I had a great family get together in Indiana this weekend after speaking at the Energetic Women’s Leadership Conference in Indianapolis. (The conference was a gathering of women from all over the US who are in the Energy industry – primarily gas & electric).
One of the many highlights was getting the latest updates from my stepson Chris regarding the state of their business in 2019 (we have 4 business owners in our immediate family!). They are exceeding goals! I was so happy to hear!
“So, what are your current challenges, what do you want to be different?”, I asked. His answer, “Building middle management.” Their business is family owned and operated with very aggressive growth goals. They need an effective, competent second tier leadership/management team if they want that to happen.
So we talked through some of his efforts and in several aspects he has some great things in place. For example, they have scorecards to keep everyone focused on the metrics that matter. They are very sensitive about company culture. They certainly do a lot of fun things together.
The one thing he really was stalled on was building a management team that could replace him so he could be free to develop the best, most market responsive strategies to grow the business overall.
So I shared with him my newly formed Executive Advantage Blueprint for Smart Management. I walked through each “smart management” building block – some of which, to varying degrees, he had in place.
What was missing is what most leaders miss…see if any of this applies to you:
1). He didn’t recognized that when he said. “I want my managers to do this____________”, he was really wanting a specific behavior.
2). “Getting” managers to do a certain thing or have a “skill” is about developing behavior. Skills don’t magically appear. Skill development takes intention with a proven plan over time.
3). That telling someone to do or be a certain way without specifically showing them or telling them how leaves lots of room for frustration on both party’s part and wasted time. The quicker and most effective development efforts have a what, how and a why.
So as we went through the blueprint. I asked, “What if your managers had a weekly management blueprint to follow that set in motion the development of the skills/ capabilities you wanted and consistently achieved your needed results and from which you could see rapid improvement in 90 days? Would that be helpful? Does that makes sense?
Then the light bulb went off! He replied, “That’s cool! Where does the 90 days fit in?” So we discussed the unique feature of the blueprint which is the integration of human behavior science in each building block. Because it’s built upon principles of human behavior, you can design how and when you can get results. The blueprint is designed to get results in measured cycles – the first full cycle within 90 days.
I asked, “How would it be if you did not have to rely on a particular skill level of a manager or “style” because you’re relying on the science not the competency per sae of the manager. With this approach, the science makes the manager competent. => this really is the cool part! :-)
And, what would it be like if you promoted someone or hired a new manager and they were shown exactly how – where given a blueprint to manage from on day one – without you wondering how they’d “really do” post hire. That’s what the blueprint offers – a road map for success- expected performance from day 1and from which you had a place to coach up or coach out.
I said, “That takes a lot of pressure off of you as the leader trying to “figure out” how to get and help people manage successfully. Or get your entire leadership team on all levels to have a cohesive leadership culture, that actually is your operational framework – in fact is the “human behavior-performance framework” of your business.
Chris, “Well that’s really cool” Me, “I’ll send you a copy.” Here’s what I showed him:
Using a tested, proven process that get results because it’s based on human behavior science – if used as directed – will consistently get the intended results. Trust the science of natural wiring.
there is not consistent performance with your managers and their teams,
you’re not sure how to develop your next tier managers
your collective leadership and management team is not cohesive and consistent
you’re struggling with difficult employees
you have a dysfunctional managers and/or teams
you’ve kept underperforming employees way too long
you find it difficult to fire
you’re overwhelmed and exhausted because you’re not developing so you can delegate.
….you’ll want to explore the possibility of getting help.