because the information is practical and it works!

If you’ve struggled with growing your business or ascending in your career, you’ll want to take notes on how to become a better manager, even if you hate managing people.

Dr. Keith Stephenson can be found online at Keith Stephenson Leadership Consulting and on twitter @KeiththeLeader.