December 1, 2008

“If you are not focused, you will not meet or exceed the duties and responsibilities of your position” Frank Alley

“If you are not focused, you will not meet or exceed the duties and responsibilities of your position”
Frank Alley, CEO, The Brooklyn Hospital Center

It’s so easy to get bogged down in the seemingly vital everyday minutiae that face you when you walk into work each day.

The ‘busyness’ of the manager’s day never seems to go away, to leave the breathing spaces vital for focusing on results, let alone growth and development.

So, it’s really important to make sure that you do the things that you – and only you – can do best, within the context of what’s most important in your business. Whilst enabling others in your business to get on with what they are great at too.

Many managers take their eye off the ball and consequently lose the focus on where to spend their own business time to best effect. They choose to get on with what’s ‘nice to do’, and miss the point – the vital stuff – that makes their business tick.

And it’s such an easy trap to fall into, because it sneaks up on you slowly and silently. Businesses that become comfortable, run the very real risk of losing direction which can be very dangerous indeed.

As a manager, you lead from the front and need to show your people that you above all are on target, dealing with the things that are critical to success. So it’s worth checking in with yourself, once in a while, that you are doing the most important things first, before you start amusing yourself.

Then, the right things get done when you need them to, leading to the reward of a focused business performance that will deliver the results that you want.

Your people will see the best focus comes from you, leading them to discover, through your example, what is most important to the performance of the business.

Your personal capacity to focus on the key issues will lead them to develop and fine tune that most critical of skills for themselves as well.

Filed under Great Quotations, Managing Me by Martin

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November 19, 2008

Building Your Team and Managing It Successfully

A well functioning team includes a number of effective people who are concerned about each other and are strongly committed to their assignment. These individuals have the right motivation to work with their collective strength and skill to achieve a given target. Building and managing such a team is a challenge and, ultimately, a pleasure.

From our studies and readings about team development, we have discovered three basic criteria that have to be fulfilled in order to achieve the greatest heights in team management and performance. Coupled with relevant reward and satisfaction for each team-mate, you have a recipe for success.

These criteria are:

1. Resources and Commitment
2. Ownership and Heart
3. Learning

Though these three requirements form the defining structure of teamwork, they are not everything.

You see, every group is different and the needs and factors that guide its team effort have to be outlined exclusively.

The second of the outlined conditions, “Ownership and Heart” specifies that the success of a team is determined by the involvement of the members while the foundations are being laid. The effort needs to be heartfelt, and all the members must strive to come up with “team friendly” attitudes, principles and beliefs.

Teamwork is most fruitful when the members believe in it genuinely and execute their tasks with faith and loyalty, in a way that adheres to the primary principles of team effort. Unbreakable groups are made of the right attitude, frame of mind, and principles as much as the policies and systems that support them.

At the most basic position, the key to unlock the power of the team effort “Genie” depends on the eagerness of the team members to the rub the lamp of responsibility. Individuals who hold the stakes in the group need zeal for personal management to incorporate teamwork and to maintain it. The seeds of team effort must be planted, watered and developed by the members themselves. As said earlier, the team can only be built from the inside and not the outside.

There is no doubt that external agents will bring about the pace and comfort with which teamwork takes hold. But these forces cannot run the hearts and minds of the members. Each person in the team is answerable for his/her actions to the rest. There are many people who simply cannot grab the concept of responsibility.

However, these very people are the ones to tell us that they are disappointed with the lack of tightness and integrated teamwork that are found in working groups today. Some maintain that they can experience the power, energy and enthusiasm that should radiate from an ideal team effort.

Frequently, members of an organization are ignorant of the level and nature of the teamwork that define their groups. They are too occupied in their own competitions against each other to worry about such issues. In any social condition, if the individuals are unwilling to take responsibility, get involved, or show interest in what’s going on, they cannot expect more than the poor results they achieve.

Group members forfeit their rights to report against the poor level of motivation and the quality of work life when they shirk their duties, do not assist in building teams or contribute to teamwork.

One of the principal challenges nowadays is to teach and empower people to be more involved while building teams. The main factors that affect teamwork are not those external to the team like the top management, the union or the government, the stockholders or the weather.

The ideas, beliefs, principles and mental constitutions we form collectively as members of a group are the important factors. We see alarmingly large numbers of people who play the roles of victims to the external enemies of an organization and instead trying to improve the situation lament on its adversity.

They constantly complain about how their confidence has been shattered by these factors but fail to act in order to protect the group.

Filed under Building the Future, Developing Your People by Martin

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