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Posts Tagged ‘management’

Uploaded by Poofy Many people will tell you that top performers don’t make the best managers or leaders.  So what I wanted to post here are some of the things that only top performers bring to the position of manager or leader.  For our example, we will use the positions of sales manager and top salesperson.

For me, a great leader is the person who is first out of the foxhole and says, “Follow me, I’ll show you the way.”  A top performer is in the best position to help other salespeople with tough sales situations by saying, “Follow me, let’s go make a call together.”   When top manager who isn’t a great salesperson makes this statement, the subordinate is likely to say or think, “that’s okay, I don’t want you to screw it up.”  The top performer is someone who can lead by example with the respect of subordinates.  The top manager can only say, “I’m right behind you.”

Okay, whose going to be the best teacher, coach or evaluator?  The top manger who isn’t a top perfomer has to rely on want others  have written or said.  It’s not first hand experience.  If the salesperson offers push back or questions what the manager said, the manger is in a tough spot.  Whether you believe it our not, there are things that Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus can tell you about winning that even great golf teachers can’t and certainly beyond the average club pro.

There are certainly skills that great managers and leaders have that you don’t develop as a top performer.  There are many things that are a different skill set.  So what’s the best approach?  I think you need to decide if you should hire a great manager and teach them how to be a top performer or you hire a top performer and teach them how to manage.  You have to decide which one takes less time and which one is most cost effective.   (Picture Uploaded by Puffy)

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Uploaded by Heroes 4 Hire

I’ve sat in dozens of discussions with different companies over a basic question about new hires.  Should we look for experience or hire someone out of college?  This is actually not an easy question to answer because both choices have strong pluses and minuses.

Let’s start by looking at hiring someone with a lot of experience.  What you get is someone who can start being productive early and may need very little new training.  For companies that don’t have the time and patients to develop someone new this looks like a good option.  However, since they are ready to go, you will end up paying more for them.  You just have to determine if they are worth the extra money.  In addition to all the good traits, they will also bring in all the bad habits they’ve learned in past jobs.  You have to determine if this is okay and/or can you retrain these people.

New college graduates are more of a blank sheet.  They don’t have some of the bad habits because they haven’t done anything yet.  However, they may come with the biases of their teachers.  It does cost less to get an unexperienced person but you will have to invest in a lot of training.  In addition, it may take a very long time before they are productive. 

In the end result, this is a partly a financial decision.  Where do you want to spend your money?  Where will you get the fastest return? 

It’s also a cultural and team issue.  Who is going to fit in with the team?  Who can work in the existing culture?

I’ve seen both methods work very well and I’ve seen both methods work miserably.  I think it’s a matter of knowing what you’re really buying and being prepared for getting these new hires up-to-speed.

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I’ve seen both these terms used interchangably and with completely different meanings.  I think it’s important to have a distinction no matter what you call them.

 To me a coach is someone who has direct responsibility for training and developing someone else, usually a subordinate.  It’s part of their job description and compensation.  “I do well, if you do well.”  “I want you to win and if you win I win.”

A mentor is someone who doesn’t have the resonsibility but wants you to do well.  They want you to win, but they may not win if you win.  This is a person you can go to for advice or ask questions.  A mentor is willing to help but doesn’t have to.

Which is best?  In the ideal situation, you should have both.  They offer something different and both can really help. 

I’d also add in a third player, a “buddy.”  This is someone who is going through exactly what you’re going through and provides support and resources as you learn.  In the Gallop survey about what employee’s value, having a buddy is top of the list.

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You read a lot of criticism of big busines such as Big Oil, Big Pharma and now Big Mac.  A lot of the historical anti-big business comes out of the early 1900s when there was a small number of big businesses and an equally small number of captains of industry.

That world has changed dramatically in a hundred years.  The biggest change comes from the sheer numbers of these businesses.  First, if you look at the top 100 companies only a small handful existed a hundred years ago.  In fact their entire industries didn’t exist.  Even companies like GE look nothing like they did.  Their largest business unit is financial services and not manufacturing.

In something like pharaceuticals, you have hundreds of highly competitive companies that often have very little in common.  Instead of conspiring in a big kabal, they are more likely trying ways to take market share from each other.

There is also a tremendous amount of transparancy in the companies because they are publicly traded and often owned by large money funds.  At the bottom line what these companies really care about is a stable set of rules to play by. 

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I see a lot of people liked the first Terry Tate Office Linebacker video.  In this next video, company policy dictates that Terry takes a vacation.

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Do you need to be a warm fuzzy manager who is sensitive to his or her employees needs?  Do you need collaborative decision making? 

 Here is a clip from one of my new favorite TV shows, Kitchen Nightmares.  It really is an interesting look into how very small business sometimes works.  The star Gordon Ramsey was once rated as one of the ten worst bosses in the UK.  However, he is one of the most successful chefs in history.  He’s also overcome how to use certain language in the workplace.  You just have it bleeped out.  Bon Appetite

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