What if a Manager Could See the Future?
In 1992, a graduate student in astronomy was working on a computer simulation program in order to determine how Stars were formed. This allowed them to see how they would look in the future. After the student toke a long break, he returned, stunned to find the computer simulation had advanced “100 million billion” years!” Many things changed in the future simulation. The simulation showed that things evolve in ways we can not see today. They evolve as a result of what we do today.
Most of us who manage people and business units would recognize that we would see many surprising results and would likely change behaviors in many areas. Thinking about our management and people skills, we would pay attention to these areas.
Managers who could see into the future would look very closely at their relationship building activities. Trust and motivation of individuals and teams is based squarely on relationships. How solid is a manager’s relationship with their people?
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Most managers would conclude they needed to spend more time cultivating relationships than they are doing today.
Top Potential Management Skill – Communications
Communication skills would be near the top of the list for improvement. Managers would see that often their communication and delegation were not as clear and concise as was needed. They would spend more time developing their messages and learn to be very clear and specific about how they directed their people. Solid communication skills are at the heart of effective delegation.
The ability to see things through the “lens of the employee” would be an area of improvement. If managers could look into the future, they would begin to understand that how their employees “see their jobs and assignments”, when viewed through their eyes, is much different. Managers would take more time to understand each employee’s perspective, experience and views, and start communicating with this in mind.
Projects and assignments for the business unit would be planned with more care and detail. Managers would layout the project time-lines, milestones and due dates more specifically. Checkpoint dates for project status reports would be more fully utilized than they are now. People would be held more accountable for progress than they are today.
More Management Coaching & Mentoring
Managers would absolutely find the need to provide more one-on-one coaching than they do today. Looking into the future would reveal each individual’s need for training, advice and objective criticism. Managers would understand that people want to be challenged and to see how their behaviors could be re-directed, so they can contribute more to the team. Managers would take to heart and focus on managing their people up. They would see the connection between coaching people up and high-productivity results.
Unfortunately, we do not have a computer simulation that would allow managers to see well into the future. We can’t check out what happens in the future. What managers can do, what they must do, is to look at the important management skills and do a better job. This will help to make the future into a legacy worth seeing.
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