“People don’t want to be managed. They want to be led. Whoever heard of a world manager? World leader, yes. Educational leader. Political leader. Religious leader. Community leader. Labor leader. Business leader. They lead. They don’t manage. The carrot always wins over the stick. Ask your horse. You can lead your horse to water but » Read More
Tag Archives: manage people
Wondering how to rekindle creativity in your workplace? Meet IBM Fellow John Cohn, Ph.D., an idea powerhouse who has been at IBM for 29 years. He shares six observations about how to keep innovators engaged and on board.
Idea people gravitate toward all things new and have little patience for inefficient processes and corporate silos. They can live in any department at any level of any organization. They can be any age, any color, male or female. To you as a manager, they may represent a breath of fresh air in your department or a colossal thorn in your side. Regardless of how you feel, idea people may be the key to your organization’s future. The question is…how are you engaging them today?
What is your organization’s claim to fame—operational excellence, customer intimacy or product leadership? How are you doing in the other two areas? If your focus is customer intimacy, do the employees who personally excel at operational excellence and product leadership feel engaged or disenfranchised in your workplace?
Effective managers create expectations, insist on excellent and confront poor performance. Over 40 percent of managers, however, under-perform on these “Requiring” activities. Why? Many of these managers fear they will come across as mean or combative, an image they want to avoid. To avert a career train wreck, these individuals need to rethink the definitions of “mean” and “nice.”
Feedback, even if it stings temporarily, is a gift to an employee, not a curse, because it allows the employee to grow. It is also an opportunity to deepen a relationship with an employee, not damage it, if you follow the 10 steps in this post. If, after reading this, you still feel weak-kneed at the thought of initiating a performance discussion, find a coach or mentor who can help you explore what’s holding you back.
Theory: all good managers have ready access to two fundamental skill sets—the ability to Relate and the ability to Require. “Relating” encompasses relationship-building behaviors: asking, listening, including, coaching and encouraging. “Requiring” refers to results-oriented activities: creating expectations, focusing on goals, insisting on excellence, setting appropriate controls, asserting your views and confronting problems. Over- or under-utilizing these skills can damage business results and/or relationships.