A place to discuss the principles of High Performance Organizations and interact with other professionals who have been successful in implementing HPO principles, or are seeking to, in their organizations
Stop Whining and Start Learning
September 10, 2009 at 12:12 pm #80087
Blog by Jim Clemmer at http://jimclemmer.com
European Institute of Business Administration professor Quy Nguyen Huy found that at companies making lasting, effective changes, middle managers are far better than most senior managers at leveraging informal networks and staying attuned to employees’ emotional needs.
In his book Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge, Geoffrey Bellman challenges upward-looking managers: “You may be thinking, ‘But someday I will be in charge of the committee [or agency or division or team] and I will change things!’ Well, think again. That’s akin to getting married with the plan to start changing your spouse immediately after the ceremony.”
Instead, they need to practise upward leadership now. Here are some tips:
* Try to better understand the bigger picture that your boss and those above you in the organization are operating within. Do you know what keeps them awake at night? What their key goals and priorities are? Don’t wait to be told — find out.
* Take the initiative to keep communication channels open with your boss. Set your top five goals. Get your boss’ input and adjust accordingly. Meet periodically to review progress and reset priorities. Ask, “What do you think I should keep doing, stop doing and start doing?”
* Are you part of the solution or part of the problem? Are you a reactor or leader? Does your attitude and do your actions just reflect the temperature of your more-senior managers to the people in your part of the organization? Or do you try to readjust and change the temperature?
* Focus most of your own and your team’s energy on those things within your control. Pick carefully the areas or changes you would like to influence. Figure out how to let go of those things or circumstances over which you have no control. Not doing this just increases everyone’s misery and creates paralysis. The poet Longfellow was right on when he observed: “I have found that the best thing to do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
* Learn how your organizational game is played. Any group of five people or more is political. Politics involve relationships, trust, power, persuasion and influence.
* Build networks and coalitions, especially if you’re trying to influence significant change. Work with those people who are ready to move forward and build momentum with you. Don’t fixate on the fence-sitters, naysayers or resisters. Involve your boss where appropriate.
* When it’s the right thing, be the leader and do what needs to be done. It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.
* Seize the learning opportunity. We can all learn what not to do from an especially bad leadership example.
September 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm #80091
Thank you so much for continuing to post so much information and related resources about HPO. I would like to send these tips from “Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge” to all of the Champions and to many other co-workers.
September 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm #80089
“Build networks and coalitions, especially if you’re trying to influence significant change. Work with those people who are ready to move forward and build momentum with you. Don’t fixate on the fence-sitters, naysayers or resisters.”
Amen! Great article Sam. And thanks for passing along via email Monica.
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