Investing in Managers

Every company has its own culture which is defined by the leader’s behaviors.  And every department or function also has its own culture, and it too reflects the behaviors of the manager. 

Studies have shown that team performance is determined by a number of factors, but always the effectiveness of the leader/manager is the most significant.  Similarly, people don’t leave companies, they leave their immediate boss who can make work exciting and challenging, boring, or just plain miserable. 

My message this week:  Pay attention to the quality of your mid-level and senior managers.  Too often, companies invest significant money in an attempt to improve the behaviors and capabilities of managers whose behaviors and attitudes cause both poor performance and defections of good performers. 

Instead, invest mostly in managers who have the right attitude, are eager to learn and exhibit both the ability to effectively achieve group results and support company values.  Spend less on the weak performers and determine early on whether they are capable of turning themselves around.

P.S.  Highly-effective mid-level managers also up the game of senior-level executives.

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