The old is forever new?

Over 10 years ago, Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization published First Break All the Rules, What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. Their extensive research suggested that the best business leaders and their managers are those that build a work environment where the employees answer yes to these 12 Questions:

Do I know what is expected of me at work?
Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
At work, do my opinions seem to count?
Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
Do I have a best friend at work?
In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to learn and grow?

How many of your key direct reports would answer all yes? How many nines or is it just six? How would your manager’s direct reports respond if given the opportunity?

Think about what you need to do to improve your “fun to come to work” quotient in creating a better, more cohesive work environment.

Late last year, I wrote about weekly, monthly or at the very least quarterly structured one-to-one’s with your direct reports that enables them to keep you abreast of their deliverables. In doing so, you then have the opportunity to spend time with your best employee’s, praising, nurturing and guiding them to take on more responsibility, accountability and authority.

When this transfer or delegation takes place your plate gets smaller freeing you to focus on strategy and vision. Buckingham encouraged leaders to spend time with your best people and provide constant feedback. If you can’t or won’t spend an hour every quarter talking to an employee, then you shouldn’t be a manager, team leader, president or CEO of a small to mid-sized company.

I’ll harp on performance contracts again suggesting you mutually agree to the right outcomes, not steps. Standardize the end but not the means and encourage or mentor your employees to use his or her own style to create their own steps to deliver the result or outcome you want.

In a recent post late last year, Who’s in YOUR Wallet, I shared the Aptitude x Attitude = Success. So during your one-to-one’s and your MBWA (management by walking around) study the best managers in your company and revise your training focus to incorporate what they know.

Send your talented people to learn new skills or knowledge.

Change recruiting practices to hire for talent, revise employee job descriptions and qualifications.

Buckingham and Coffman explain how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience; how they set expectations for him or her — they define the right outcomes rather than the right steps; how they motivate people — they build on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix his weaknesses.

“There’s Nothing Like a Good Old Fashion Recession To Make You Run A Business Better!’
Millard Drexler; CEO JCrew

Published by edstillman

I grew up in Carlsbad, north San Diego County, lost my dad as a teenager, went into the USAF for four years and hired on with 3M in 1969. Received my AA from Santa Barbara City College, BA and Masters from Redlands University and after 33 plus years, I retired from 3M in 2002. As I look back on my life, I have been creating myself and developing my skill sets to be a business coach and a Vistage Chair. I am president of SEOT, a "personal improvement" consulting firm spending most of my time working with Central Texas executives running small to medium size for-profit companies who are focusing on improving their profitability greater than their competition. My area of interest is assisting senior executives in creating a better balance between business commitments and personal relationships. I also facilatate three leadership labs each consisting of a dozen owners, presidents and CEOs. We meet monthly both in a group setting as well as in a 1-to-1 coaching session. Our focus is to sharpen each others' skills in becoming better leaders, making better decisions and taking ourselves and companies to that next level. Who are we? My members are experienced top executives who recognize that they don’t have all the answers and who actively seek the company of successful peers—both to give and receive insights and ideas. My members mine the 200 plus years of chief executive experience that comes together in our monthly meetings and members are eager to offer their own experience and insights in the process. As a group, we spend our time exploring topics members can't discuss anywhere else. My members have many other places where they can engage in idle, "cocktail party" chatter. Our mission is to provide the setting for discussing the "undiscussable." Where or who can you go to for confidential, honest feedback to assist you in minimizing your personal "Worry List"?

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