Weekly Recap October 21, 2011 | Leadership & Management
In case you are catching up on your reading or just joining us, here are our top stories for the last two weeks, October 8, 2011 - October 21, 2011. Check out the hot topics in Leadership & Management.
Quote of the week
"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."
– Warren G. Bennis
According to research from the Corporate Executive Board, 40% of internal job moves made by people identified by their companies as "high potentials" end in failure. Many organizations make the mistake of looking simply at ability when assessing an employee for a management job. Think of the hot-shot sales rep or the genius software engineer. It is incredible how often high producing individuals get promoted into management jobs that require a totally different mindset to be successful.
Managing high performers with difficult personalities is one of the greatest managerial challenges that leaders face. We see it all the time across every industry and function. Whether it is the rainmaker with the golden rolodex, the genius software engineer, or the prickly neurosurgeon, sometimes we can't live with these people but we can't live without them. So, what can leaders do to bring out the best in these people while minimizing negative impact they have on their co-workers and the organizational climate?
When it comes to selecting a high performing team, team assessments are essential, especially when conflicts arise. Here’s a common scenario:
You’ve assembled an expert team of workers who fit their jobs well and are aligned with organizational goals. They are high performers and you could not be more pleased with each of them individually.
Yet, something is off. Jason almost never appears satisfied with answers to his questions, feedback from his team leader, or anything really. He’s impatient, irritable, and his dissatisfaction is rubbing off on other team members. But overall, he’s extremely skilled at his job and plays a vital role in the team.
Why Best Buy Delights While Its Neighbor Disappoints
Engaged employees can make all the difference in a business. My local Best Buy and its neighboring competitor coexist in shocking contrast to each other. The Best Buy is a shopper’s paradise with neat and orderly displays and plenty of helpful staff to offer great advice in a low-pressure environment. Meanwhile, the adjacent office supply store (that shall remain nameless) has stale displays and several areas are in need of cleaning. Worse, several employees seemed to spend most of their time on cell phones — and the conversations were not about work.
In a perfect world, work would always be enjoyable, and work environments would promote productivity and engagement. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. People find themselves in sticky situations or conflict with coworkers. Some personalities and behaviors are oil and water, and they will never mix. Fortunately, the right employee assessments can nip co-worker conflict in the bud, and minimize drama and disruption.
Understanding the difference between the role of a "manager" and a "leader" is crucial to maximizing the potential of your people. A manager's job is to plan, organize and coordinate. A leader's job is to inspire and motivate. Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked, and complementary. So, what can organizations do to help good managers become better leaders?
Featured Case Study
Although the current financial situation is tight for many companies, leaders at Regus feel that assessments have helped them keep hiring decisions grounded, compared to impulse-based decision-making that high pressure can sometimes foster. This has been an issue for Regus in the past. They decided it was time to evaluate their hiring strategies to make more informed selections when making hiring investments.