Managing for performance

Six months til Christmas…Wow! Where has the time gone? I need to slow down and learn something. This week I have a couple of statements from management writer Bruce Tulgan for you to read and process. Most everyone is a manager of a group at some time during their week – whether its a project, a game, a home party, whatever. Most everyone is a participant in a group that someone else is leading at other times during their week. I hope they prompt some action items that will help you be a better manager and participant in groups sharing a common goal.

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Low performers are the great beneficiaries of under-management. They want a boss that is hands off, doesn’t keep track of who is doing what, and ignores performance problems. They want to hide and only have a confrontation when the manager is ready to explode, clouding the waters of the confrontation. They are drawn to under-managers the way vermin are drawn to dark cold places. 

High performers want a boss who is strong and highly engaged, who knows exactly who they are and exactly what they are doing every step of the way. Higher performers want a boss who lets them know that they are important, as is their work. They want a boss who spells out expectations clearly, who teaches them best practices, who warns them of pitfalls, who helps them solve small problems before they fester and grow, and rewards them when they go the extra mile. High performers want a boss who will clear the low performers out of the way. Strong hands-on managers are like magnets for high performers.

If you are hands off and treat everybody the same, you are treating your employees like low performers. You will under-manage most of them into a slow downward spiral. If you are strong and highly engaged, you are treating your employees like high performers. You will manage most of them into a steady upward spiral. And high performers will beat down your door for the chance to work for you.