The Management Blog

Tips & advice to help you improve your performance

 

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Bad Management: Leadership Styles that Cause Turnover

business schemeWhile every manager wants to believe that they are the ideal leaders, this is often not the case. For every effective leader, there exists a bad manager whose behaviors cause their employees undue strife. For the worst of these managers, their bad behaviors can lead to continuous turnover issues and significant losses to the organization. While everyone is familiar with the standard “bad manager” with unrealistic expectations and highly-critical feedback, other far more subtle leadership failures can lead to employee turnover as well.
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7 Tips for Developing Your Leadership Skills

Have you been struggling with the concept of leadership lately? Are you unsure of how you should best blend your management responsibilities with your desire to be a leader to your team? Today I’d like to share 7 tips you can use to help enhance your leadership skills while maintaining your status as a strong manager.

  1. Always accept responsibility for your actions. Be responsible for the things you say and do on a personal level, during your interactions in social groups or professional organisations, and – of course – in the worlkplace. Accepting responsibility, even for your mistakes, will endear you to your team.
  2. Show your enthusiasm and loyalty towards your employer, even when times are tough. Show your team members that you take pride in your job and that you are proud to be an employee of XYZ Organisation. Even in the midst of tough times – like when layoffs are prevalent – you need to keep a positive attitude that your employees can identify with.
  3. Make sure you constantly set high, but achievable, standards for your team. The higher your standards, the better your output will be. Both you and your team members will be recognized for constantly completing superior work and you’ll be viewed as the leader who makes it happen.
  4. Take some time out to listen to your team members. If an employee comes into your office to talk to you about his day to day activities, listen for a minute and then turn things back to work. If an employee comes to you to talk about a pivotal change in his life – like a divorce or death in the family – take the time to listen and let him know you care. Find balance.
  5. Continue to improve your own skills by participating in continuing education classes. Not only will you have better communication and leadership skills, but you’ll be setting a great example for your team members as well.
  6. Remain free of stress in the workplace. If you do encounter stress, try to remain calm and composed. Do your best to identify and remove the cause of the stress in your workplace before it affects others.
  7. Delegate your authority clearly and in a fair manner. Trust your team members to get the job done right. If you don’t trust them, you should consider taking steps to redevelop your team.

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Understanding Pareto’s Principle

Back in the early 1900’s there was a guy by the name of Vilfredo Pareto. He, upon studying the distribution of wealth in the country that he lived, realized that about 20% of the people living in his country owned 80% of the wealth. The truth is that when we think of Pareto’s Principle today we are not talking about the distribution of wealth. In the 1940’s, another doctor inaccurately named the 80/20 rule of time management to Pareto – and rightfully so – the rule had been applied and misapplied to a number of industries and professions ever since it was discovered.

So what does Pareto’s Principle have to say about time management? The concept is simple. A mere 20% of your efforts are responsible for 80% of your results.

So what does this mean to you?

It means you have to figure out which 20% of your time matters. Usually it’s the first 10% and the last 10%. Only 20% of your day is going to have a direct impact on the end results. If that’s the case, what parts of your day can you cut out – which parts are time wasters – and which should you focus on most? Can you turn the other 80% of your day into something more productive as well?

There’s another theory that interprets Pareto’s Principle as saying that 20% of your people do 80% of your work. If this is true, will you focus on increasing the abilities of that first 20% or will you try to make the other 80% of your team better?

In the end, the results are still the same. Only a small portion of the time you spend leads to direct results. Make sure you’re splitting your time accordingly.

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Are You an Average Manager – or Excellent?

As a manager you shouldn’t strive to do the mininimum amount of work possible to get by each and every day. Your ultimate goal should be to become the absolute best manager you can be – not just a good manager but an excellent manager.

So what can you do to set yourself apart from the rest? Evaluate your performance to determine whether or not you’re adhering to the fundamental concepts of excellence. They are as follows:

  • Are you a results oriented person? Are you always looking towards the final outcome or are you merely interested in the here and the now?
  • Are you focused on your customers? They’re the backbone of your business. If you have no customer focus you’ll eventually lose all your business.
  • Do you manage your team based on your personal beliefs or do you stick to the facts and processes implemented by the company.
  • Are you constantly striving to improve yourself, taking continuing education courses to learn about innovative new ideas and technologies?
  • Do you have a sense of leadership and purpose?
  • Are you focused on developing your relationships with your partners, both internal and external?
  • Do you have a sense of corporate responsibility? Have you made your organization’s goals your own?

Take a step back and evaluate your own performance as a manager. There are things you can do to improve your performance. Are you ready to meet the challenge?

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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The Corporate Life Cycle Model

A very respected business theoriest known as Dr. Ichak Adizes outlined a very interesting theory regarding the life cycle corporations go through. Formally known as the Corporate Life Cycle Model, the theory contains 10 distinct stages each business must pass through as it moves from a simple idea, through realization, and to its ultimate end.

Let’s first look at the 10 stages of the Corporate Life Cycle Model. They are as follows:

  1. Courtship is the period during which you have an idea you are toying with in your head. You alk about development, create business plans, look for funding, etc.
  2. Infancy describes the very first stages of a business, immediately after the official public launch.
  3. The go-go stage occurs when a business is still relatively new. This stage tends to be very busy and in some cases is very chaotic.
  4. A business is in its adolescent stages when it begins to define itself but still experiences growth.
  5. The prime stage of any business model occurs when it is at it’s most profitable and competitive point.
  6. A business is in the stability stage when it is starting to lose its edge but is still considered popular and profitable.
  7. Aristrocracy occurs as a business begins to lose more of its edge and market share but still has a strong presence; it can’t keep up with new technologies.
  8. Recrimination occurs when people begin to have doubts about the future success of a business and begin to feel threatened. They lose sight of their original goals.
  9. A business will turn into a bureaucracy when the administration begins thinking only of themselves. At this point, you’ll notice many of the investors looking elsewhere and key players in the organization leaving for other opportunities.
  10. Finally, a business will just die off. It will be sold to another company for the sake of a client base, file for bankruptcy, or simply close.

The trick, in any business, is to keep a business in the early and middle stages for as long as possible. This means using innovative marketing strategies to come up with new products and new marketing techniques in order to stay as competitive as possible for as long as possible. You and your team should always be looking forward, wondering what you can do next to make things better. If you fall into a rut, you’ll only push yourselves further towards the end of your careers.

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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McClelland’s Motivational Needs Theory

David McClelland was an American professor at Wesleyan University and Harvard in the United States before he died in 1998. While at Harvard, he spent more than 20 years studying the way people are motivated and how they address their achievements and needs. After years of research he published a book called The Achieving Society in which he discussed the three types of motivational need he discovered: affiliation motivation, authority or power motivation, and achievement motivation. He found that everyone, regardless of their level in the workplace, experiences all three of these needs on some level – whether they need to motivate others or be motivated themselves. The need for affiliation covers the idea that everyone needs to have positive relationships and, as a result, everyone is motivated towards developing some sort of interaction with others. Those who fall into this category, also labeled n-affil, want to be liked and work well in teams. A person with a need for authority and power, also referred to as an n-pow person, wants to make a huge impact on the world. They want their ideas to be heard and also focus on making sure others see them as prestigious or with high status. Those who feel a need to achieve, or the n-ach people, are highly motivated. They set a lot of challenging goals but remain realistic at the same time. Those who need to feel as though they’ve achieved their goals constantly seek to hear feedback from others. Most people possess all three of these characteristics but spend most of the time leaning more towards one than the others. The one a person leans towards most will determine what type of worker or manager he will become – objective, determined, flexible, etc. Achievement motivated individuals, however, always seem to get the best results in the end! Thanks again, Sean Sean McPheat Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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