Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Are You Just Filling Out Forms?

Special Announcement

ECI Learning Systems is very excited to announce the publication of our new book, "The Engaged Manager: Make your team a success, and they'll make you a success."

To read more about the book or purchase your copy today, please visit:

And, don't forget to check out the Upcoming Events page to find out more about our "Amazon Day" scheduled for Monday, March 7, 2011...... where we hope to receive enough sales to qualify as an Amazon Best Seller!
Are You Just Filling Out Forms?
When an opening exists in your organization, there are basically two places that you can go to look for a replacement. You can look at your existing employees inside of the organization, or you can look outside for new talent and ideas. I’ve always believed that it is better to promote from within than to go outside for key hires, including management positions. Hiring from inside your organization sends a message to your team that growth is both expected and encouraged. It provides a career path for key employees, and is a tremendous boost for morale. Now, we all know that there are times when promoting from within just isn’t possible; perhaps a fresh perspective is needed or the talents and skills required just don’t exist within the current staff. But you can always learn a lot by interviewing your own staff for promotions, even if you do eventually hire from the outside.

Several years back, one of my key managers received a significant promotion to another part of the organization. I have to admit that I was quite proud of her, having trained and groomed her for several years. She was quite intelligent, curious, good with people, and a creative thinker. I knew that she would excel in her new job.

But, I now had to replace her as the manager.

We sat down and talked about possible promotions from within her team. Her team had been performing well and I was sure that we would find several qualified candidates in that group. As we reviewed the list, we found ourselves eliminating candidates for a number of good reasons. But we decided that we had two strong internal candidates that had good management potential.

During the interviews I asked the candidates about the role of the manager and how they would fill that role. One candidate assured me that he would be the best manager I had ever hired. He understood the role of the manager perfectly, he told me. He was confident he would excel as the manager. I liked his confidence until I asked him what exactly he thought managers did.

“They fill out forms” was the reply. “I fill out forms every day and I’ve been watching the manager, and she fills out forms just like I do. I know I can fill out those forms correctly.”

This was coming from a good employee; a model employee in fact. He had won awards for productivity and creative thinking. But his close examination of managers over the last 6 years had convinced him that the role of the manager was to fill out forms.

As I sat and pondered his response to what he thought managers did, it made me think about how some people perceive their managers. Does your team view you as an active manager, someone leading the way, improving the process, creating change, mentoring your staff?

Or are you just “filling out forms?”

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

1 comment:

  1. Dave,

    Good thoughts and post. There is a difference between managing and leading. Many managers do in fact spend their time generating and regurgitating reports. Some step up to the role of leading. Here the train, vision, communicate, support and direct.

    No Forms For Me Please