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Management By The Letters - Articles Surfing

It is part of the great business guru tradition to create an acronym of the first letters of significant words to spell out another significant word, like "success." This list is not in that tradition.

But I often feel like the people who go for all the cute acronyms are more concerned with acronyms than wisdom. So, I'll just make a list, starting at the beginning of the alphabet.

A is for "Accomplish the mission through the group." That's one of your jobs. Your other job is caring for your people.

B is for "Behavior." Behavior is what people say and do. The only behavior you control is your own. You use it to influence the behavior and performance of the people who work for you.

C is for "Consequences." Consequences are tools to help you influence behavior. Use positive consequences to encourage people to try something new or to continue doing something that's difficult. Use negative consequences to encourage people to stop doing things you don't want.

You'll note that there's no "D." A lot of other letters are missing, too. I don't have any important concepts that go with those letters. I realize that violates another one of the great guru traditions: having something for every letter of the alphabet.

I thought it was more important to concentrate on the most important concepts. Besides, it often seems like those other writers are struggling hard to get the single bed blanket of their message to cover a double or even a king-sized bed.

E is for "Expectations." You need to set clear and reasonable expectations for the behavior and performance of the people who work for you. Getting good at this is a lifetime effort.

F is for "Feedback." Feedback turbocharges performance. Give frequent and usable feedback to the people who work for you. Seek out as much good feedback from as many sources as you can for yourself.

L for "leadership" might have been here if I thought that all the discussions and distinctions about what and who are leaders and managers were important. They aren't. Whether we call you a leader or manager or supreme commander or Oscar, you've still got the same job. Debating what to call you is a distraction.

P is for "Performance." Performance is the measurable result of work. Pay attention to performance and behavior because you can observe and describe them.. Forget about invisible things like motivation or attitude.

S is for "Show up a lot." This is so simple and yet it's one of the most powerful things you can do. Show up a lot and you learn about your people and they learn about you. Show up a lot and you have lots of opportunities to coach, counsel, correct and encourage. Show up a lot and people get used to you.

T is for "today and tomorrow." Your job isn't just about today. You should also be doing things that will help tomorrow's job get done. Planning helps you accomplish tomorrow's mission. Training helps your people grow.

Y is for "your people." One of your jobs is to care for your people. We started this list with accomplishing the mission and we end it with caring for your people. Both are important, just like on this list, they bracket everything else.

There aren't a lot of letters here, but there aren't a lot of truly important management concepts either. Master the important stuff. Then, if you have time and interest, move on to the rest.

Submitted by:

Wally Bock

Wally Bock coaches individual managers, and is a popular speaker at meetings and conferences in the US and elsewhere. Check out Wally's Working Supervisor Support Kit (http://www.threestarleadership.com/supervisorsupportkit/).



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