The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
The UK version of The Apprentice showed how important it is to prepare for a meeting.
By preparing well, you make yourself valuable to the company. If you don’t prepare well, you can end up making yourself look foolish and having your ability questioned.
Take a look how Joanne Riley fared in her interview. Bear in mind that this was three months into the process of Lord Sugar trying to find his next apprentice…
By identifying what might come up in a meeting, you prove yourself proactive and creative. By winging it, you prove yourself unprepared and unable to cope.
Michelangelo once said ““The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”
I’ve always loved that quote as it epitomises what we as managers should look out for if we are to continue our development as inspiring leaders.
It’s true that the greatest enemy of excellence is ‘good enough’. When we think we’ve reached a particular level, we oftentimes say that we’ve done enough and should stop there. That’s the danger that Michelangelo was warning against…the tendency and habit to do just enough and then stop.
Does this mean you have to continue and go on and on relentlessly, never stopping to take breath? Of course not! It means we have to be aware of our potential at all times and not allow ourselves to be drawn into the ‘good enough’ syndrome, when you know in your heart it could have been a little bit or much better.
Let me ask you, what are you aiming for in your job? What are you capable of? Are you really tapping into your potential, or have you settled for being ok, average, the ordinary Joe or Jo, mediocre and run-of-the-mill?
Someday, you’ll look back on your career and have to answer the question, ‘did I do my best? Genuinely? All the time?’
Only you can answer that. And only you can grasp the opportunity to be the best you can be, so that you aim high all the time, rather than aiming for mediocrity and achieving it.
So many books have been written about managing others; many more than have been written about managing yourself.
But I honestly feel that unless you can manage and deal with yourself, the quality of your management style with others may well be poor.
What can you do to ensure you get the best from yourself? Here are some tips: Learn More
We’re going to take a look at the work of Lawrence and Noria in early 2000’s and adapt some of their ideas so we are all singing off the same song-sheet.
The first driver they spoke about was the need to achieve, and have the feeling that we have achieved something and gained something that makes our lives meaningful.
Maslow said we need to deal with physiological needs, but there’s more to it than just amassing material things. A universal law says we either grow or die. This need to achieve a goal, objective, target is inherent in most of us, and this desire to achieve is a key motivator for many people.
Just ask why some people want more money, for example, and many times it epitomises their need to have to achieve something in life, whether it’s security, comfort, a high standard of living, or something more altruistic. This then, is the first driver, the need to achieve.
The second need is the social need, the need to be able to bond with others, a team player. A lot of people will be driven and motivated simply to be accepted into a social setting; they’ll want close friends or teammates, and they’ll want to get on with others. Few people will be motivated to want to work on their own for long periods of time.
A third area is the need to be challenged. Why would someone be motivated to step out of their comfort zone? Well it’s again this desire to grow, to be significant, to see that what we’re doing is significant in the workplace. Without challenge, people’s skills atrophy and die away, so this desire to be challenged outside our comfort zone is a driver for many people.
Lots of motivation theorists say that it is impossible to motivate another, unless they personally want to be motivated. So part of our responsibility as managers is to help people to be self motivated or to drive themselves, and our job is to create the environment for them to do this.
Without this environment, allowing people to drive themselves forward, not matter what extrinsic motivational efforts you put in, it may well fall flat, as they will hit a plateau and not be driven higher. So we need to identify things that will open up opportunities for staff to drive themselves forward.