What Do Managers MANAGE?
When the vision is clear and the expectations are understood, leaders turn their attention to the second step in the Leadership Loop. This is where they manage to accomplish the expected results.
The first work of management is to MONITOR behaviors and performance against the expectations that have been set and communicated. This work includes the regular task of observing the behaviors of people as they work and tracking the performance and results achieved.
If the behaviors are not consistent with the values of the organization leaders get to work to determine why. Are the values clear and shared? Have the values been engrained into the culture?
If the performance and results do not meet expectations effective leaders get to work to figure out the cause. They make sure the processes are good and are being followed. They PROVIDE RESOURCES to make sure individuals and team have what is needed to accomplish the expectations. They also REMOVE OBSTACLES that are obstructing progress and limiting results.
When bad behaviors are observed, the first response of poor leaders is to want to reprimand or fire someone. When poor results are observed, poor leaders again want to reprimand or fire somebody. Seldom is it appropriate that the first course of action is to reprimand or fire. Usually, especially if the bad behaviors or poor results are pervasive, something in the system, processes, and culture is producing exactly what is being observed. Firing workers in a bad system or bad culture usually just makes things worse.
Great leaders respond positively to less-than-desired results by first changing the systems that are getting the poor results. They make these changes by engaging those doing the work and together digging into the processes, fixing problems, removing obstacles, and providing resources.
When the vision is compelling and expectations are clear Leaders then MONITOR results, PROVIDE RESOURCES, and REMOVE OBSTACLES. But their leadership work is not yet done.
This is the second piece in a three-part series on the Leadership Loop.
Check back for Part III, “How to Hold Others ACCOUNTABLE” next month!