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Leadership Team Development #15 – Great Managers Keep Expectations Clear

Written by Don Tinney on October 7, 2010

Implementers EOS Leadership Team Business Clarity Management

As we transition now from leadership to management, I remind you that they are very different endeavors. Click here to review the difference.

I also want to start with the point Jim Collins made in his book, Good to Great: The moment you begin to feel the need to tightly manage someone, you have probably made a hiring mistake. Management isn’t about making people do what you want them to do or keeping them under your thumb. Great managers do 5 things and we’ll consider them one at a time. First, great managers keep expectations clear.

As a manager, I want to make sure my direct reports are absolutely clear about what I expect from them and that they are confident they can meet my expectations. I can’t hold someone accountable if I haven’t made sure this clarity exists.

I also need to make sure I am clear on what they expect from me and that I am confident and prepared to meet their expectations. This may feel like a scary conversation to have, but you need to know what they expect. If you can’t meet their expectations, it’s better to tell them up front.

In this two-way discussion, we need to be clarifying business expectations around four things:

  • company core values – we understand what they are and are committed to living them
  • roles/responsibilities – what I’m responsible for and what my direct report is responsible for in each of our respective roles
  • rocks – my company-focused priorities for the quarter and my direct report’s company-focused priorities for the quarter
  • measurables – what numbers do we each need to hit/deliver

If you’re not clear about company core values, roles, rocks and measurables, you need to get clear with the rest of the leaders and managers in your company first. Then go have your discussions with your direct reports. Achieving this clarity sets the foundation for a great work relationship.

Takeaway point for this week:

  • Answer this question: I am keeping expectations clear with every one of my direct reports – yes or no? If your answer is yes to 6 out of 7, it’s no. To be a great manager every one of the people reporting to you needs to know what you expect from them and that you are clear about what they expect from you.

Encouragement: If you are behind on this, just start moving quickly towards achieving clarity within the next 3 to 6 months. Contact us if you have any questions or want any help.


More Blog Posts: ← A Walk In the Woods | Who Should Be In Charge