Martice E Nicks Jr asked:
I met with a prospect the other day and he asked me “What do high performance managers do differently than average managers?”
I paused for a moment, scanned the long list of behaviors in my mind; distilled my answer down to the critical few things and told my prospect…
High performance managers:
* clarify their understanding of their roles and responsibilities
* set non-conflicting short and long term priorities
* use a logical, transparent and duplicable decision-making process
* create a well thought out plan of action – they don’t wing it
* create a realistic schedule for executing their plans
We discussed my answer in relation to the challenges his company was facing and agreed to involve the final person I needed to meet to close the deal.
I started the hour long drive back to the Atlanta airport and pondered a much deeper question.
Why do high performance managers behave the way they do?
I remembered asking my mentor and colleague Alex Nicholas, (the author of Applied Concepts Institutes’ Sales Management Leadership Program), this very question.
Here’s his answer – High performance managers have a set of management philosophies at the root of their priorities and decisions. This keeps them focused on achieving results through development of themselves, the team environment and the individual team members.
All management behavior is based on daily, demonstrable, non-negotiable standards, values and ethics.
* Personal conduct, decision-making and daily activities must consistently reflect the values and high ethical standards embodied by the company
Leadership skills focus on vision, strategy, values and spirit
* Leadership includes communicating a clear direction for the team, in concert with the corporate vision, strategy, values and goals. Leadership also entails developing and executing longer term business plans and promoting a strong sense of the importance of individual and team contributions.
Management skills target tactical, shorter term development
* Emphasis is on improving results by using proactive behavior, making sound tactical business decisions, improving near term planning, enhancing the daily work environment, and fostering developmental relationships with individual team members.
Focus on team development
* The most important priority for managers is the development of an elite, high-performance team. While accommodating individual employee’s needs are important, business and employee decisions should primarily be made to support the greater good of the team.
Team performance improvement begins with the manager’s acceptance of personal responsibility for team actions and outcomes.
* Improving team performance starts with improving one’s self in personal management/leadership skills, job adaptability and business maturity.
The foundation of employee performance improvement is daily development that addresses their behavior.
* All employees are recognized as having unique personalities. Management focuses primarily on developing employee behaviors that are required to successfully perform the job.
Communication between Managers and employees become more effective through a collaborative communication style.
* Situations require differing styles of decision-making and communication, however collaborative communication and decision-making processes can be synergistic.
Develop employees using nurturing relationships
* By consistently using a collaborative coaching process, managers help employees take personal ownership of the job and their productivity. Managers treat employees as “major accounts” for development and coach in the areas of job skills, business maturity and personal adaptability.
Improved employee productivity results in increased employee tenure and sense of self worth
* Leading and managing employees to work through a focused, disciplined, high-energy, and consistent approach is the most effective way to increase results for the team and build employee job satisfaction and tenure.
So it all comes down to the congruency between your management practice and the value system that underpins the priorities you set and the decisions you make.
What are the management philosophies that underpin your approach to making the numbers?