Managers Coach & Train Constantly
One of the most basic principles at the core of our Management by Delegation program is that managing a business Unit is like coaching a team. The parallels are quit similar. Whether it’s managing a project or coaching a team, you will almost always lose the game due to poor execution. You can read the sports page in your local newspaper and a very significant percent of the time, the Coach of the losing team will make the age old excuse…”we didn’t execute.”
There are four specific fundamental issues that cause a business unit to deliver less that expected execution. The resulting misery is very likely a result of one or more of the following:
4 Problem Issues in Managing People
- Poor Coaching Skills – The manager is not effective at building a winning game plan for the project delegation. They either don’t have all the techniques or don’t seek the input and assistance of their assistant coaches and scouts.
- Not Demanding Excellence – If the manager-coach does not set the iron clad expectations, the team will simply not execute to their true potential.
- Tolerating Less than the Best – You simply can’t reach individual or team excellence if you tolerate less than every one’s best effort. Less that the best becomes the “norm” People figuratively start to think…”hey, be happy you almost got it done.”
- Poor Execution Has Been Taught – Whatever you see during the post-project review has either been taught (usually by bad example) or tolerated by poor management. If you are the manager of a project, and you don’t like what you see at the end, then you better start seeing what you want. Change is the elixir, not tolerance.
My favorite way of looking at the “Excellence Expectation” is a version of a time tested principal.
Management Results? You Get What you Accept
In the business of managing, you don’t get what you want, you usually don’t get what you expect. In reality, you get what you put up with.
Here are a few quality suggestions to get any manager or executive back on the right track for execution excellence.
- Do some serious soul-searching and ask this question…”in managing this team, have I settled for less that their very best?’ Have I allowed people to under perform?
- At the start of every project, have I pulled the team together and simply stated, with calm conviction and steely resolve…nothing less that ever one’s best possible performance is acceptable. Expect to be recognized for excellence and called out for anything short of your very best. any questions?” Pause at this point and look each team member square in the eye.
- As may be necessary, describe in real world detail what “excellent performance” looks like. Do not assume anything. let people hear and visualize exactly what you believe to be excellence.
- As the project assignment gets underway, immediately jump on any action step that is not going according to plan. Find ways to fix it. This also sends a message that you are on top of things and will not hesitate to make changes quickly.
- Any person who is not pulling their weight on the project or performing short of expectations, you as the manager must do what I call a “pull aside.” You pull the under performing individual aside and calmly (the calmer the better) probe…”you have not (performed, handled, behaved, completed on time, etc. & give examples). This is Not acceptable and I am seriously concerned. How do we fix this?”
- You critique specific performance in private but you selectively point out the issues, professionally, in a team setting. This is very effective when you need to get the whole teams attention.
People Management Example
Try something like this.
“Jim was falling behind on (such & such – be specific) and he and I reviewed how best to get back on track together. Jim has committed to “uping” his game and I have every confidence he will get us where we need to be.”
Don’t scold in public but do honestly review a problem and the solution when the team needs to hear it. Believe me, the rest of the team will take note.
My commitment to excellent business coaching is always about helping people to get better. Growth and development are consistent goals. That said, I do not suffer mediocrity well and I don’t pull any punches…neither should any manager. If you accept the responsibility of managing a business unit or project team, and you don’t expect excellence and absolutely refuse to put up with anything else…please let some one else manage. You are wrecking the business unit and not helping your people to grow. It is very much like having a personal trainer at the gym. A person will do more with a coach that expects more and challenges them than they will likely do on their own. Be your team’s “personal trainer.”
Additional Management Skills Resources
Featured Image at Pixabay / CC BY CCO