Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Building Support Through An Internal Network

Like many young managers (and some not so young managers as well), I was very focused on getting results from my team. I made sure that our goals and objectives were clear and measurable, I identified the talented people on my team who could get the results that we needed, and I worked to smooth out the processes that might hinder my team from fully succeeding.

Yes, I was the classic example of a “Results Oriented Manager” who had his eyes on the prize and had the strength and determination to ensure that everything went according to plan. Month after month, my managers and I would discuss our results, looking for new and creative ways to increase our productivity, eliminate errors, and make the best use of our people. I would gather my key performers into a room and get their thoughts and insights into what was going well and what wasn’t. I would encourage their thoughts and ideas, unleashing their creativity for finding new ways to improve our performance.

In monthly review meetings with my boss, I could proudly point to my team’s results, every productivity chart trending upwards, and provide insights into what we were seeing, and what we expected to see in coming months. There was no question I could not answer, nor challenge I was not willing to take on.

I’ll bet I’m describing some of you as well.

The challenge with this type of singular focus is not that the results aren’t there; because they clearly are. Instead, the challenge is that, by focusing so narrowly on results, I missed the opportunity to build bridges with my internal customers and partners. Fundamentally, I lived inside of a vacuum where the only thing that mattered was my team’s ability to produce the results that we were charged with producing. And, as long as my results were strong, the fact that I had not built the necessary bridges was not very important. But, in every business there are cycles. The pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. And, while I was good at noticing the business swings, often before they actually happened, I wasn’t always good at detecting the human swings that take place in organizations. And those human swings are much more dangerous than the business swings.

I’ve written a number of times that being a successful manager means understanding that it is no longer about how good you are, but about how good your team is. And the same logic applies at a different level as you begin to emerge as a leader. It seems your success is no longer just about how well your team performs, but how well they perform in conjunction with those teams around them. In other words, it’s not just important that your team produces results, but it’s important that you are aligning yourself properly in the organization as well.

What are the benefits of that alignment and of building support through an internal network?

The benefits are substantial. And I’ll write more about that in the entry next week.

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,

    Thanks for your post. What good is being successful in business if you don't like the people you work with and they don't like you? I know this I have a tendency to be task oriented and have tended to not be too concerned about people. (They should all just know and do what they need to).

    What I have found it that people and their feelings are an important part of the equation. It's hard to measure how much love do I need to share or the impact that love has. But Love absolutely is key to our success.

    People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

    Thanks again,