When I was in my teens, my dad bought me a Norelco triple-head electric shaver for Christmas. It was a state-of- the-art tool ready to tackle the dozen or so hairs that were beginning to sprout on my chin. I used it for many years until I became frustrated by its inefficacy to closely shave what was emerging as a full beard. So, I switched to a new double-blade razor. Soon that was replaced by a triple-blade razor but, it seemed that no razor was up to the task.
Employees perform most of the activities that, if measured, are usually leading indicators of future outcomes. You can’t know how well your business is doing without understanding how well the people in your business are doing. When you spend more time focused on leading indicators you’ll spend less time (after the fact) pouring over income statements and analyzing trailing indicators.
“It’s consistency, not smiles that keep customers coming back.”
Well-documented processes, that are followed by all, ensure consistency for your customers and scalability of your business. However, it’s one thing to document a process but another thing entirely to have it followed by all. Embracing something new, such as a process, doesn’t come easily to people. If you’ve invested time, money and resources to implement a new reporting process to manage workflow and information, you probably know what I mean. Usually, just over half of the employees are using it a year later. Why?
In his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith points out that the fundamental beliefs that drive our success can also make us resistant to change. We overestimate our contributions and sometimes take credit for things that others have accomplished while often ignoring our own shortcomings. These delusions are the result of success, not failure.
Great managers are hard to find. Great managers have a true gift and a passion for getting the most out of people. Great managers possess a unique ability that is not in everyone. Having worked with hundreds of managers over the years, I now see clearly the ones who truly want to be great managers and the ones who are doing it for other reasons, e.g., ego, advancement, having nowhere else to go.