If The Beatles were in middle management, their classic tune, Let It Be, would have sounded like this:
When I find myself in times of insolvency,
Peter Drucker comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of Strategery
He is on a conference call with me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of managerial wisdom, let it be.
OK… maybe a little over the top with the biz guru worship, but read this excerpt from The Essential Drucker:
Management is about human beings. Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant. This is what organization is all about….
Simple, Clear, and Direct, no?
How often does your boss say one thing and do another? How often do you tell your vendors something you yourself don’t believe?
Why is it there always seems to be a teammate in a position where his weaknesses are more visible than ever before?
And where is the insight? Do you have a formal process in place to discuss, capture, and document your business insights on a continual basis? Or are you simply too busy doing that you cannot find time to actually think about what you are doing?
At Red Angle, I’ve realized I need to spend less time doing and more time Thinking about how we should do things. That is – more insight generation about our business so our strengths are capitalized and our weaknesses are irrelevant.
Are you part of an Enterprise or Mob?
The most satisfying feedback is often the most basic. A participant in a Red Angle training program and I had this conversation yesterday:
Him: So… it worked.
Me: What worked?
Him: Your Spanish…. it worked.
Me: It’s not mine, but… Great! ¿Qué pasó?
Him: I asked the guys to clean up this one area.
Me: OK, nice. What did they do?
Him: They nodded and said OK.
Me: And then what?
Him: I came back later & it was done.
Him: That had never happened before.
Me: So how do you make sure this is repeated?
Him: I said “Excelente gracias. Meta – cada día… OK?”
That last part means: “Excellent thank you. Goal…. every day, OK?” And that’s the key here. The manager praised the work already done and then established the Goal. He dropped the anchor. He set the hook. Whatever your nautical analogy of choice is, he established a connection.
Great job fellas. Now… do this every day, ok?
This common goal – a single clean workspace – is a small one, but it’s a start.
Do you and your teammates share the same goals and values?
Again, here is some Drucker brilliance from The Essential Drucker:
Every enterprise requires commitment to common goals and shared values. Without such commitment there is no enterprise; there is only a mob. The enterprise must have simple, clear, and unifying objectives. The mission of the organization has to be clear enough and big enough to provide common vision. The goals that embody it have to be clear, public, and constantly reaffirmed. Management’s first job is to think through, set, and exemplify those objectives, values, and goals.
There is a lot of meat on that bone.… It’s simple, but not easy.
If you can successfully answer the bell on all those challenges, can your teammates? Can your trades on the jobsite answer them all?
If not, a good place to start is the following questions….
The 6 Questions.
The creators of Fast Company magazine have spun off a new magazine – Build. Its tagline is “Smart Ideas of Leaders of Mid-Sized Companies.” They are underselling it – too modest.
It’s a great tool for all managers and leaders. The magazine is comprised of brief one or two-page articles designed to provide insight quickly. It also provides links if you want to explore the ideas deeper.
Gather your executive team members. Sit them down. And pose these six questions, one by one, to each individual.
- Why does this organization exist?
- How do we behave?
- What do we do?
- How are we going to set ourselves apart strategically?
- What’s most important — your rallying cry — right now?
- Who needs to do what for this to work?
Do this at your next meeting.
Don’t be part of the mob.
And don’t just let it be… because you will not be having a conference call with Drucker anytime soon.
Bradley Hartmann is founder and el presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a Spanish language training firm focused on the construction industry.
Categories: Jobsite Leadership