Monday, May 9, 2011

Leaders Must Manage

Leaders must manage; I think it's a mistake to think leaders are ever relieved of the responsibility of the management of people, resources, reputation, time, problems,opportunities, etc... .  The key differences are who, what, and how you manage based on your position on a team or organization.  But the requisite obligations to ensure people are doing what they are supposed to do, resources are being allocated and utilized according to plan, time schedules are being met, performance standards are being adhered to - the basic blocking and tackling of management - must be in every leader's mind.   If you are leading a team - you must provide purpose, direction, and motivation - constant, consistent, and intentional connection and management is required for elite leaders, and elite teams.

As an example, here is a conversation I had last week with a very good leader -

LDR:  "I have lost control."

Me:  "How?"

LDR:  "I let a few things slide here and now people are taking advantage of the situation."

Me:  "Why did you let things slide?"

LDR:  "Well - we were busy; I was focused on other things.  I delegated some decisions.  I let the team do some things they haven't done in the past and now I have a lot of problems."

Me:  "So you stopped managing."

LDR:  "No."

Me:  "Did you stop enforcing your standards of excellence?"

LDR:  "Yes."

Me:  "Then you stopped managing."

LDR:  "Do you mean I should have acted like a Dad and told people what to do everyday?"

Me:  "If that's what it takes to manage your team, yes.  Do you think that's what it would take?"

LDR:  "No. I just need to re-engage on a daily basis; I have to stop being too busy for the team."

We've all been in this conversation.  You can't be too busy for your team.  You must manage the team to keep it on track. 

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