Posted by: Susan | October 26, 2010

The Great Managers

Recently, I read an article in Harvard Business Review, one of my favorite publications, and it said that just 10% of managers really help move their organizations forward. They’re the ones who zero in on strategic goals and see them to completion; they fuel breakthrough innovations in products, services, and processes; and they tackle heavy workloads under tight time constraints.   But, I asked myself, ” just 10%?” 
What about the remaining 90%? Short on self-awareness, it seems they don’t ask themselves the hard questions required to examine — and improve — their leadership skills. Overcommitted, they succumb to the temptation to concentrate on short-term tasks when pressure mounts.  (We’ve all been there, right?) Blurring their focus even further, many accumulate “monkeys” on their backs by taking on subordinates’ problems.  (The famous “got a minutes?”)
How can you ensure you’re in the 10% — not the 90%?

  •  Regularly take stock of your effectiveness as a leader, rather than waiting for others to give you feedback.  There are numerous ways to access your own leadership skills, by the way, and they don’t take long; many are relatively inexpensive. 
  •  Rivet your attention on efforts that support long-term objectives.   If you don’t know what your company’s objectives are, ask.
  • Throw off time-hungry monkeys.   One of the best resources I’ve ever found in this area is The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey by Ken Blanchard.  If you’ve got monkey problems, you should read it.

The payoff? You redirect your energy to where it exerts the biggest impact: your company’s strategic priorities. 



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