Archive for the ‘The Manager Mechanic’ Category

Do You Treat Your Car Better Than Your Managers?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

A new car is all crazy-fresh-n’good when it rolls off the lot, but more than anything you hope (darn well expect) that it will go for miles and miles without trouble. Granted, it is going to need some more gas, an oil change and, at some point, new tires. And if you get in an accident, you might need to straighten the frame, or give it a coat of paint. Would you say that your odds are better at having your car last longer/go farther if you stay current with all the maintenance and service recommendations, or if you just get in and drive the hell out of it until it quits? We all know that if you want the car to do things for you, you have to do things for the car.

Go Manager, Go

As a new manager rolls off your assembly line, you basically step on the gas and expect them to go. You assign them duties, responsibilities, and check lists. You have meetings and pour over numbers. You dole out performance reviews, raises, promotions, and demerits or demotions. In other words, you’re running hot all the time. Would you say that your odds are better at having your managers last longer and run stronger if you routinely provided fresh tires and tune-ups, or if you just keep your foot on the gas?

The truth is that most companies contribute to professional development only a minimum of what they can afford. All areas of a business are competing for resources (read as time/energy/ money), and if we’re being honest, training and development are frequently among the first cuts when times get tough. Recently, there have been some tough times and, training and development budgets were slashed across the board. Business strategy is all about getting gas to the winners, as General Patton used to say, but business is not always warfare. In business there are also bets, and the surest bet to win is leadership.

Leadership is a Game-Changer

If you have the best leadership, nine times out of ten you come out on the winning side. A change for the better in the leadership of a unit, district, or organization can and has, time and time again, led to better performance with better results. Sure, there are examples of location, timing, or pluck that have trumped leadership excellence, but I said “surest bet,” not roll of the dice.

All high-performance racing programs have regularly scheduled pit stops for their cars on the track and all top flight organizations offer programs to support career progression. If your current management training and development program isn’t incorporating a version of an oil change, new spark plugs, front end alignment, or a new battery, perhaps it is time that it should. If you get caught treating your car better than your managers, then you’ll be obligated to participate in a new discussion centered around alternative definitions for the word — dipstick.

For an individual or a fleet – if you would like to supercharge your managers while your business is in motion – click to Chase LeBlanc, the Manager Mechanic™  – at the One Stop Manager Repair Shop, Leadagers™ LLC.