A lack of management leadership results in the organization becoming defined by the employee’s beliefs and standards, rather than by management’s. Most organizations don’t realize that without management leadership the business will eventually fail. If left to make their own choices and decisions, employees will resort to their personal life experiences and the standards they believe are right.
The purpose of management leadership is to set goals and standards above the average person’s experience and into that of the market leader of their industry. Management’s job is to plan, document, recruit, train, and motivate the employees to achieve designated levels of performance as a unified team that has the ability to out distance any one individual. The process includes asking questions, that when answered, leads to a preferred brand in the mind of the customer, because your services are provided on time, as promised, and at a fair price…every time.
The best managers ask these three questions:
How do we do it here?
Are we doing it?
How can we do it better, faster, cheaper?
The tension between these questions creates the knowledge to move the company forward. The best managers keep their people focused on the most important things by keeping their awareness on what they are doing to get the best result.
They do this by expecting employees to make and keep a list of what they have to do to achieve their objectives. They develop an organizational strategy that includes all the positions necessary to get the work done everyday, day in, and day out. They train their people how to review their Key Performance Indicators and compare them against their goal, and to constantly work towards improved performance. They train their people to embrace change as a way of life and an opportunity to test new systems. They use change as an advantage in ways that technology and money can’t, because of human creativity.
Higher performing people aren’t born that way. They get that way through training. Repetition leads to perfection. It all starts with the company’s strategic objective, both the value and passion of purpose, and the daily work at hand. Team management meetings, training meetings, and one-on-one meetings help to communicate knowledge, vision, and hopes for a brighter future.
Let’s imagine the Manager who doesn’t do this…
We will look at each of the three most important questions and the cause and effect of not asking them:
1. How do we do it here?
Cause: Management feels that since every employee is different and has their own way of doing things, it is better to let them do their job their own way so that they can accomplish it faster than trying to do it in a way that is unfamiliar to them.
Effect: No one really knows what is going on, and when that employee is absent (either temporarily or permanently) then work stalls while other employees scramble to get the work done.
2. Are we doing it?
Cause: Management assumes that since the work is getting done, that it is being done efficiently and effectively.
Effect: By not monitoring and tracking productivity, no one is aware if the processes are being followed and the work is being done correctly. The cost of rework and errors is crippling the company and no one is aware of the issue until it is too late.
3. How can we do it better, faster, cheaper?
Cause: Management contends that everyone is working to full capacity, even overtime when necessary and that they are hitting the numbers, making a profit, or that they are the current industry leader. They feel it’s a bad idea to mess with a process that works.
Effect: The rising cost of healthcare, utilities, and advertising combined with the excessive cost of overtime eventually decreases the gross profit until the Company is taking a loss. A new company comes along with a better process and knocks the industry leader out of the top spot. The Company has to lay off employees and eventually can’t keep up with production. Customer satisfaction plummets and the company fails.
As you can see in the aforementioned scenarios, we aren't leaving much to the imagination...if your management team doesn't ask these three questions; they aren't achieving the results that the business needs to succeed.
In the prior examples where they did ask the questions, the desired results are achieved because the systems run the business, and the people run the systems. The manager’s job is to make this a reality.
Is your Management Team asking these questions?
If not, have them start. If they can’t or won’t, find a Management team that will. It’s vital for the sustainable growth of your Organization.
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How have these questions helped your Company grow? What is the most important thing you’ve learned from management leadership? What are your thoughts on this article? We welcome your thoughts below! As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
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