2011-09-29

Get rid of managers

David Huggins

. . . who cannot accept that their responsibility is to get results through other people by making them successful.

 

This means there’s no place in a growing business for managers whose sole fixation is on controlling people and processes – they’re about as useful as udders on a bull. It also means divesting yourself of those who believe that their job is to get results at the expense of others – they are like vipers with six fangs – everyone will avoid them.

 

Count in too all those managers who think that their primary role is to implement, to the letter, any and all instructions you give them – they are as advantageous as having a second mouth. There’s no question that managers are accountable for getting results – why else would you pay them? It’s clear too that their ‘stock-in-trade’ is other people, just like engineers work with designs, accountants work with numbers / ratios and effective sales people use questions.

 

Now, if people are the ‘asset’ for a manager you have every right to expect that these assets will be protected and nurtured – lest they become wasted assets. You have a reasonable expectation too that there will be a substantial return on your investment in such assets, otherwise why have them in the first place? The only acceptable contribution from any manager then is to appreciate your ‘people assets’ – those reporting through that manager.  This accretion of value has to be measurable and substantial; if not, the manager is not doing the job expected. If the manager does not accept this responsibility, it may be that people are viewed as liabilities and therefore have to be controlled and contained.

 

One quick question to test whether a manager understands and values the developmental aspect of the role is to ask, “How many people have you made successful in the past 12-24 months?”  If the response is definitive – actual names and events that can be verified – you’ve got a good manager, one for whom staff will create contribution and not abandon.

 

If the answer is less than specific you may well have a problem – someone is wasting your assets, your money, your time and your reputation. Clarify your expectations immediately and if the change is not obvious, positive and sustainable – take immediate replacement action.

 

There’s too much at stake to do otherwise.  


 

David Huggins MASc, FIoD, CMS is an experienced behavioral scientist and executive coach who’s dedicated to bringing out the best in individuals and groups. His insights and direct contributions have taken business leaders to elevated dimensions in performance. He can be reached through his websites at www.andros.org and www.polarisprogram.com

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