Highly Effective Manager Spotlight: Marcy Goode, Director, Ecommerce & Web Self Service Digital Marketing
Marcy started at Pitney Bowes in 2000 and started managing people in 2006. She currently manages a team of 13, 7 who are remote and 6 who work in the same office as Marcy.
How do you define an engaged team?
Driven, productive, happy individuals that want to grow to their full potential while doing everything in their power to make Pitney Bowes succeed.
How did you learn to manage people?
I didn’t know much about managing people when I started. There was no handbook. It was a lot of trial and error. Eventually, I realized it was best to just be myself rather than trying to be ‘the boss’. I read many books on emotional intelligence at work and women’s leadership—How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg are two of my favorites. There are many more structured resources and training courses available in our internal learning platform, My Portfolio, which has helped to develop people managing skills.
I also learned a lot from my own manager, Jay Bartlett—he has been a great coach. But learning to manage people really begins with learning who they are as people, not just employees. Spending time together and understanding what’s important to them helps build important connections and trust. Getting together after work as a team is one thing that motivates my team and helps us all work more effectively at work.
What’s the hardest thing about being a people manager?
Having the guts to intervene. Not with everything—I avoid petty gossip completely. But if an issue comes up that could derail our progress, I like to address it head on. This can be awkward, but we will never get past something by avoiding it.
When they aren’t happy, they feel comfortable talking to me about it and we address it right then and there. I don’t like to let things lag or grow into some unhealthy thing. Deal with it head on.
Do you have any tips that make it easier?
Be authentic. Being my authentic self includes a lot of joking around. I like to laugh, and I find humor helps put people at ease and disarms some otherwise tense situations. It’s part of who I am. At the same time, I know when to put it aside—otherwise you would get nothing done. There was one time when our team was behind. It didn’t look good. I called a meeting with the team and they knew I was upset. It was uncomfortable for all of us but I told them they had three days to come up with a plan to get back on track—and they did. After that, we never looked back and haven’t had that issue since.
Being clear about expectations is key. Without clear goals, it’s hard to set expectations for your team to accomplish. From there, I offer my support, but ultimately give them the freedom and responsibility to resolve it.
How do you engage your team across separate work locations?
We use Skype for our monthly meetings and once or twice a year, I try to include something personal. Once I asked everyone to submit a picture of their summer vacation. It was a great reminder that we’re all cool people doing fun things and helped connect us on a different level. Plus, it’s fun to learn something new about each other.
What are you proudest of as a manager?
I have a great team and while I take no credit for their talent, I am proud of all of them individually and the level of trust that exists between us. I am committed to empowering them to work to their full potential. I am proud of the trust that exists between us all. It represents the tremendous growth potential from within the group.