Monday, August 29, 2011

Paperwork or people work, which is more important?

Paperwork or people work, which is more important?

After my many years in the workforce as a senior manager, I have come to the conclusion that most managers, executives and leaders tend toward being task oriented and companies seem to like that.

Why, because we have a tendency to evaluate people by their accomplishments. In addition, task oriented people are the ones who usually get put in charge. In my opinion, they seem to rise to the top of organizations by the sheer volume of paperwork they are able to shove out their office door or the tasks they are able to accomplish.

Although I certainly understand the necessity to get the job done, I am a firm believer that the success of any manager is directly related to how much emphasis they place on their people.

I know from personal experience, one hundred percent of my success has always been due to my team and the emphasis I have put on getting to know them and show them how much I care.

People will never care how much you know until they know how much you care.

I believe that leadership is basically a people business. Experts have confirmed that the most effective leaders spend most of their time being with people and solving people problems.

As a leader, I challenge you to start putting people work before paperwork. You will be amazed at how it will have a positive impact on you, your company and its people.

The next time someone stops by your office; don’t see it as an interruption but as an opportunity.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Honey, guess who’s coming to dinner? Or Not!

A wise man once told me “Never hire anyone you would not be willing to bring home and have dinner with your family.” It was excellent advice that I have relied on as a manager for over twenty years – with great success, I might add.

If you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. Why would you want someone in your organization that you would feel uncomfortable spending time with your family?

Today’s economy, mainly because of the recession, has given managers the opportunity to hire talent that may not have been available under normal circumstances.

Be careful. Do not let your guard down and hire someone just because they are available, look good in person or on paper and say, what you want to hear. Pre-employment testing can help weed out some but, I still believe that the hiring manager needs to feel comfortable with the person their hiring to ensure it is a good fit for the company.

I would suggest, for key management positions that you try to get them in an environment where they will open up about themselves and let their guard down. Take them out to a long lunch or invite them to meet you for dinner or coffee outside of work. Have them come back in for second or third informal follow-up meetings with you in a more casual setting.

Any body can write a great resume or provide excellent references. The key is to peel back the onion and really see who this person is and determine if this is the type of manager, you want joining your team.

The disruption caused by hiring the wrong person for a key role is too costly and in most instances can be avoided if you follow “the wise man's” simple rule.