Archives For Management

“The American workforce has more than 100 million full-time employees. One-third of those employees are what Gallup calls engaged at work. They love their jobs and make their organization and America better every day. At the other end, 16% of employees are actively disengaged—they are miserable in the workplace and destroy what the most engaged employees build. The remaining 51% of employees are not engaged—they’re just there.

“These figures indicate an American leadership philosophy that simply doesn’t work anymore.” (Clifton)

“After two decades of working with CEOs and their teams of senior executives, I’ve become absolutely convinced that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre or unsuccessful ones has little, if anything, to do with what they know or how smart they are; it has everything to do with how healthy they are.” (Lencioni)

“The most important decisions that executives make are people decisions.” (Drucker)

We have an organizational health problem in this country that is undermining the effectiveness of our organizations in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds. The implications are far reaching in that it affects the overall health of this country economically, it affects the communities where organizations operate, and it affects the health of individual employees and their families.

The cause of the problem, and the solution, rests with those leading those organizations at the C-Suite and Board levels.

Many leaders of organizations have come through the business education system and are well schooled in the “hard science” aspects of running organizations. They know how to produce and read financial reports, develop strategic plans, manage supply chains, produce sales forecasts, ensure they are complying with human resources regulations, and all the other aspects of running an organization that are so important.

As important as good systems and processes are to a well-run organization, we have to embrace the fact that the health of the people in our organizations is more important than our strategies and systems. I once worked for an incredibly successful businessman who made the statement that there was no need for customer satisfaction surveys – what was needed was employee satisfaction surveys. His position was that if you have satisfied employees, you have satisfied customers. Put another way – if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.

Leaders have to learn to think differently about the people of their organizations realizing they are individuals with fears and hopes. It is up to us to take a deep look at our organizational culture and to start making the needed changes. Often it starts with looking in the mirror. It is up to us to first change our mindset.

It’s not really that complicated, but it is hard work. It begins with truly caring about the people in your organization. Do you see them as obstacles, means to an end, or as persons? Start with how you view others and go from there.

In summary is a quote attributed to Peter Drucker—“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

BG Allen
Executive Coach
Coachwell Inc.

Sources:
Clifton, Jim “State of the American Workplace Report” (p. 2). Gallup (2017)
Lencioni, Patrick M. The Advantage, Enhanced Edition: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business (pp. 8-9). Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition
Peter Drucker, http://creativefollowership.com/the-most-important-decisions/

Often, when I hear people talk of leading others it is about the perks of being a leader. However, there are a few things about leadership to remember:

  1. It’s not about you
  2. Others are more important than your comfort
  3. It is about sacrifice
  4. It is about courage in the face of adversity
  5. It is about humility in the face of success
  6. It is about serving others, seeking their good before you seek your own

One thing bears repeating – It is not about you!

BG

The Crisp Meeting is a great post by Seth Godin that gives you a framework for creating meetings that enhance your work instead of them becoming a drain on your productivity. Following is an excerpt from the post:

The crisp meeting is one of a series. It’s driven by purpose and intent. It’s guided by questions:

Who should be in the room?

What’s the advance preparation we ought to engage in? (at least an hour for every meeting that’s worth holding).

What’s the budget?

What’s the deadline?

The post has several more excellent questions to be asked in preparation for a meeting and some pithy thoughts as you might expect from Mr. Godin. It is worth a read in my opinion.

 

BG

leader versus manager?

August 30, 2017

Managers are receiving a bad rap in my opinion. I enjoy learning and sharing about leadership, so I keep up fairly well with the current literature. Additionally, I have been an adjunct professor at the graduate level for about 14 years often teaching on leadership using various texts.

I have seen a bit of a disturbing trend in the literature in that it sends, or implies, the message of “Leaders = Good, Managers = Bad“.  People are encouraged “don’t be a manager, be a leader!” as if managers are not leaders. That is the wrong message!

The contrast is actually about being a good boss (leader) versus a bad boss (leader).

Managers are leaders, supervisors are leaders! Without managers and supervisors we would never get anything done! They are the team leaders of the people actually getting the work done.

What we really have are:

Strategic Leaders (Executives) – setting vision, direction, and strategy

Operational Leaders (Directors & Senior Managers)- coordinating the work of multiple tactical level teams in order to execute the strategy set by the strategic leaders.

Tactical Leaders (Managers & Supervisors) – tactical level leaders that are leading the teams of people actually doing the work of the organization.

So, please do not diminish the critical role of managers by contrasting them negatively to the term leader. Managers are leaders!

Do you know the difference between inspired, engaged, and satisfied employees? Are you aware of the impact of the difference on their productivity? it is significant!

Read the article by Eric Garton and Michael C. Mankins on HBR.org for some very interesting insights!

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No MAS is the answer to MAS

Poorly run meetings are a major waste of important time and many of our problems with meetings are self-inflicted. Click here to read a good article on Inc.com and watch the video below

 

Some good points for you from HBR in this article on how to run better meeting. Click here to read the entire article,

Seek input from team members.

Select topics that affect the entire team.

List agenda topics as questions the team needs to answer.

Note whether the purpose of the topic is to share information, seek input for a decision, or make a decision.

Estimate a realistic amount of time for each topic.

Propose a process for addressing each agenda item.

Identify who is responsible for leading each topic.

Make the first topic “review and modify agenda as needed.”

End the meeting with a plus/delta.

I especially like the fourth point! Then as a review of the meeting, ask these questions:

 

Was the agenda distributed in time for everyone to prepare?

How well did team members prepare for the meeting?

How well did we estimate the time needed for each agenda item?

How well did we allocate our time for decision making and discussion?

How well did everyone stay on-topic? How well did team members speak up when they thought someone was off-topic?

How effective was the process for each agenda item?

It;s a good article

Candor quote