difficult decisions

March 30, 2009

With Empowerment Everyone’s A Winner

For a manager to be brave enough to empower their people is one of the most enlightening actions they can take to remove some of the burdens that others can deliver.

Individuals start to flower in their abilities and become the swan to the ugly duckling of the past – producing results even beyond their own imagination.

A manager who unleashes the potential of their people in this way will achieve a fulfilment of their own possibilities and that of those in their care too.

Filed under Building the Future, Managing Me by Martin

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December 22, 2008

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” Winston Churchill

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”
Winston Churchill

Making the effort to improve when performance is poor is tough. Especially when you are manager and it’s up to you to make difficult decisions.

Yet it’s usually the easiest thing to rapidly improve performance when you are measuring against poor results in the past.

Adding 30 percentage points on when you start at 10 is way easier than adding 30 to 70!

It’s much easier to improve on what’s bad.

What is much more challenging, is not to rest on your laurels when the going is good. You’ve done the hard work; you’ve arrived; it’s done!

Not true. Because when it gets very difficult as a manager, is when you’ve made the big changes and things are ticking along nicely. It’s at this very time when the questions need to come:-

“What else is there?”
“How can we improve on this even more?”
“Where are the next level of opportunities?”

Reviewing and changing, time after time in an ongoing upward cycle of success is when the tough really do get going.

Sure, it’s time to celebrate successes and learn from what went well. The very best managers and their teams look back into the mix and ask those questions others would pass by.

It’s a sign of quality, persistence, tenacity and great leadership that only the very best demonstrate. Showing their people how to be best in their work and their careers.

It’s the easy option to take the foot off the gas. It’s not the best option by far.

Filed under Focus on Results, Great Quotations by Martin

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November 23, 2008

“Making no choice is a choice” – William James

“When you have a choice to make and you don’t make it, that is, in itself, a choice.”
William James, American Psychologist

You can’t get away from making difficult choices in your business by avoiding them. The challenges that those choices represent are going to need fixing some way or other.

Because making no choice, is indeed a choice in itself. You are just as responsible for the consequences as if you had made a significant choice anyway.

So, by preferring the lazy and ineffective way out, the choice you make is just that, ineffective and weak, leading to the outcomes you achieve and, bluntly, deserve.

And it’s worse as well. When you fail to make the constructive choice to actively lead your team, your people start to get twitchy, because indecisive leadership gives no confidence at all.

By avoiding difficult decisions, you build only mistrust from your people, something you will find very challenging to recover from. Trust can take months and years to build, but only a few seconds to destroy.

A business that is managed by an individual who really cannot make decisions (especially the tough ones where everyone is watching!) and make choices that are dynamic – even when they turn out to be wrong – will lead to confusion and concern for team members.

Of course, you can take defensive positions a little when you have the most challenging of choices to make. There is nothing wrong if you need to take a time out before committing yourself.

If you consistently have a personal style that your people get to understand clearly, even if it means a break before a choice is made, they will learn to appreciate that and have an understanding about how you tick. They will know that you like to think and consider the options you have carefully before you choose – and then you do act and make that choice.

By the way, this works in real life as well!

Filed under Great Quotations, Managing Me by Martin

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