April 17, 2011

Nine Reasons Managers Fail

Managers, Can You Hear Me Now?: Hard-Hitting Lessons on How to Get Real Results
Managers, Can You
Hear Me Now? book
Denny Strigl and Frank Swiatek recently collaborated on a book titled Managers, can you hear me now? It focuses on success lesson from the management style used at Verizon Wireless. In this book, 9 reasons managers fail to be as successful as they can are presented, along with ideas to implement as solutions in different chapters. In this post, I hope to summarize their points and add a little of my own perspective. For more details on becoming a better manager, please consider getting this book.

1. They fail to build trust and integrity.
How to build it:
- Say what you mean and mean what you say
- Seek input and feedback from your team
- Treat customers and employees with dignity
- Be dependable and meet your commitments
- Create clear focus and objectives
- Create a climate of open communication

2. They have the wrong focus.
Focus on:
- Growing revenue
- Getting new customers
- Keeping existing customers
- Eliminating costs

3. They do not model or build accountability.
How to be accountable:
- Take action
- Make decisions
- Be proactive
- Own issues and problems
- Demonstrate your commitment
- Rise above the circumstance
- Take necessary steps to get results

4. They fail to consistently reinforce what is important.
- Your message of what is important
- Goals and objectives for organization

5. They over rely on consensus.
How to make decisions:
- Empower employees to make decisions about their work
- Consider others opinions but make your own decisions when time allows
- Decide yourself when quick action is necessary
- If you make a bad decision: admit it, fix it, and move on

6. They focus on being popular.
Focus on:
- Building trust and respect among co-workers
- Delivering concentrated results
- Holding concise “to-the-point” meetings
- Putting people in the right job

7. They get caught up in their self-importance.
Remember to:
- Drive results by meeting company goals
- Recognize contributions of your team
- Stay focused on what is best for the organization

8. They put their heads in the sand.
Rise-up by:
- Stressing open and honest communication at all levels
- Encouraging employees to bring up problems and issues
- Sharing accountability for results
- Learning to better manage your time

9. They fix problems - not causes.
How to fix it:
- Prevent reworking same issue
- Assign appropriate resources to solving the problem
- Take the time to discover root cause(s)
- Do not point fingers - work together

“The ultimate goal of a successful manager is to have this total commitment spread throughout the entire organization at all levels so that a results-focused culture is created.” - Denny F. Strigl

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