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Nine Reasons Managers Struggle

February 16, 2012

Reposted from: Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: Nine Reasons Managers Struggle.

I will have to check my network, it sounds like we may have worked with some of the same people…

If I could add a tenth reason, I would suggest:

They are on an endless quest for the ‘holy grail’. They spend an inordinate amount of time and energy seeking the magic strategy, business model, product, technology, employee, consultant, marketing campaign (or lately, social media strategy/campaign/expert) that possesses the missing secret sauce for success. Great managers execute, first and foremost– often with less than ideal capital, experience, staffing, etc. Not that managers shouldn’t seek to improve all of those things, but those efforts must not overtake the imperative to execute.

From the original post:

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Nine Reasons Managers Struggle.
Former CEO and president of Verison (sic) Wireless Denny Strigl explores nine specific behaviors that leaders do and don’t do to make the serious performer, marginal performers, or failures. In  “Managers, can you hear me now?”  he says it’s all about behavior.
  1. Managers Fail to Build Trust and Integrity. The three major qualities of trust are integrity, openness, and respect. Trust always begins with the manager. Do you say and do things that erode trust?
  2. They Have the Wrong Focus. Focus all your energy on achieving results. Allow nothing to distract you. As the manager, you are the force that keeps your team focused on results. Continually reinforce the Four Fundamentals– growing revenue, getting new customers, keeping existing customers, eliminating costs– and what’s important, unnecessary activities will always creep in. Do you feel you are wasting time, effort, and money by focusing on things that don’t matter in getting results?
  3. They Don’t Model or Build Accountability.  The best way to get people who work for you to be accountable is to show them that you are accountable. Do you have a tendency to blame others or look for excuses? Do you talk about accountability and reward it?
  4. They Fail to Consistently Reinforce What’s Important. Managers are the first to get bored with their message. The people who work for you perform their best when what you say is consistent and frequent. Do you have a core performance message that you constantly talk about with your employees?
  5. They Over-rely on Consensus.  Consensus managers seldom survive long in their jobs. To get buy-in from everyone will likely produce a watered-down version of the original decision or action.
  6. They Focus on Being Popular. Leadership should never be a popularity contest. Managers who try to be popular often lose their focus and waste energy.
  7. They Get Caught Up in Their Self-Importance. Given all the benefits of your position, it would be easy to become absorbed with yourself. On any given day, you might think it really is “all about me.”  Do you have a high need to gain admiration, be in the spotlight and get public accolades?
  8. They Put Their Heads in the Sand. The best managers not only want to hear about problems, but encourage their employees to tell them when they encounter problems or issues they feel are not right. Good managers want open, honest, direct, and specific communication regardless of the information being presented.
  9. They Fix Problems, Not Causes.  Unless the manager fixes the cause of the problems they encounter, valuable time will be spent fixing the same problem over and over again.

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